Interview for ICU/CCU

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    I graudated nursing school in May, started on a Med/Surg floor the week after graudation and have worked there since. I have greatly appreciated the experience I have gained there but have no doubt that Med/Surg is not for me. I on average have 5-6 patients with more and more total care patients. I feel like on most days I spend my day running from room to room trying to keep up with medications and turnings and BM's, come home and feel like I have been run over by a truck. I recently applied for a ICU/CCU postition and low and behold recieved a phone call today requesting an interview.

    I am totally scared to death, when asked by the assistant nurse manager of ICU why I wanted to work in ICU I told her I wanted to have more interaction with my patients and feel like I was using my nursing skills. Was that totally nieve? I understand that I will proabably have 2-3 patients with high acuity but I still believe ICU/CCU is more what I am looking for. Does anyone have any helpful advise regarding transitioning from Med/Surg to ICU and what it would be like. I definetly don't want to go into this interview not knowing anything!
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    There are some good threads regarding ICU specific interview questions around AN and other sites. I'd suggest googling and you'll find them.

    I just graduated in Dec. and got the lucky phone call for an ICU internship interview as well. I studied up on the above mentioned threads and low-and-behold was offered the position where I am now.

    The t̶w̶o̶ three most important things I would say to have in the back of your mind are:

    1. Make sure you make it clear to them (the ICU directors/peer interview ICU-RNs) that you understand what critical care actually means - understanding multiple body systems are very interconnected in an acutely ill patient and that you need to focus on the whole body and not just one part over another. Simply put, tell them in your own words that you understand the big picture of the critically ill patient. This is whole framework behind why ICU RNs have less patients.

    2. EBR - They may ask you to tell them about an evidence based research article that you read recently. The main point to take away from this is to actually have at least some EBR subject matter in the back of your mind in case this question comes up. At my first interview at a Level 1 ICU this didn't come up at all, it did at the 2nd Level 1 ICU that I was accepted to (and I had a subject ready for them when the asked).

    and (quite possibly the most important) 3. Show them your personality. The best interviewers will let you know up front that they don't want you to feel nervous - they just want to get to know you. Smile and take a deep breath. I was still very nervous, but they saw past that because I smiled and showed them my sense of humor where it seemed appropriate.

    Your med/surg experience should favor your odds tremendously. It all depends on the administration of the hospital (whether they want their new ICU orientees to be brand-new-out-of-school or to not be so wet-behind-their-ears).

    Also to be noted: If they interview you separately with a handful of different nurses/charges/directors(etc.) don't make my first interview mistake and run out of questions to ask after the first 3 people have interviewed you. Ask the same questions to different people if you have to so you don't just blankly stare at them. Hahaha

    It also helps to be dressed to the nines - Good Luck!
    jrsRN07, aprilpam77, and Enthused RN like this.


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