How and when did you get your first ICU job? Personally, - page 2

I am only interested in working at two ICU's in our town. One is a level one trauma center and a teaching hospital, while the other is simply a major teaching hospital. I recently contacted them... Read More

  1. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from Roland
    Should she (and me if it comes to that) hold out for the teaching/Level I, hospital ICU or take the jobs that present themselves. If she "held out" she would probably work as a travel or home healthcare nurse until the "right" ICU job opened up.
    DO NOT TRAVEL AS A NEW GRAD!!!!!!! especially in specialty Nursing. Most agencies will not permit it, and if they do, I would have serious doubts as to their ethics. Your first year (or more) after school is learning the basics and incorporating them into practice. If you do travel, chances are that it will not be a good pleasant nurturing experience. It is also dangerous to you, your license and the patient.

    Home Health generally requires (or should) a year of medsurg Nursing. Again learning the basics and incorporating them into practice. It might be a little easier to go into Home Health new, but still not a good environment for a new grad.

    Roland, why are ya'll in such a rush and why doesn't your SO post as this is more her question than yours? Hospitals gain and lose staff pretty fluidly, and more opportunities will come up in a few monthes.

    There are good reasons for requiring experience before travel/home health care. There are also things to be said for starting out in a position that is not "the perfect position" and working your way into the perfect position.
  2. by   gwenith
    Roland I read your posts and see your multiple plans and I keep thinking of the story of the prisoner and the horse.

    A prisoner was serving a life sentence until he made a deal with the King - he promised the king that he could teach a horse to talk in one year. The king agreed to the deal, let the prisoner out of jail but made the condition that if the prisoner did not succeed in teaching the horse to talk he, the prisoner would be executed. the prisoner was telling his wife this and she was horrified and said "You will never teach a horse to talk this means that you now only have a year to live!"

    The prisoner replied "my dear a lot can happen in a year - I might die, the king might die or the horse might talk"

    In other words things that you cannot forsee can and will interfer with your plans. Do not set tehm in concrete. Do not be in such a hurry to bet to the end of your road you might find that that the shortest distance is also the one most fraught with danger.

    Like Carolina I too would love to hear from your significant other she needs to write and ask these questions for herself.
  3. by   Roland
    My significant other does not believe in discussing "personal business" (which she defines rather broadly) in "public". Thus, we have fundamental differences in the value that we place on this forum (personally I believe that I have learned as much or more on All Nurses as I have in all of nursing school and college about nursing and other issues!). As for planning I am deeply aware that our ultimate fate rests with the will of God and the swirling tempest of this thing we call life. However, I have always subscribed to the notion that, "failure to plan, is planning to fail." On the other hand I am conflicted when I recall the admonishion of Jesus who said:

    "Worry not about tommorow for which of you can control the fate of even one hair upon your head. If your heavenly father provides for the birds and flowers of the field will he not also provide for you?" (or something like that it's been awhile since I attended church regularly).

    Next, I recall the advice in Sun Tsu in his treatise on "The Art of War" which repeatedly stresses the importance of planning as many details as is possible. Not to mention my training as a Boy Scout to always "be prepared". As I indicated, I'm conflicted....

    Then again have you considered how many hours that prisoner reflected upon his situation before coming up with his plan/proposal for the King? The wisdom of his endeavor would of course be determined partially by facts not in evidence (such as the length of his sentence, thus it's efficacy is inversely related in part to the shortness of the sentence he was serving). Perhaps, he cogitated for years before happening upon the inspiration which enabled his liberation (however brief). Perhaps, also his plan was dependent upon insights offered by others with whom he was able to communicate with while in bondage.

    There is at least one other point which may be relevent. Often I have learned, gained perspective, formulated questions, and launched into new areas of inquiry based upon the questions and discussions of others. Sometimes, these discussions do not seem relevent to me "at the time", but I remember reading them when a similiar situation manifests in my own life. In the same way it is my hope that some of my "inquiries" might be useful to others. If this is the case it doesn't matter if your worst case scenario should become reality, and I end up in a car accident or suffering the ravages of sporadic CJD a year from now. The INFORMATION provided by the discussion will exist for posterity and perhaps someone will benefit from it having been put forth. One concrete example is evident within this very thread. Any aspiring, future CRNA applicant from this state has been given invaluble information that should enable them to better decide upon a local ICU in which to work! The generous reply of Ami, to my question provided insights that could take YEARS to acquire (if ever since they are not self evident) in the school of "hard knocks". You can find similiar examples replete throughout this and other ALL NURSE forums.

