I work in an ICU and have been off orientation for a little over 5 months now. Although I feel more comfortable with semi-critical patients, I find that I'm stuck with patients very stable and who may even have move orders. When I have had critical, unstable patients in the past, I've been told by charge nurses how great I am. I try to attend all CE classes at our hospital, in services, and read lots of materials at home in my free time. I love this field and really want to do well.
My question are: When will I start getting harder patients? What do I need to do to gain the trust of the charge nurses making assignments? Should I just come out and ask to get the harder ones?
Btw: I understand I am very new, but there are others who started after me getting much harder patients.
Mar 12, '13
I felt this way when I first started too. It seemed like the more critical patients always went to the nurses who had been there longer. Eventually when I had gained some seniority and started taking the more critical patients, I lacked confidence because I felt that my skills were not as sharp as they could be, as I was not used to taking these patients. I definitely recommend speaking up and asking for more unstable patients now while you still have more seasoned nurses available to use as resources.
Mar 13, '13
It could be a number of other factors as well. It sounds like your charge nurse doesn't want to set you up for failure. He/she may be considering the acuity of the patients on the floor vs how many seasoned nurses and newer nurses are staffed.
My advice to you, help out the other nurses with the more critical patients. Offer to suction and do oral care for their vented patient or draw their labs. Even if you're already comfortable with these skills it's good practice and shows the more seasoned nurse you're comfortable caring for sicker patients.
It also doesn't hurt to ask your charge nurse for sicker patients!
Mar 14, '13
Ask. Even if you don't get what you want you're showing initiative and a desire to stretch beyond your comfort zone.
Mar 14, '13
I think everybody feels like this at first. Nobody is truly comfortable until at least there first year. Take this opportunity to provide good care and to be known for the care you can provide. Sick or not.
I found in my earlier days the sickest patients I got were the ones that came in after I dc'd pts to the floor. You never know what train wreck rapid response or trauma might come for your open bed.
I'm the type of nurse who wants the sickest patients on the unit. But it is nice to have those patients going to the floor as a break.
Be patient :-)
Jun 18, '13
I would say ask your charge nurse for harder patients, if you can handle them at the end of the day then it will make you look like a rockstar!
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