I have worked in an ICU for 7 months now, and LOVE the job except I am VERY worried about the physical expectations. I am in a coronary care unit (ICU), which also gets overflow medicine and burn ICU patients. Our patients are often hundreds of pounds. I am 5'4" and 105 lbs. I injured my back and my right shoulder and arm a few weeks ago trying to pull a 250 lb total care patients up in bed with one other RN. Turns out it was probably a muscle strain and I am feeling a lot better now. I spoke with my manager about my concerns, and she said that it is the expectation that I am able to do the physical demands of the job and that I should try to recruit more help. Our unit has 13 beds and 6 nurses. We have no other help. I have a lot of trouble getting more than one other nurse at a time to help me b/c we're all busy. Sometimes, I'll ask a 3rd nurse and she'll say "it only took 2 of us yesterday to move him." My manager told me to learn better body mechanics, but even with the best body mechanics, I don't think that someone of my stature can safely maneuver these heavy weight patients. So I am thinking about applying for other types of nursing jobs
. I had worked in the ED my first four months of being a new nurse (before switching to ICU) and there was lifting, but not nearly what I have with all of my total care patients in the ICU. Plus with the paramedics and more male nurses in that deparment, there was more "muscle." I do not know if I want to go back to the ED at this time. I have never worked on a "floor." Could anyone suggest adult floors that might have the most patients who can shift themselves in bed? I am also thinking about switching to peds, but am not sure. My manager seemed to support my moving to peds...said she'd even speak with the peds managers at my hospitals and that there were positions open. I think I would prefer to stick with adults, but don't want to leave the ICU just to end up doing almost as much lifting somewhere else. I would appreciate any suggestions on nursing floors I might find less physically dangerous...as I start to think about changing units.