Please help me out with preceptorship decision

  1. 0
    Hi guys,

    I am starting preceptorship in a couple of months. I know that I want to do ICU because I'm more favorable about taking care of the sickest patients (I also need it because I may apply for grad school in the future).

    The only thing is, I don't know what type of ICU I want to do. I haven't had much exposure to many ICU settings. Does anyone have any recommendations or feedback concerning my situation?

    Thanks a lot!
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    I graduated this past December and did my preceptorship in Medicine ICU at a large hospital. It was a great place to precept because it had a broad range of patients with all kinds of issues. It also had a lot of pulmonary patients so I became a lot more comfortable with ventilators, etc. Some of the things I was exposed to include Sepsis, GI bleeds, liver/kidney failure, surgical patients, ARDS etc. It was a fantastic experience and I think I learned more in those 136 hrs than I did the rest of nursing school. I had a wonderful preceptor and clinical instructor which made all the difference. Since my preceptorship I was hired on in the Trauma ICU (Medicine wasn't hiring) at the same hospital and start in a couple weeks. I hope I like it as much as the Medicine ICU. Good Luck with everything!
  4. 0
    Quote from UKwildcat
    I graduated this past December and did my preceptorship in Medicine ICU at a large hospital. It was a great place to precept because it had a broad range of patients with all kinds of issues. It also had a lot of pulmonary patients so I became a lot more comfortable with ventilators, etc. Some of the things I was exposed to include Sepsis, GI bleeds, liver/kidney failure, surgical patients, ARDS etc. It was a fantastic experience and I think I learned more in those 136 hrs than I did the rest of nursing school. I had a wonderful preceptor and clinical instructor which made all the difference. Since my preceptorship I was hired on in the Trauma ICU (Medicine wasn't hiring) at the same hospital and start in a couple weeks. I hope I like it as much as the Medicine ICU. Good Luck with everything!
    Were you exposed to many ICU settings during nursing school? What made you decide to precept in ICU?

    Thanks a lot for the original reply.
  5. 1
    During the regular clinicals I only got to spend one 6 hr shift in a generalized ICU at a smaller hospital. I chose the ICU for my preceptorship because I honestly hated most of my other clinicals and was really hoping that the ICU would be my place in nursing that I had not yet found. The only other place that I thought I would be remotely interested in was labor and delivery. I didn't want to isolate myself into such a specific area so early on in my career. I wanted to get a broad knowledge base to start with so that is why I chose the ICU. Luckily the ICU was what I had been looking for. It challenged me and I really enjoyed being motivated to understand treatments, symptoms, and disease processes because I was genuinely interested, not because it was assigned work.

    Other people in my class precepted in Neuro ICU and Burn ICU and seemed to really like it. I did spend one day in the Cardio-Thoracic ICU which was interesting. I still think I had the best experience out of everyone by being in the Medicine ICU. If I could go back and redo my preceptorship and I couldn't do Medicine, I would choose the Coronary ICU because the I would loved to strengthen my cardiac knowledge.

    With my class quite a few people get job offers out of the areas that they precept in so thats something to think about.

    Another thing I that I thought about was that if you can hack it in the ICU then you can probably work about anywhere and be competent.

    These are just my opinions and I have not started in Trauma ICU yet so the only experience I have to go from is my own preceptorship.
    on eagles wings likes this.
  6. 0
    The only reason for why I'm hesitant to precept in ICU is because I hear ICU settings in many hospitals RARELY hire new grad nurses. Although I would LOVE to learn all that I can about the ICU setting.
  7. 1
    Thats funny because I worried about that same thing. However, I found that a preceptorship in critical care looks better to employers than a medsurg one and if your school is like mine, you spent a lot of time on medsurg floors. I would still recommend the ICU preceptorship because when else are you going to get to do something like that. You'll either like it or it will scare you but at least you will know and won't have to wonder.

    The critical care jobs I applied to required you either have experience, or did you senior preceptorship in critical care. Things might be different where you live but that was how it was here.
    I remember agonizing over what to pick for my preceptorship but these things do work out so try not to stress too much and go with your gut.
    Heather2014 likes this.
  8. 1
    4 people out of my class of 20 so far have gotten jobs in the ICU straight out of school!
    Heather2014 likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from UKwildcat
    4 people out of my class of 20 so far have gotten jobs in the ICU straight out of school!
    I was wondering - Where do you live?

    Also, from what I hear... you can only get a job in the field that you precepted in while in nursing school. (For example, if you did MedSurg then that's the potential field of hire for you).. so if I did my preceptorship in ICU but ultimately decided that I want to initially start on the MedSurg floor (to gain better experience and better backbone of everything)... would it be possible that I get hired on the MedSurg floor?

    Thanks for your help!!
  10. 0
    I would be happy to tell you where I'm from but I don't want to post it. I would message you but it looks like I don't have enough posts or points or something like that to be able to send messages on here. I'm still figuring this site out :/ I guess if I get 15 posts I'm allowed to send a message so I'll try and message you when I'm allowed to.

    From my limited amount of knowledge, no you don't HAVE to get a job in the area you precept in. One person precepted in ICU and got a job in a different area (not sure what exactly). Another person precepted in peds and got a job in OR. Another person precepted in a step down unit and got a job in an ICU. I don't know if this is the norm because where I'm at they have been hiring a TON of nurses here lately.


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