Is a new grad in the Burn/Trauma ICU to specialized

  1. So I just accepted a position in a burn/trauma unit and start in Feb. Do you think I am specializing too much too soon? The program has all critical care new grads going thru the same education then some extra emphasis burn patients. If there are no burn/trauma pts, the unit does get overflow ICU pts. It is a large high acuity hospital. Do you all think, I will still be able to function in an MICU/SICU after I gain some experience if I want to float to different units?

  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Mags4711
    I think you will be fine. One thing I learned very early on was that trauma and burns do not discriminate...

    What does that mean?

    Well, think about who might be involved in a car accident or a house fire...could be the normal healthy 25 year old, but often is the 68 year old with an extensive medical history and/or cardiac history. I've heard of a heart transplant patient being in a trauma bed after he got biffed by a semi on his way to his first post-transplant MD appointment. I've had little old 88 year old ladies who fell down their stairs and have a ventric in and then during OR to repair their femur fracture something happened and they ended up with a new pacer...Or I had the 5 month old who fell into the hot tub and sustained 90% burns, but he also was a Down's baby with cardiac anomalies...

    I did Trauma/Burn/Emergency Surgery for five years in a Level I Trauma and verified burn center. I have to say I would have felt totally comfortable floating to other ICUs with a minimal, focused orientation (other than Cardio Thoracic Surgery-I'd want loads more info on IABP's, etc...).

    I think it's a great place to start, if you can learn under high pressure then you will be just fine.
  4. by   VivaRN
    I also started as a new grad doing Burn ICU in a level I trauma center. You will be fine.

    As Faithmd said it all goes together. People get burned while also getting injured in an MVC, while someone is attempting to murder them (burn + stab or gun-shot wounds), and also remember that a burn unit is not just burns. It is injuries caused by road-rash (more trauma), wound care that needs the ultimate (often immunocompromised pts) and pts. with TENS or Stevens-Johnsons may also have numerous other medical co-morbidities. We even had advanced CA and COPD pts with facial burns from smoking with their 02 on.

    After all I saw and did there, I could handle anything after some specialized orientation. Our burn unit did peds also so I came out with a lot of experience.

    Good luck! It's not easy but it is worth it.
  5. by   theatredork
    The way I look at is that you can do anything if you've done burns. Any other ICU you go to, you don't have the demanding level of wound care for every patient that you do in a burn center.

    So, take burn care out of the equation, and any other ICU job almost seems easier. I know I'm making a broad assumption here, but that's the way I look at it.

    I'm also a new grad that startedand currently works in a burn ICU.
  6. by   ZuZuTrauma
    i think it's a good place for a new grad to start their ICU experience. Burn injury is multisystem. Granted, burns are as mentioned "non- discriminatory", but you will not see some types of ICU cases and may not be as experienced in other areas--- i'd venture to say cardiac mainly. I have found as with any surgical service, you'll find doctors neglecting pt comorbidities--- this is where it's important for a nurse to be the patient advocate and to be knowledgeable of various disease processes and their management-- this only comes with exposure.

    That's why nursing is awesome... you can dabble in any field and walk away with more knowledge and experience.
  7. by   2lip
    hello, please ive been meaning to ask this question, have u ever nursed a patient with 100% burns that survived.
  8. by   krazykev
    Here is a story for everyone:
  9. by   gambutrol
    I have personally taken cared of a burn patient wtih 98% TBSA burned.

    Previous posts were right when they said that the Burn Unit is "non-discriminatory." It is multi-organ, multi-disciplinary approach and deals with extremes of cases. I've had a pediatric patient who has nephrotic syndrome who sustained a scald burn. I had a schizophrenic and a bipolar patient who both sustained flame burns.
  10. by   LadyinGreen
    I'm in the same boat. Adult/Peds/Trauma/Burn ICU, Level 1 plus new grad. I am excited about the range of experiences I will be exposed to! I start in Feb. Let me know how things go!!!!
  11. by   LCAY RN
    Do not fear knowing and caring for the burn victim. I have been a burn/ trauma nurse for 34 years.
    Because of my Burn Nursing I can care for adults and peds. I learned many things and became a very caring and compassionate person. Remember all burn patients have other diseases and multiple health issues.

    Burn Nurses care for the sickest patients in the hospital.
    We can float to any unit and work. Your education and experience is totally in your hands. Be a Burn /Trauma nurse you will learn alot. I wish you success and always push forward to learn more. As I said I have been a Burn Nurse for 34 years. I learn something new everyday. Good Luck.
  12. by   jocey768
    That's what I did! I have no complaints!