Which kind of ICU experience is best and where?

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    I currently have been working at Emory University Hospital for 2 years on a med-surg floor. I want to switch to ICU so I can work towards my goal of becoming a CRNA. I believe ICU experience from Emory would look benefical on my resume but I would rather work somewhere where I don't have to sign another 2 year contract. So my questions are:

    1) Would it be better for CRNA school to have Emory on my resume?
    2) Which types of ICUs would be most benefical? CVICU, MICU, SICU, etc...?

    I was considering finding a smaller hospital without contracts, working there for a year, and then coming back to Emory or some other big name hospital until I get into grad school.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated
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  4. 0
    Any type of ICU wound work. CVICU is the best I think.
  5. 0
    Ok thanks.
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    Yea a guy at the hospital where I work and do clinicals at got rejected from CRNA school last year, he worked in ICU for 3 years, but they told him he needed more experience with certain things so he transferred to the CVICU to get the experience he needs and made application again for entry for this fall. He is really smart And I hope he gets in. I think he applied to more programs this time and a few NP programs as back up. Hope everything turns out good.

    Im currently in my last semester of Nursing School and am doing my preceptorship in the CVICU and its a whole lot to take in, but I love it. The nurses on the CVICU know there stuff, not saying others don't.
  7. 0
    Quote from rnrn10
    I currently have been working at Emory University Hospital for 2 years on a med-surg floor. I want to switch to ICU so I can work towards my goal of becoming a CRNA. I believe ICU experience from Emory would look benefical on my resume but I would rather work somewhere where I don't have to sign another 2 year contract. So my questions are:

    1) Would it be better for CRNA school to have Emory on my resume?
    2) Which types of ICUs would be most benefical? CVICU, MICU, SICU, etc...?

    I was considering finding a smaller hospital without contracts, working there for a year, and then coming back to Emory or some other big name hospital until I get into grad school.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated

    I have worked in a CVICU for 11 years, and have trained MANY nurses to move on to anesthesia school. Most of them will tell you that they come to my unit to get the experience and to add to their resumes. Any ICU will give you critical care experience, but the CVICU will give you more experience with SWANS and vasoactive medications. Just be sure to get in a busy CVICU to give you the best experience.
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    I just graduated from CRNA school, so feel free to PM me any questions you may have or check out some of my previous posts.
    I see most everyone here is saying that CVICU is the best experience; these are kind of just opinions. It is true that on a CVICU you will take care of pts with swans, A-lines, vasoactive gtts, etc, but in all honesty hearts are cookie-cutter. Although there are always exceptions, you more or less do the same thing with every patient. I worked at the Cleveland Clinic and it seemed more of an assembly line of heart surgeries trying get the pt to the step-down within 24 hours than it was critical thinking. Also, providers seem to be using swans less frequently b/c of research out there that supposedly says there's an increased risk of infection with their use. Whether or not that is true is a whole different story.

    I had only CVICU experience before starting my CRNA program and looking back wish I had worked on a SICU. During your CRNA program you will only have 1 month of heart cases and there's a high probability that you won't even take a job doing CV anesthesia after you graduate. The reason I wish I would have had SICU experience is b/c those are the type of cases you'll be doing everyday. You'll put in A-lines for big spine cases, crani's, thoracic, and big belly cases or if the pt's medical history dictates the use of one, but the only time I placed swans during my CRNA program was on my heart rotation. You'll place CVC's occasionally for big cases or if you need to have a more accurate measurement of volume status or to give vasoactive meds, but it seems like most anesthesia providers I worked with feel you can get a pretty good idea of volume status using an A-line and a Foley. On the SICU you will take care of pts who have had a wide variety of surgeries and many different medical conditions, whereas on the CVICU most everyone has DM, CAD, HTN, and obesity and is there either for a CABG, valve repair/replacement, or transplant. On a SICU you will likely get to administer/titrate a wider variety of vasoactive gtts than you will on the CVICU, I would just make sure that whatever ICU you work on has standing orders for certain vasoactive gtts that you can titrate yourself based upon pt hemodynamics and that you don't need an MD order every time you need to adjust the gtt.

    I would steer clear from a MICU. Medical is quite different from surgical. In my undergrad I did my capstone on a MICU and it was good experience for learning how to deal with code browns, giving tons of meds thru a small bowel feeding tube and learning all you would ever want to know about interpreting lab values, but I feel surgical ICU will give you the best experience for the type of cases you will do as a CRNA.
    ICUman, emmasuern, and bibibi like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from rnrn10
    I currently have been working at Emory University Hospital for 2 years on a med-surg floor. I want to switch to ICU so I can work towards my goal of becoming a CRNA. I believe ICU experience from Emory would look benefical on my resume but I would rather work somewhere where I don't have to sign another 2 year contract. So my questions are:1) Would it be better for CRNA school to have Emory on my resume?2) Which types of ICUs would be most benefical? CVICU, MICU, SICU, etc...?I was considering finding a smaller hospital without contracts, working there for a year, and then coming back to Emory or some other big name hospital until I get into grad school.Any suggestions are greatly appreciated
    -I would think a nationally/internationally known hospital would be better, unless you are going to apply somewhere locally where a smaller hospital would look ok because it is well known.As far as which unit, I would say CTICU, CICU then MICU. I say this because I know a co-worker who started (as a new grad) in CIU and then started CRNA school a year later. Another coworker was in PACU 2 yrs, M/S ICU 3 years and got rejected. They were worried about her lack of experience, especially with PA catheters. After she worked in the CTICU for 6 months she applied again and got in.Both girls worked at the same small hospital and went to a competitive local program. Both very smart but the cardiac RN had an advantage.
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    In all honesty, you should just call and ask the school(s) you are applying to which type of ICU experience they feel will best prepare you for their program. When it comes down to it, they're the ones who decide whether or not your experience is good enough.
    Gottmilk likes this.


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