I've been a Med-Surg/Oncology nurse for five years now. I'm thinking of transferring to ICU. I need a change and was wondering if this will be a hard change. I am willing to learn and am excited to be able to take the ACLS class and any others I need. My pt ratio right now averages between 6-7 and our pts are pretty heavy. I know the pt ratio in ICU is alot less, like 1-2 but these people are on vents and are very sick too.
Nov 13, '06
Go for it!! I did the same thing recently after 5 years Med surg. I really like the ICU. Make sure if you make the switch that you get a good orientation. And a critical care class. I am so glad that I made that switch. My load on my Med surg floor was the same 6-7. I have been able most days to handle the load of 2 pts in the ICU. I was working last week with only one pt and glad they singled us because this pt was relitavely stable but needed a lot of attention due to needs for sedation since I think she was withdrawing form Coccaine and ETOH. Also SBP paramater of SBP< 160, pt bp within paramaters with sedation and meds. I recommend taking ACLS before going to the ICU, but they will give you up to a year before having to have ACLS. So Good luck with going to the ICU.
Nov 13, '06
I just did it!
I worked an oncology/organ transplant floor for three years right out of school. I took the plunge to ICU in October and haven't regretted it for a second. I needed a challenge after receiving my cert in Med/Surg I figured it was time to move on. It is very hard to go from expert to novice in 3 seconds flat though. I feel like a moron on a daily basis, I feel like I forget more than I remember, but I am very happy I made the choice to switch. When I left my old job I left comfort and habit behind, I knew everyone, and people knew me. I was on every committee known to man and knew the CNE on a first name basis (in a huge inner city hospital), I was even Chair of shared governance! It was very hard for me to leave all of that behind but I stayed there per diem just to get my fix every now and then. I tell my old co-workers that they will know when I am a "real ICU nurse", when I come back and can't take 5-6 patients:roll
Nov 15, '06
I transferred from tele/med surg 4 years ago and wouldn't go back for anything. In ICU you KNOW whats happening with your patients - its often way more intense, but you feel so much better when you have made the difference. How rewarding is it when you have 6 patients all calling for coffee and pain meds at the same time and you don't even have time to notice when someone is really in trouble??? Its a very difficult transition at times, but sooo worth it! And you can never replace that experience!
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