ICU nursing vs Floor nursing - page 2

This will probably start a big cat fight, however that is not my intention. I am honestly curious. ICU nurses feel they have the toughest job, because the patient acuity is higher. Floor nurses... Read More

  1. by   ovr40
    I think it really is apples and oranges. It is not the same. But both are equally challenging. I've worked in nursing homes, med-surg and now in ICU. Med-Surg was too spread out for me, too much running back and forth, too many visitors. I like the challenge of taking care of 1-4 extra sick patients, all the vents, drips, swans...etc,etc. I feel lost now if I have to float to the floor! I can't SEE my patient. I just don't have it in me anymore. I have a great respect for med-surg nurses. They have to flip back and forth ALOT. They may start out with 6 patients and end up with 15+ by the end of their shift. Plus discharges, families, docs. whew...it makes me tired to think about it. The bottom line is we ALL work hard, whether we work in a clinic, med-surg, L&D, ICU, ER or wherever. We should respect each other for the job that we do and not try to place a label on us of "I must be smarter because I work in a specialized area". I wouldn't want to be a housekeeper, but I sure do respect them for the hard work they do, we couldn't make it without them either! oh well, enough rambling. happy holidays to all.
  2. by   Teshiee
    icu and med/surg very different areas but like i said much different skill of nursing. if you are cross trained to work both areas that is totally different you are expected to do both but for many of us you either work icu or the floor. that is why i don't see any reason for starting someone in med/surg when you are going to icu. the stresses are so different.
  3. by   KARRN3
    AS ONE WHO HAS BEEN ON BOTH SIDES OF THE FENCE, I CAN'T SAY ONE IS EASIER OR BETTER THAN THE OTHER-THEY'RE JUST DIFFERENT. IN THE UNIT, YOU MAY ONLY HAVE ONE OR TWO PATIENTS BUT YOU CAN'T FATHOM HOW BUSY THAT CAN KEEP YOU- BUT YOU ALSO HAVE MORE RESOURCES TO BE ABLE TO FIX THEM. ON THE FLOORS, THE PATIENTS MAY NOT BE AS SICK OVERALL BUT IF ONE GOES BAD, THE OTHER 4-5 PATIENTS YOU'RE CARING FOR SUFFER FOR YOU TO HELP THE ONE THAT'S CRASHING.WHAT I WOULDN'T GIVE FOR NEO AND DIPRIVAN SOME DAYS ON THE FLOORS.
  4. by   frann
    my friend was delivering a pt from ER to our MICU. It was before christmas and all the nurses where cruizing the net. It was at night. The floor doesn't have internet acess.
    Our MICU has mainly the same type of pts that we have on the floor. We have vents on the floor now. The vents where supposed to be rehabable. I think they are torture devices for the nurses.
  5. by   KatrinkaRN
    I tried both floor nursing and icu nursing...I now work in hospice and I think that's where I'll stay. In hospice, you're no longer experiencing the pressure of trying to keep someone alive.

    My hats to both icu and floor nurses..either way you look at it..it's a tough job!
  6. by   LadyNASDAQ
    I have definitely done both. Which is a worse hell? By far, ICU. Why? Simple...

    If your patient goes bad, you send thm out to ICU. If your patient goes bad in ICU, there is no other place other than a transfer elsewhere or the morgue, unfortunately.

    Med-Surg is a tricky place to work. You have to be an expert at prioritizing. ICU is more focused on skills and p.r. Med-Surg is all about getting the work done and using your head. Knowing when that patient needs to be transferred for a higher level of care.

    Yes, I really respect the Med-Surg Nurses. Been there, done that. I still rely on my past from years ago and that prioritizing has made things much clearer. I also manage to get out on time ahead of my co-workers because of that experience.
  7. by   VickyRN
    Definitely med-surg nursing (floor nursing) is more taxing and difficult than ICU. Simply put--more patients, higher acuities, less resources for help. A lot of the patients on the floor nowadays would have been in the ICU only 5 years ago. SOMETIMES our patients (in the ICU) objectively are no sicker than those on the floor. Some of the floor patients can be a LOT of work (confused, incontinent, difficult family members, going bad [happens a lot], multiple meds and IV's)--multiply this by 8. I'd rather just have my TWO ICU patients. We only have 2 patients max--and while this may be very taxing--expecially with the very acutely ill one-on-one or two-on-one patient--the poor floor nurse has 8 patients on nights, every night!!!

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