You know you're an ICU nurse when...

  1. 6
    I loved reading the other posts (neuro, pediatric, general nursing). I thought that we in the ICUs/CCUs could come up with a good list too.... I'll start it off with what I can think of off the top of my head... (I'm in CVICU for nights so mine might have that flavor to it...)


    -Your heart transplant comes back bleeding, with an open chest and 4 chest tubes and your first thought is, "it's just a flesh wound!"

    -Your ECG leads come off, giving the illusion of asystole. When your co-workers get to the room, you wink and say, "gotcha!"

    -You have a sixth sense of when your post-op patient is going to wake up and reach for the ETT

    -At least 50 times a night you say, "you're in the hospital- you just had heart surgery"

    -Say it with me, "it's like breathing through a straw!"

    -Before you even get to your room for report, you pick up some macrobore tubing, a liter of lactated ringers, normal saline and blood tubing on the way

    -You alphabetize your drips

    -You have figured out a way to arrange a Swan-Ganz catheter to look downright pretty

    -You have seriously considered giving yourself an IV coffee bolus before

    -Your first introduction to a patient was your hand in their groin holding pressure and you asking, "Sooo... how're you doing today?"

    -For cheap entertainment, you bring your co-workers down to gawp at the completely apneic ECMO patient up in the chair

    -You and your co-workers have considered recording an album, entitling it "Ventilators, VADs and Moans - Sirenic Sounds of the ICU"

    Keep it going!
    lwnet, lcmtcrn1, OnlybyHisgraceRN, and 3 others like this.
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  3. 12 Comments so far...

  4. 5
    -When you joke to the resident about foley to low wall suction for low UOP... and they actually start putting in orders.
    lcmtcrn1, mal09, turnforthenurseRN, and 2 others like this.
  5. 2
    - when you get floated to the regular floor and forget you don't have to document vitals every hour.
    OnlybyHisgraceRN and CrufflerJJ like this.
  6. 5
    when your patient starts to move and the first thing out of your mouth is "you've got a catheter in your bladder, so just go ahead and pee."

    when you hear ventilator alarms in your sleep (and you're not at work.)

    when you refer to 30 seconds of pulseless v tach as "a little irritability issue."
    mamatara, mal09, OnlybyHisgraceRN, and 2 others like this.
  7. 2
    When your agitated and intubated patient on whose behalf you have unsuccessfully pleaded with the pulmonary fellow for more sedation finally self-extubates despite your tightly tied restraints and constant presence in the room, and you tell that fellow "Well he's BEEN ready..."
    lcmtcrn1 and mal09 like this.
  8. 5
    When it's no biggie for your patient to have an open chest and be on 12 different drips takin' up 10 lines of space on your monitor, but the thought of a patient alone in a room on absolutely no continuous monitoring absolutely FREAKS you out!!
  9. 5
    When you can't stand your patient not to look tidy and calm in the bed with all their lines neatly organized.

    When you get angry that a patient doesn't have a central line.

    When you see a bad car crash on the news and you think "Well, I guess we're getting an admission." (I work in trauma ICU)

    When you understand the saying "There are many things worse than death."

    When you put the code cart next to certain patient's rooms to ward off evil spirits.

    When you run down the hall yelling "I'll do compressions!"
    Fox_RuN, Lennonninja, mamatara, and 2 others like this.
  10. 4
    Oh, and a favorite...

    When you forget your patient isn't intubated/sedated and you pass gas in their room.

    Not saying I've done this, of course.
  11. 1
    When you start coming up with lyrics & song titles for the sounds of your alarms.

    When you do a little jig every hour that your patient actually meets index

    When you can identify your drips by sense of smell.

    When your patient's room looks cleaner than your own bedroom.

    When you wonder why restraints never made it to the "10 wonders of the world" list.

    When outside of work, you answer your cellphone with, "ICU this is ____"

    You are superstitious about the words "Code" & "Quiet" being said aloud at work.

    You believe in happenings of 3.

    When the amount of devices in your room requires you to recruit a posse for traveling.

    When you consider levitating open chest patients part of your weekly workout plan.

    What you consider humor is considered deranged by others.

    When docs ask what you think they should do.
    Fox_RuN likes this.
  12. 1
    You think you are going to have a stroke over the no restraints policies they are pushing !

    You really hate to let the newbie take the vents cause you want them all to yourself !

    You draw straws with your co-workers for the sedated patients .

    You grow to hate the hospitalist that wont order sedation for the intubated patient !
    Fox_RuN likes this.


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