    I often find myself contemplating the exponential "intellectual capital" that the ALL NURSE dynamic/protocol might generate in other fields of human endeavor. Imagine, if scientists (and other interested parties who aspired to or were just fascinated by science) were able to interact in such an energized environment where their ruminations were preserved in a easily accessable format for future interested parties (yes I am aware of Usenet, but it lacks the user interface, organization, and integrated useful "applications" such as focused links found in this place). Could we accelerate the development of alternative fuels, HIV vaccines, or next generation antibiotics? Unfortunately, (at least from my perspective) many such areas of intellectual pursuit are too self absorbed and elitest to foster such productive discussions. That's one reasons why I consider this place to be so truly special. I really believe that the WORLD would be a better place if the Allnurse folks would consider "applying" THIS template to other professions and areas of human interest.
    Last edit by Roland on Mar 22, '04
  4. by   sway
    Roland, I find it interesting that you compare the various ICUs in Indy using terms that Human Resources (aka: Sales) would be likely to use. Things like "best" or "newest" have very little use for someone like you. If you are truly set on being a CRNA, you need a good foundation in physiology, pharmacology, hemodynamics and probably some other aspects of critical care that I'm forgetting now. You need to figure out what kind of patients these units take. Do they do open hearts (St. V!!!)? Trauma (wishard)? Be wary of HR people who talk up their ICU, since often they are actually more like stepdown units in other hospitals.

    At the same time, don't be afraid to work in one of these places. It seems so amazing to me that so many people (almost always still in nursing school) on this forum are hell-bent on doing exactally 12 months of ICU nursing (right out of nursing school, of course) before starting CRNA training. Would it really kill you to work on a cardiac floor or step down unit for a while before transfering to an ICU? I promise, working as a nurse does not suck like nursing school does. It isn't something you have to "get through" but something to enjoy and learn from (unlike nursing school). You get paid and have time off, during which you can study for CCRN, ACLS, TNCC, and other cool (and necessary) certs. When else are you going to study for and take the GRE. How about O-chem??? I promise, your time will not be wasted if you do not waste it.

    So I say, relax. Not only will you find a place to work that is stimulating and challenging, you will probably even enjoy it. You'll get paid. You'll enjoy life.

    Maybe what I've written here doesn't apply to you, but perhaps someone else will read it and it will help.


    PS, I grew up in Indy, so I like hearing about it!!
  5. by   Roland
    You make a good point in that my "accessment" of ICU efficacy may not be accurate. I am approaching the issue from a future CRNA perspective. So whether we work in a particular ICU for twelve months or five years I seek to maximize our ultimate odds for acceptence into CRNA school. Keep in mind that we left a very nice six figure income (albeit a twenty four seven life style) in the mortgage/appraisal business only three years ago to pursue our "dream" of becoming a CRNA. My wife took a "leap of faith" having never considered going back to school (for anything, although she had dreamed of being a doctor as a teenager, but her parents forbid college for females despite her nearly perfect SAT's and straight A's as a teenager in private, "religious" school). We gave up a business that we had worked many years to build to undertake something which we knew going in would have long odds of success (and still does although they are getting better). We took these steps with the hope that we would be able to offer our new born son a better way of life sometime down the road. We would never have likely not considered nursing as a career option were it not for the opportunity to possibly become CRNAs (or possibly NP's which we consider as a fall back/contingency position in the event that becoming a CRNA is not feasible). My wife has a friend in her nursing class who's family in Africa sold nearly everything they owned to give her a chance to come to America and go to nursing school. In the same way that she carries a heavy obligation to succeed so also do we.
    Last edit by Roland on Mar 22, '04