Psych nursing to ICU

  1. Hi, everyone,

    So, I'm a new grad (August '08), started my job on an adult psych unit in December, and...well...already, I want to go to medical nursing. But not just med-surg: I eventually want to get to ICU.

    I feel stupid because a) my goals have changed, b) I feel unreliable, and c) I thought this is what I wanted to do. I love my job, don't get me wrong...but I'm not stimulated enough mentally. I try to keep myself as busy as I can, but I really want to get into the ICU and eventually a CRNA program.

    If I could, I'd tough out the next couple months until I can transfer (you need to be here for 6 months to be eligible for transfer). I mean, the job is good, I *love* the patients, and they really seem to like me. Unfortunately, there are people that I WORK with who don't want me around. It seems like the more I do things RIGHT, and the more my patients like me, the more this certain group of people wants me gone.

    I've had rumors spread around about me since I started. I was written up last week for having a break overlap 15 minutes with a coworker (who everyone thinks I'm sleeping with). I don't think I've been around this much gossip since I worked in a hair salon in high school.

    The work environment is toxic, and that's the part that I simply can't tolerate.

    What do I do? I was going to talk to my manager when I go in today at 3, but I'm not sure what to say. Changing to 12-hour shifts might help; then I wouldn't have to interact as much with the night shift individuals who don't want me around. Plus, I wouldn't have to be there as many days of the week. I work evenings right now.

    On top of that, how in the world do I go from psych nursing to ICU?? Or even back into medical? I've been sending out mass applications, and it seems as though I'm less desirable than I was when I first graduated. Any advice would really help! Thanks...

  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   JustMe
    Wow, it sounds like you are conflicted about where you belong. What does your heart tell you? If you really enjoy the psych patients, maybe you should look for a more comfortable place to work. What about more education--BSN? MSN? Sometimes it helps you see your job better when you are back in school--that worked for me. Like you said, changing to 12 hour shifts can help as long as it doesn't conflict with any responsibilities at home. But this sounds like a toxic environment and it may be better to get out of it. It can also help distract you if you join a professional organization i.e. ANA, psych nurses' organization, etc. It helps to have a wider view of the profession.

    To answer your question about med/surg or ICU---start taking CE classes for critical care. They will teach you cardiac rhythm monitoring, advanced physiology of the critical patient, critical care drugs, etc. Advanced Cardiac Life Support classes can help as well (ACLS). If a potential employer knows you have taken the classes they may be more willing to give you a try. Don't feel that a psych background will be a hinderence--most of my ICU patients have some psych issues and your expertise could be a plus. I can't tell you how hard it is to get a cardiologist to re-order psych meds for a critical patient!!

    Good Luck!