tips for choosing my first ICU/hospital

  1. Hello and thanks in advance to those of you who will answer! I've thoroughly enjoyed the thread regarding going to ICU first and skipping the floor nursing. I'm wondering....
    How should I choose the location of the ICU (which hospital)?

    I'm thinking of moving to Portland, OR where there are lots of hospitals. Should I interview with several? What about the VA? What should I look for/ask during my search. I'd like to ultimately find a supportive environment. Most of the floor nurses I have met during my clinical rotations in Med/Surg I'd swear were satan.

    I realize ICU will be demanding. But I am not a shy 22 yr. old just out of school. I am 39, a second degree BSN/chemistry minor with a year of graduate work in anatomy and physiology. I am considering a CRNA career. I fear finding more of satan in the ICU, but want to do everything in my power to find a good group to work with. I can't go for the pettiness and backstabbing that I've seen of so many floor nurses.

    Thanks again for any advice I receive!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Brenna's Dad
    Tough call Espresso girl.

    However, I would characterize only 5-10% of the people working in ICU as being satan, so perhaps it will be better for you. I think we have stressed quite a bit on this board the importance of working in a large tertiary center in order to gain the experience and confidence you need to become a CRNA and increase your chances of being accepted into school.

    That being said, I did a lengthy travel assignment at St. Vincents in portland and could easily recommend it as a good place to work with good staff. They have a very busy open heart unit with lots of fun gtts and sick clientelle. It is also a teaching facility. As a plus, you only float to the other ICUs, and not tele like some hospitals.

    OHSU also has a very good reputation. However, I have been told that they have recently went through a bitter contract negotiation (ie. with scabs) so I would address the issue of staff moral is I were to interview there.

    Legacy downtown also has a very good reputation, has a BURN unit, and receives all the downtown trauma.

    I would recommend asking to meet some of the staff at the facility you interview with. You might get a good feeling for the staff, especially if you meet with them whiel they are working.
  4. by   g8rlimey
    BrennasDad:
    Ever do an assignment at Good Sam in Phoenix? That's where I am heading next for the winter (CVICU). Thanks
  5. by   braden74
    well i am from the nw and just graduated from my bsn program. i looked at working in portland but found that the major hospitals there do not hire new grads into the icu. this is something you should definately check out.

    as for the hospitals there. good sam is a very good hospital as is OHSU. you can't go wrong with either of them if you can get in to the icu. if you like the nw and want to get right in to the icu look at the university of washington medical center and harbor view medical center, both in seattle. one other place i would recommend looking in to is SW washington medical center in vancouver, wa. it is just across the river from portland and they have a good reputation.

    good luck, brad
  6. by   Espresso girl!
    Hi Braden and Brenna's Dad:

    Thanks for the info, and getting back to my post so quickly. I have only checked with OHSU in Portland. They told me they would hire a new grad into ICU, and that I would have a seven week training period. This does not seem like enough. I will call St. Vincents too! MY instructors have encouraged us to go with a teaching hospital whenever possible. Braden, how long ago did you check on this?

    Brenna's dad, I wish I had more information on hospitals here in Phoenix for you...I will graduate this April so not yet up to speed on this yet....however, Desert Samaritan in Mesa across from Mesa Community College I have heard very good things about.

    If you guys have anymore info to help me, a soon to be new BSN, please let me know. I am originally from Washington state. Don't care for the Seattle area, too big! Love Portland area though. Take care and let me know likewise if I can help with Phoenix questions.
  7. by   braden74
    Brenna, i didn't notice you were going to good sam. i currently work there in their med/surg icu. i have heard good things about our cvicu. when you come down feel free to come up and say hello.

    espresso, i graduated in may. i checked in to working in portland earlier this year. things change so often due to the nursing shortage so that is why i suggested checking things out. i am very happy here in phoenix though. great teaching hospital and a great staff to learn with.

    brad
  8. by   g8rlimey
    Brad:

    It was me who was going to Good Sam, not Brenna's Dad. I will say hello though. We start Nov. 25th. PM me with what you have heard about the CVICU. We are going to be living in Mesa---any advice, info, can't miss stuff would be great. Later--
  9. by   Brenna's Dad
    Hey Espresso Girl,

    I would definetly call St. V's. I'm pretty sure they were hiring new grads into the units when I was there. Also, I am very certain that their orientation was almost six months in length. (Classroom plus clinical).
  10. by   Espresso girl!
    Hey Brenna's Dad:

    Thanks for the advice. It would be great to have such an orientation. I also have to wonder about OHSU. I talked with the recruiter there, had some specific questions and she promised to get back to me but never did. Plus, there is the strike that you mentioned.

    Why did you move from Portland?/St. Vincents
  11. by   Brenna's Dad
    It was a travel contract and I wanted to see Northern California.

    But, I have to admit, Portland was one of the best places I have ever lived. Nice downtown, no sales tax, excellent Beer and a very Canadian feel.
  12. by   prmenrs
    Wherever you decide to go, MAKE SURE they have a REALLY GOOD new grad program. Talk to some new grads completing the program @ the hosps you're interested in.

    Congratulations, and best of luck to you!

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