IMCU - can someone tell me about it?

  1. Hey yall,
    I'm a new grad and I am thinking about changing specialities and work in the IMCU (intermediate care unit) once I have about 6-8 months of experience at my current position. I work in a LTACH.

    I've read that it's like a step-down ICU - what sort of patients would be admitted to this floor, what's the usual nurse : patient ratio...etc.
    For those who works, who have worked or anyone with any knowledge of the specialty i'd really appreciate any input. I've searched on here - but could not find much.

  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   kiki9988
    I work on a 13 bed step-down unit at a large, academic level 1 trauma center so my experience may be different. We take 2-3 patients each depending on acuity and they can be on drips, vents, have art lines, etc. Our population consists of any type of patient except for CV patients who have their own stepdown. Lots and lots of respiratory failure and trauma patients. I enjoy it because I have learned a ton, especially in regards to vents, drips, etc. If you are thinking of moving to the ICU in the future it's a great place to start. Good luck!
  4. by   sapphire18
    IMCU is where patients go when they need to be closely monitored, but may not necessarily need all of the interventions that the ICU could provide. At the two hospitals I've worked at, IMCU takes cardiac drips but does not titrate them without getting an MD order for every single titration. I realize that other hospitals may be different. These IMCUs also didn't take intubated patients- the only vents accepted were stable trachs. The nurse to patient ratio was 1:3-4 in both of these hospitals. It can be very high acuity and busy, and you will learn a lot.
  5. by   OregonRN512
    I have worked on two different IMCU's (Washington and Oregon) for the last three years, started as new grad. My current unit is at a 400+ bed hospital, 30-bed unit, ratios are3-4:1(more often 4). We have stable vent patients, all kinds of drips, septic, Gi bleeds, cardiac (MI, ACS, post cath etc), AMS, overdose, etc. I can honestly say that I have had the best learning experience on this type of unit. You have to be organized, independent, and ready for anything. My manager often says she thinks is it can be tougher than ICU in some respects because you have really sick patients but don't have as mush diagnostic equipment so your assessment skills have to be right on. I will also say that after three years I am beginning to burn out already. It's type of unit is very stressful and fast-paced. The patients can be very demanding and needy because they are so sick, and quite frankly a majority of the staff on my unit feel that 4:1 assignments are unsafe.That all being said, I do think you should try it. It might not end up being for you, but I can guarantee you that it will be one of the best learning experiences of your nursing career. Good luck!
  6. by   born2circulateRN
    thank you all for the input. i am really considering applying for an IMCU residency program and from what you all are telling me i believe i will learn tons. thanks again!