peds CVICU or tele?

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    I am new grad who is fortunate enough to have the option of choosing between a GN program in a pediatric CVICU or a GN program on a telemetry floor. The CVICU program will be starting a month later than the tele and pays about $2 less per hour. Both are night shifts. During nursing school I never had the opportunity to work in ICU, however I feel it's more my cup of tea. My husband and I plan on starting a family soon and the CVICU does offer self scheduling and has a 1:2 nurse pt ration where as telemetry is more of a 1:5 ratio but with less critical pt's. Does anyone have any suggestions/ recommendations? Thanks!
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    go with what speaks to you right now. ped cvicu probably does not have job openings, esp for new grads, anywhere near as much as tele.

    good luck
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    I suppose the better question would be, do you enjoy pediatrics? Do you think you would be comfortable doing chest compressions on a two day olds chest? Walking parents through the scary road that their newborn baby has to have open heart surgery, drawing up epi doses in 1cc syringes in a code, entertaining a two year old day in and day out who is waiting for a transplant but too unstable to wait on step down or at home, dealing with the emotional breakdowns of parents who watch their child go through struggle after struggle after struggle? How are you with blood and gore? Because there is a lot of that and it's coming out of small, innocent children. What do you think about literally watching your patients tiny heart beating through the thin, saran wrap like dressing over their open chest?

    Are you ready to re-wire your cardiac anatomy? Because 90% of pediatric cardiac patients do not have the hearts you learned about in anatomy & phys 1. Do you love and I mean LOVE the heart? Because the heart and each patients individual blood flow and how it affects their body systems will be the focus of your every day.

    Most people who works peds have a true passion for peds and pedi cardiac icu takes a strong and passionate person. You didn't mention anything about whether you actually liked peds patients in your post, just about money, scheduling and nurse-patient ratios.

    Please forgive me if peds is a true passion of yours, but you didn't mention it and I would hate for you to go into it for the wrong reasons. It's a hard unit for anyone and will be especially difficult for a new grad. You need to be committed if that is the route you plan on taking.
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    Thanks so much for the replies! Your response just helped me to solidify my decision. I do want to work peds critical care even if it means making less money and having to wait an extra month to start. I guess in the midst of thinking about hospitals/pay/benefits etc. I forgot what I wanted before I had any options. I should have thought about it before posting a question. I know it will be a challenge emotionally and intellectually (especially as a new grad) but I know it will be worth it. Thanks for the insight on what to expect- it's greatly appreciated.
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    Your welcome :-)
    Good Luck! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It's a difficult unit to work in, I started there with two years of invaluable NICU experience behind me. These children are the unknown warriors. Everyone has seen the faces of the bald children going through cancer, and as a cancer survivor myself I could never devalue their struggles, but so few people know of congenital heart disease. I have had countless people ask my why a child would need heart surgery. And it's almost never just one surgery. Usually it's multiple surgeries, and cardiac caths, picc lines, painful procedures and codes. And it's not until they reach a remission, it's their entire life. But at the end of the day, when the two year old whose been in the ICU for months with no end in sight, blows you a kiss and waves bye bye, it makes what we do just a little bit easier, as does the wall of at home, surviving children and babies that lines our hall way.

    I hope you love it and those children, they are true fighters.


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