ER RN to ICU? ER RN to ICU? | allnurses

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  1. 0 Hello Folks,

    I am an ER RN for 4 years, with 8 months PACU experience. My ultimate goal is to become a CRNA, and in order to do that, I will need ICU experience.

    Anyone here have any experience with the transition? Any tips, etc?
  2. 6 Comments

  3. Visit  SouthernLPN2RN profile page
    #1 0
    Keep an open mind, and realize that ICU and ER are two different animals. A lot of things are identical, but you will need to be prepared for the differences. Study when you can so that you more fully understand your patients and their condition. ICU will show you lots of new things that you may not have encountered before, such as ARDS, VAP etc. Study up on those. I highly recommend the site. A lot of it you may already know, but it's a great resource. Good luck to you!
  4. Visit  jkr2020788 profile page
    #2 1
    dbb- I am an ER to ICU transplant. I personally did not find it that hard to grasp the concept of taking care of the critically-ill. My particular hospital the ER did a lot of boarding of ICU patients. The patients would also not go up to the ICU until the ER has stabilized the patient as best as possible. We did alot of titrating of drips and fixing vent settings. Pretty much the only thing I didnt get much exp in was PA caths. Once you learn the numbers though, it's pretty easy to comprehend. I think you will do fine, just think about it. The ER finds all of the acute problems going on, just use your ER assessment skills every time you check on the patient.
  5. Visit  Dbb82 profile page
    #3 1
    Jkr thanks for the insight. I think i'll be fine with the drips since im familiar with that aspect. Vent settings im not as good with as well as A-lines. The other issue I have is the skin breakdown, bed ulcer prevention, since we usually dont turn patients in the ER. I might forget to do that up there Lol.
  6. Visit  FMF Corpsman profile page
    #4 0
    Quote from dbb82
    jkr thanks for the insight. i think i'll be fine with the drips since im familiar with that aspect. vent settings im not as good with as well as a-lines. the other issue i have is the skin breakdown, bed ulcer prevention, since we usually dont turn patients in the er. i might forget to do that up there lol.
    with vent settings, a lot of the larger places have rt's assigned to the units and even if they don't, you can quickly familiarize yourself with the settings and adjustments you'll have to make according to the abg's and dr's orders. for all of the different monitor's and readings, there are courses you can take and until you are comfortable, you can ask and someone will be happy to help you. no charge in their right mind is going to simply throw you in and say have at it. you will likely have to prove yourself to a proctor after an orientation, before you will be released to care for patients on your own, so don't worry about it and it really is easier than you think. a lot of it is basic nursing skills you forgot you had, that you just haven't had to call on in the er. you'll do fine, i would wish you good luck, but you won't need it.
  7. Visit  raedar63 profile page
    #5 0
    I am an ICU nurse that gets floated to ER sometimes . They are really two diffrent areas of care, ICU is very detail oriented where as ER is focused on the presenting problem . I know when I stopped trying to do ICU assessments on the ER PTs things got a whole lot easier for me LOL
  8. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    #6 0
    In my hospital any ER RN who wishes to work in the ICU must undergo a full orientation the same as any other non-ICU nurse starting in the ICU. ICU nurse who want to work in ER get a week or two of "here is where we keep everything" orientation and is turned loose.