ICU acuity

  1. Not to be gross or anything, but for all you who have worked in ICU, do you see as much poop as you do when doing med/surg?
    God, I hope not. I will start an ICU clinical this March and I really would like to think it will make me exercise my mind and allow me to learn techniques which require some skill. I am a bit worried that I have just earned a bachelors in order to scoop poop.

    zzzzgirl
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  2. 35 Comments

  3. by   N2B8
    You are not only going to probably see more, but you will be amazed at all the different kinds. Most of the time there are no CNA's because you do total patient care in all the ICU's I've worked. Also, a large percentage of persons sick in the ICU have problems such as: GI bleeds, liver probs which require lactulose, and tube feedings; all of which can make for a very stimulating evening . . . of the nose that is.

    matt
  4. by   alansmith52
    I see much less poo than I did on med surg. I think you have to ask some one who has worked in both places. I have techs that do most of my poop scoopin, I just go in to help turn. not to say that I have never cleaned up a code brown in ICU. I have. not like six or seven times a night like on med surg. remeber you only have one or two patients and if they are going that much somthing is wrong. and somtimes you luck-out with a paralytic ileus ( i say that jokingly of course)
    yes the actuall thought and decision making is much greater in ICU, when I first came here. I was told that ICU nurses are practioners.
    matt
    Last edit by alansmith52 on Jan 2, '03
  5. by   London88
    Code brown! ha ha
  6. by   Little One2
    I'm going to be starting my training for working in the ICU. I hope there won't be as much poop scooping as there is in med surge. I think there are techs in my icu who will be doing some personal care.
  7. by   arkgolfer
    Not only brown, but green, red, orange and a variety of other rainbow colors! Not to mention the diversity of aromas for olfactory stimulation. The more diverse your ICU, the more diverse the above.:roll
  8. by   MICU RN
    If you are lucky to have techs, most ICU nurses are not. Think about it, who wants to scoop poop for 7-8 dollars a hour. However , you will enjoy more autonomy than any floor nurse, especially in a teaching hospital. But you will also realize that bedside nursing has alot to be desired and that it takes more education to really get to the point where you will be using your intellect more and your back less. I work in a big teaching hospital and have plenty of influence with the residents and I believe they really treat me with alot of respect, however, at the end of the day I still am expected to clean up alot of crap and do other menial task. That is the main reason I am trying to get more education, so that I can get into a more advanced role and not be expected to do all the crap work that most people with a college education would not even consider doing. I have worked in different types of critical care areas and it seems that the bedside nurses are basically the mules of the hospital. The admin. know that if they can't get a aid or housekeeping to do a job they can always stick it on the nurse. Nurses are the catalyst for patient care but you would never know with the lack of respect and compesation we receive. There is a reason for the big bedside nursing shortage and it doesn't take long to figure it out once you are working as a bedside nurse
    Last edit by MICU RN on Jan 2, '03
  9. by   zzzzzgirl
    Reality Check.....

    Okay, now I'm really worried. I was hoping someone would tell me otherwise. ICU was my last hope after realizing that I couldn't stand working on a floor with 6-10 patients. I am a bright person but maybe not as much as I thought as I chose this field to go into. It seems as if I have chosen a dead end that will not only gross me out but wear me down both physically and mentally. A BSN was a mere stepping stone at one point for me, as I had considered getting a masters as an FNP. Then I find out jobs can be scarce, you could be underpaid/overworked, and, you could make the same as when you just had the BSN. I have a minor in Chemistry and love Pharmacology, so I thought CRNA might be a good route.

    Am I missing something here or have I pretty much come to an accurate conclusion? I am really bummed out about the whole thing and it's hard to stay motivated to even finish my BSN program.

    zzzzgirl
  10. by   MICU RN
    It all depends on what you looking for in a career, I know many bedside nurses who like their careers and accept the trade off with all the grunt work that is expected of you. But if you are looking for a white collar career like most college prepared professions ( law, medicine, accounting, ect.) you probably be very dissappointed. For example, I have noticed that many of the BSN prepared new grads seemd to be very frustrated with the role and are already looking to either go back to school or to get into something different such as pharm. sales. Many of these young nurses have told me that after working their tale off to complete a BSN and become a college educated professional that they are very dissappointed with the duties of many bedside nurses and that the profession needs to be upgraded to reflect the educational requirements to become RN. And you really can't blame them wtih all the professions opened up to woman today, why would anyone that is bright and has a college education settle for doing the stuff that we as nurses are expected to do. But don't give up, one bright side to nursing is that there are many options, management, homehealth, advanced practice, hospital nurses ect.
  11. by   arkgolfer
    Unfortunately, gross is part of it. But the things that get you through your shift are usually: 1. your co-workers - nurses in ICU tend to be a close group, you have to be; you are there for each other when no one else can be; 2. the humor - as much as I dread going to work sometimes, I know that the bunch I work with will laugh all night long, even through the codes (brown included), the short staffing, the midnight patient shuffle, etc...; 3. the satisfaction of knowing that even though it was h@$$ on your shift, you gave the best patient care you could, and you learned a bunch from it.

    Keep trudging with a goal in mind, that helps get you through the tough times!
  12. by   zzzzzgirl
    Is this why you are looking at anesthesia school, to escape the aforementioned, yet use your skills and be compensated and respected?

    zzzzzgirl
  13. by   MICU RN
    You got it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. by   arkgolfer
    Absatively posolutely! I first wanted to become a CRNA in 1988, during paramedic school. I graduated with an ADN in 1994, and will graduate in May with my BSN, all along with the intention of becoming a CRNA. Between '94 and present, kids, demotions into mgmt, etc... has come between, but the goal is getting clearly in focus now.

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