I work in a CV-ICU, and honestly i was scared out of my mind when i started. Everything was so scary. So many tubes, lines, drips and the patients were SO SICK. Our CV-ICu is a little different in that we see them ALL the way through, beigning to end. So we get some "not so sick" patients too. We run our butts off. We really try to staff for acuity (keyword, TRY). we if we have a fresh surgicial we are not going to get another fresh surgical. When they are fresh fresh fresh (literally right out of the OR) we staff 1:1 with them. things can turn bad REAL quickly. If not 1:1 then you'll get a stable patient, several days post op and the fresh. Anyway...what im getting at it is going to be busy anywhere you go. You go to ICU, you are going to be busy. The patients in ICU are usually 1:1 or 2:1 and they are that way for a reason. When i have drips going im in the room constantly, i don't leave. I could be titrating every 15 minutes-1hr until i get them where i need them. (i.e. lasix drips, nitro etc.). Its a different kind of busy, but its busy. There are times where i am dying to go to lunch.I need to pee, im thirsty, my stomach is growling, im feeling dizzy and my patient isn't stable for me to leave him/her. The other nurses are busy and don't have time to be running my CRRT or my drips.
So...don't think by going to ICU that you won't be busy or things will change for the better. Im not trying o discourage you from going to ICU, i would never do that. I jsut want people to go to ICU for the right reasons. Not beause "it's less busy." ts not.
There are instances where every one of our nurses are maxed out at 2 patients and another patient on another unit codes and they need to be brought to CV-ICU or ICU. But SOMEONE needs to take him...who will that be?? Someone is going to have to suck it up and take an extra patient, more than they can probably handle. That patient needs a nurse and can't stay on the floor.
Floor nurses have the luxury of having another unit to send their patient to. We do not...we are it (other than OR but they always come back). Just go to ICU for the right rasons. Don't let the drips, tubes, lines, sickness, acuity scare you out of it. You will get it. It will come with orientation and experience. Just please do it for the right reasons. I'm a bit of an adrenaline junky and love a good/difficult patient that gives me a challange. I like being busy, and i like being with 1 or 2 patients....not 500 patients in one day. YIKES! admission,discharge, admission, discharge, admission, discharge all day long. Can't handle that. But a patient coding?? I can handle that...