Too Short for ICU Nursing?

  1. I would love to do ICU nursing and evnetually CRNA but I'm only 5 feet and 100 pounds female with a thin bone structure. I work out but don't have much upper body strength.

    As a CNA, I had problems with pivot transfers and lifts when the patients were 130 pounds plus.

    Mentally, I can handle ICU. I am in a top nursing school with a high GPA and I absolutely love it (usually)I also have a BS in chemistry. I know this doesn't mean i'll definitely be a great ICU nurse, but I do believe that I will be able to handle ICU someday.

    Since I'm only 22, I' dont have joint problems (yet )

    Can anybody rank the ICU nursing specialities that require the most physical strength? I am doing another preceptorship that is going to help me land a job there. Luckily, I have the choice of several ICU units. Given my physical strength limitations, which ones will have the least physical strength requirements?
  2. Visit sixthwannabe profile page

    About sixthwannabe

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 28; Likes: 1


  3. by   fiveofpeep
    do neonatal icu
  4. by   sixthwannabe
    Neonatal is not allowed for cRNA school
  5. by   Ativan Salt Lick
    If you really want to do ICU, I would suggest keeping at it and go for CSICU if you really want CRNA because they get the most SWANs etc that looks good and in most places is mandatory for CRNA school. There is also no shame is asking for help turning, moving, or performing CPR on our "larger" patient population!! Trust me, I'm 5'1" with a whopping 105lbs Best of luck!!
  6. by   fiveofpeep
    yeah, in all honesty, I am very petite myself and we all help each other. one of our nurses is itty bitty...smaller than you even and she gets by just fine
  7. by   NickiLaughs
    Yeah, I worked with this one tiny nurse in a cardiac ICU who sounds about your dimensions. She got by fine.
  8. by   CardiacNurseAus
    I am a shrot(5ft 2) male ICU nurse and though small in structre I am able to hold my own and I have a few other co workers ( female asian-Philippine) who are all shorter than me and they have been in Icu with me for over 15 years and are the most dependable, adept and reliable in all situations so keep at it ICU works for alll kinds of people.
  9. by   JoyfulRN14
    I would not let your size hold you back at all from whatever type of ICU interests you the most. In my experience, the nurses in the ICU are more than willing to help you with physical tasks, along with other staff. Our hospital has a lift team, mostly made up of strong tall men, who we can call and are readily available. We call them for things like turning a heavy patient, help positioning during a dressing change, etc.
    Everyone has strengths and "weaknesses". So maybe you will feel limited physically and have to ask others for help, but you could end up being excellent with the technologies in the ICU, the go-to when a patient is looking "bad" but others can't put their finger on why, etc. and others will ask your help in those areas.
    It's important to find a great "team" of nurses to work with!
  10. by   fillisa
    If you want to go to CRNA school CSICU is the way to go! You get the most experience with vasoactive drips there. Almost all of our nurses that apply get in. Your stature doesn't matter! I can count on both hands nurses that match your description. Hopefully you will work in a place that has a lift team and where nursing is a team sport. Get your CCRN, that will help too.
  11. by   canusnurse
    when we have patients that are "larger" we all go into the room and 'team' lift them..sometimes three to a side if are never alone in the ICU
  12. by   manusko
    Your size is only a limit if you let it be. If the unit wants to hire you then you should feel like you can work there and have help from your co-workers. Sometimes we have 4-5 nurses helping turn some of our larger patients. As for CRNA school: I have shadowed in the OR and they have step stools available. Do not let your physical size limit your dreams. Also, CRNA school accepts PICU.
  13. by   Sniffum35
    Quote from sixthwannabe
    Neonatal is not allowed for cRNA school
    Actually, there are quite a few that will accept nicu exp.
  14. by   sunnycalifRN
    Don't let you size hold you back from what you want to do. I worked with an RRT who was under 4 feet tall (small person, midget . . . don't know what the politically correct term is) and she carried around a step stool with her. She was smart as a whip. Eventually left the bedside and went into staff education.