I was talking with a veteran surgical floor nurse about the differences in work environment, culture and general attitudes of nurses between ICU and med/surg floors. At our facility, we have 3 ICUs that seem to have pretty different cultures. The SICU seems to have more nurses with elitist attitudes than the MICU. We have staff that are very respectful and grounded and some who are not. Sometimes ICU staff refer to themselves as more special than other nurses such as floor or Teley nurses. Although each individual nurse is unique of course, we have a grouping of nurses that are a little arrogant and disconnected from other types of nursing and they tend to call themselves "special". I have heard out-right demeaning comments about med/surg & MICU nurses while in the same breath referring to themselves in god-like fashion. We also have a group of staff who are more realistic and connected with nurses in other departments. They talk about med/surg nurses with respect and appreciation. Sometimes, other ICU nurses make snap decisions about who makes a "good" ICU nurse and they do not seem to have a good track record in accuracy. What makes them think they do know who would make a "good" ICU nurse?
My question to you is, what is it like in your ICU? How would you describe the general culture? Are the nurses mostly down-to-earth, arrogant, elitist? Do they appreciate other types of nursing? Personalities; what types of people show up in your unit? Can you even draw a generalization? My friend talked about ICU nurses being more aggressive in general. Some of my friends who work in med/surg seem less assertive and avoid things such as being charge nurse. I can be aggressive (or assertive if you prefer that term) especially when I'm assigned charge nurse. But I have a distaste for any elitist behavior.
Thanks for your thoughts.