Since it is impossible to shadow a nurse in all the areas I am interested in, I am looking for information about each area. I have a vague idea how each unit might work, but would like some more information to help me make better decisions about where to go when I graduate if I can even get into these areas in peds as a new grad!
I live in an area that has several pediatric hospitals. Below is a list of areas I would like to know about what might be a typical day or just how it is and do you like where you work?
Here's my wish list:
Jun 18, '02
That's quite a list!
Before we get into this, it would be helpful what kind of clinical experiences you have already had. While it is overly simplistic to say that OR care of a peds patient is just like OR care of any pateint only they are pediatric, their are some obvious similarities.
So tell us a little more about you!
Jun 18, '02
Thanks for responding! I know, I am interested in all! I have had the usual clinical rotations for school. My favorite were peds, OR, and we even got to do clinicals in an ER at a trauma center. I have worked in an ER as a patient care tech every summer.
I have only seen adult PACU, adult OR. Thought I was sure I wanted to do Pedi ER but now think I might like to see patient outcomes and work more one on one with the patients and families in settings like Burn, PICU or on the more technically OR, or even PACU, day surgery. Am I a lost soul?
Jun 19, '02
I work in a picu and i love it. I wouldn't recomend you starting there straight out of school. There are a lot of basic skills that i do not use in the picu setting that i perfected in the years i practiced prior to starting here. Besides i feel that i needed to learn time management techniques and assessment skills that i needed on day one in the picu.
That being said i will never work as a bedside RN in any other type of unit again. I have found the job exciting, rewarding, and i have found the passion i have always looked for in nursing.
Jun 19, '02
I think of Emergency Nursing as "guest appearance nursing", in that you attend to the more immediate needs of the patient but you are making a "guest appearance" in their lives, often at a very acute juncture. ED nurses need to have good communication skills, good assessment and planning skills and they need to have a good mental mind set of the typical AND the rare but dangerous problems they may see. Of course, in the ED, you must do it quickly. Still, you will be focused on short term goals. I've never done OR nursing, but I see them in some of the same ways.
Unit nursing means you are more focussed on short, intermediate and long term goal thinking. Acute care focuses you on short and intermediate goals. Organization and attention to detail and sometimes finesse details. More emphasis on a long term relationship with the patient and the family. As you know, in peds you always have "two" patients: the patient and the family. Pace is more variable: can be slower to critical pace. Acute care nursing is more of an intermediate to long term relationship with the patient and the family. With good families, this is the warm fuzzy part of nursing. With difficult families (and those that likely need you most) this is the more challenging aspect. A better perspective on the "cost" of illness to a family. Acute care nurses also need excellent communication, assessment, time management skills. They need to be alert to subtly presenting problems and need to understand the usual and the typical in their units and the rare and the dangerous. The latter skill simply is accrued and learned over time.
These are pretty broad. You can see features of each why different nurses adore each setting.
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