Am I really a critical care nurse?

  1. Hey! So I have a complicated situation. I was recently hired to a telemetry floor and I was talking to the charge nurse about a new charge nurse position opening up. She said that all the charge nurses have to go through the critical care course at the hospital, and THEN have to be certified as a CCRN. I asked her how thats possible since you have to be working in critical care for 2 years before you can take the test. She said that our floor is considered to be a critical care floor/PCU. I was floored! My background is in tele, but ever since I started working I kept thinking that these patients are a LOT more acute than my last job. We do cardiac drips (which I didnt do before), but dont titrate for BP, only for chest pain etc. We have a ratio of 4-5 pts (which, during the interview, I thought was great for a tele floor, but now I think its crappy for a PCU!)

    I asked her why they dont call the floor PCU, and she said that there is another PCU floor, and they needed to differientate the names, so they call that one Tele. We aren't required to take a critical care course, only if we want to. She said that according to state standards (Florida) that our patient acuity is considered critical care. My question is, how can I find out the official state standards? I am just curious as to how Florida designates a critical care patient. I tried looking at the CCRN page to see if they had a definition of critical care, but I couldnt find it.

    I hope all this made sense....
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    About PureLifeRN

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 158; Likes: 246
    from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in OR


  3. by   RNperdiem
    If a patient is not doing well, is there a higher level of care? Do you move them out to another unit?
    Do you handle your own "codes" if a patient goes into cardiac arrest?
    Your unit sounds a lot like a step down unit where there is an overlap between the floor and the unit.
  4. by   PureLifeRN
    We can transfer them to the ICU. We have a code team for the whole hospital, and I've only worked there a couple days so I dont know how their codes are handled.

    I guess I'm confused because my last hospital had: tele-pcu-icu, and I knew that tele was not critical care. This hospital has: floor-tele-icu (although there is another floor called pcu, sigh).
  5. by   BUTTERFLY63
    I work in pcu. What is your nurse patient ratio? In pcu it is 4:1 or 3:1. depending on accuity. We are required to take critical care classes through our hospital. We are also required to be able to charge and work in icu if needed.
    When we float to other units we are task nurses and don't take patient's in case we are needed back in critical care. We take patients on cardiac drips, insulin drips, and bipap. When they have to be intibated we send them to icu.
  6. by   meandragonbrett
    Definitely not a critical care floor. Drips do not equal a critical care environment. It sounds more like a progressive care or step down unit.
  7. by   Reno1978
    I don't understand how a nurse working on this floor would satisfy the requirements of practice to sit for the CCRN exam. Maybe they could do the PCCN certification. Just because they call it a "critical care" floor, doesn't mean you are dealing with critical care fundamentals on a daily basis that would prepare you for the CCRN. It seems like they would be doing their charge nurses a huge disservice if you have to study for an exam that mostly deals with invasive hemodynamics, vasoactive drips, mechanical ventilation and other critical care concepts, when they aren't putting this knowledge to use at the bedside. Not to mention, I think they are misrepresenting their experience when they're verifying that they've been working in "critical care" so they can take the exam.
  8. by   chaxanmom
    No this floor does not qualify youfor CCRN. PCCN probably. It's really bothersome to me that people are faking the experience for the exam. Great way to lose respect for the certification really fast.