I have been offered a job in a cvicu at a relatively small hospital. I have three years of med-surg experience and would be brand new to ICU nursing. The position is at night and the training is three months long on day shift. I really want to work in an ICU but I am nervous to start brand new at a small hospital on night shift. There are no Icu doctors in house at night and there are protocols for most things that come up. However I am nervous that I will not have enough resources at night being that I am brand new to the ICU. Especially the CVICU. I was hoping for some advice on taking the position or not. Is it hard to get into ICU nursing when you have no experience besides med surg? Thanks in advance
Nov 20, '17
I would jump on it. I've worked in ICUs like you describe -- with no docs on duty. You hone your skills quick and you learn when to call the attendings. What will make or break the experience, IMO, is the team you have with you at night. It's great they are giving you three months on days for orientation. If you want to do ICU nursing, here is an open door. Your other option is to go big teaching hopsital -- but it depends on what kind of entry mechanism they have in your area for getting experienced non-critical care nurses ready for ICU. That can be a tough scene to break into and probably will also result in a night shift position -- but you will have intensivists.
Nov 21, '17
Thank you for your reply. That makes me feel more confident about taking the position. The unit is small and sometimes only has two nurses working on the unit at night. And there is one rapid response nurse. Being new to ICU, I am just nervous about have no doctors there. I think I will take the job tho. It seems hard to get into ICU nursing at other hospitals.
Nov 22, '17
With your 3 years of experience you will be fine!
Dec 2, '17
Be eternally grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity.
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