It depends on the patient's level of care. Critical care would require dressing change for a large TBSA, ( which means could be 1 to 2 hours of dressing change) monitoring the patient, fluids rescucitation, adjusting the IVF according to patient's response to IV fluid therapy. Critical care would also mean dealing with distributive, hypovolemic shock, or septic shock. Med Surg level patients are easier ( physically) but emotionally draining. It involves uncontrolled pain, dealing with contractures, acute or post traumatic stress syndrome, depression, manipulative behavior. Among the pediatric population, we deal so much with parent's guilt which results to displacement of anger to us nurses and to other provider. I can say, a typical day in BICU is slow or crazy.
When I was a burn nurse, we easily could spend half a 12 hour shift performing tbd. Oh and if they soil themselves....aargh frustrating sometimes. I used to get real creative with sm dressing to include some fancy bolster dressing. I learned so much on the bicu more than my other icu and ER experience combined.
The above was the good.
The below is the bad.
Wearing scrubs on top of scrubs in 100 degree heat could kill a person
Keeping up with drips and watching IV fentanyl, mso4 and versed being infused higher then I've ever seen is incredible but again difficult to keep up,with....oh that profofol too..
Then there's the emotional aspect or working bicu. I left BAMC 4s traumatized after just 3 years. I could perform with the best h but I certainly was too sensitive to deal with familiar people, soldiers, colleague going through hell. I developed PTSD working on this unit. Oh the screaming both in the room but the shower, that's crazy time for the masses.
It takes a special kind of nurse to do that job. I know some who have done it longer than my 20 years of service when I retired. Those nurses are my heros. I'm proud of my experience but I'm even more honored to work amongst the best.
Burn Nursing is the Most rewarding clinical experience due to the absolute fact we are all human and Life is a Big circle so lets all work together to make someone's Life better than when the pt. woke up this morning Thank GOD ! It is an honor to be a Burn Nurse.