Transferring from ER to ICU

  1. Hi all

    Started out in level II trauma ER w/ 70,000 visits/year as a new grad and I'm currently looking to broaden my horizons. Been in ER for 2 years. How difficult was the transition for those of you who have done it? Did ER lay a good foundation? I know floor nursing is a good stepping stone, but I avoided and wish to avoid that at all costs.

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    About Quixotic

    Joined: Feb '10; Posts: 8


  3. by   Creamsoda
    Do you have experience in the trauma bays or the critical cardiac monitored beds? You can make the transition, but just know its different. They may want to give you a thourough orientation/preceptor ship because ICU is very different. You kind of have to slow down, and know everything about your patient from today to what happened 5-10 days ago. Its a different way of thinking. But you should be familiar with many of the meds, drips, have some familiraity with vents so thats good ect. Id go ahead and apply and just say your willing to put in the effort to learn!
  4. by   gonzo1
    I recently moved from ER to ICU. It was easy for me. But there is a lot to learn. Instead of being reactive, you learn to be proactive. I find it much easier to take care of 2 patients versus the 4 and up from ER. I was in ER for 5 years and have to say that since I made the move I haven't missed the ER at all.
    ER does give you a good basis.
    Doing both will make you way more marketable in the future. I know several nurses who do both, and what you learn in the ICU will help tremendously in the ER.
    Good luck and go for it
  5. by   BellaInBlueScrubsRN
    I just transferred from ICU to ER and I can tell you they are 2 completely different playing fields. It probably depends on hospitals, but I rarely see a vent and I've definitely never seen neo or levo. I guess I thought it would be more trauma, when really its been more like a clinic. ICU you have a LOT more autonomy. And even though you "only" have 2 patients, it keeps you busy! Much more in depth.
  6. by   BellaInBlueScrubsRN
    But yes, I'm sure it will help you since you have gotten to stabilize the same patients that are seen in the ER and transferred up to ICU! You just see the rest of the story.
  7. by   midinphx
    The way ER and ICU think are very different. I was ER for 9 years before I moved to ICU. I went through a 8 week class and 3 month preceptorship. I learned a whole new perspective. Both area require critical thinking. But in different ways. In ER it is quick and fix, ICU is a slow tweak with occasional blasts of intense activity. I find ICU to be much more autonomous since the doctor is not right there as they are in the ER. I would say to take your time, be confident of what you do know, and be open and listen to others. Be ready to be surprised about the number of things you don't know (but ICU doesn't know things ER does). We all shine in different ways. I loved the ER. I'm very glad to be in the ICU for now though.