How can I land icu tech position while in nursing school?

  1. Hi, I am a 3rd semester nursing student. I have been trying to get a tech job in the icu in vain. I have applied probably 6-7 times within 1 year (for 85% of icu tech jobs opened) and have only had one interview. I didn't get the job . I really want to get my foot in the door while in school to get experience and to prepare for after graduation. My dream is to work in the icu for 3-4 years and then become an icu np or a travel or flight nurse.

    experience on me:

    *Past job: 10 months of experience as a CMA in a ltc facility.
    * Current job: 9 months (and counting) of experience PCT/health unit clerk in a rehab unit within a hospital facility (same company as CMA job, I just transferred from a ltc facility to a hospital facility).
    * Current job: 3 months of experience as a student nurse tech in a step down med surg unit.

    I am PRN for both of my current jobs. I like my current jobs very much and feel very blessed to have them; however, I want to pursuit my goal of getting an icu tech position. Here are my questions:

    1. Could someone look over my resume to see if I am doing something wrong? (I will post it if someone will read it).
    2. Is it something else that I am not seeing, that is keeping me from landing an icu job?
    3. Do companies track interview records? During the one interview I got, I mentioned something extremely stupid and naive . you can look at my past threads to find out what, I wont repeat it

    Could that be the reason why HR isn't looking at me?
    5. If that is it, what else can I do? am I marred forever due to that incidence?
    6. What advice can you give me? I would appreciate any.

    Feel free to just answer one, some or all of the above. Any comments will be greatly appreciated.
    Last edit by kht124 on Mar 29, '13
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    About kht124

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 54; Likes: 8
    ICU RN; from US
    Specialty: CVICU


  3. by   Fireman767
    Many of the people I know who got jobs as ICU techs, ER techs, CCU techs and such are generally either EMTs or took a course for the specific field (such as a cardiovascular tech course or such). There are some people that apply at the right time and get the job, but as nursing students we are slightly disadvantaged and advantaged in a way. Were disadvantaged because we aren't RNs or LPNs or even specialized techs, so many places don't want to go through the whole process of training someone while others are more open and do train. The advantage we have is some places see it as they can scoop us up after we graduate for the position.
    Im sure there is someone out here that can give more input. I can speak for the ER tech position, and have a friend who worked as a CCU (cardiovascular tech) as an EMT.
  4. by   waufah
    Does your job have float pool for techs? You might want to get into that, be in good terms with the staffing coordinator and let them know you prefer to work in the ICU. You can also talk to the ICU director yourself and see if you can get in. If that fails, most ICU managers are over other floors like stepdown. Get a tech job there and be the best tech ever and soon enough all the nurses will know and will be willing to put in a good word for you to the manager.
  5. by   Double-Helix
    Start with trying to get a job within the hospital. Acute care experience will be more valuable than LTC/rehab in the eyes of the hospital. It also gives you seniority over an outside applicant when applying for an internal transfer, in many hospitals. If ICU tech jobs are coveted in your area, many of these open positions may be being filled by internal applicants. So it's not that you're being overlooked, it's simply that the hospital is more or less obligated to give first preference toward an applicant who already works within the hospital system.
  6. by   kht124
    I do work prn in the hospital, in a rehab unit within a hospital. I also float to other units and affiliating hospitals as needed (i have to work atleast 12hr every 2 weeks, so if rehab is low on census on days i can work, i float to other units (mainly med-surg, cardiac, surgical and er twice; could only work as health unit clerk in er). I haven't been to the icu much, just a few times to sit patients, Technically, i should be an internal applicant, but i am still not getting calls. I'll try requesting to work in icu or stepdown. I am trying really hard to land a job in icu.
  7. by   sunnybabe
    Hey, I'm a tech too, but on a med-surg unit. I possibly want to be an ICU nurse too as I have floated there before and I loved it. Even though I'm PRN on my floor, I have been floated to other units, including ICU, when census is low. I plan to go into the float pool either later this year or next year before I graduate. That way I can see other units. I thinking going into the float pool will be in your best chance or tell your manager that you would like to apply to the ICU and see if she can put in a good word for you. I rather the first option because not all managers are that receptive to transfers. Also, it may help to get your senior practicum in ICU so that even if you only see med-surg you have some sort of ICU experience
  8. by   tigerita
    I'm an ICU nurse tech and was really surprised that during my interview they were way more interested in my history of restaurant and service industry jobs than my nursing school grades. They had a lot of questions about times when I had to diffuse situations with unhappy customers. My advice would be to make a point of emphasizing that you are willing to go above and beyond expectations to improve patient satisfaction, because even though you'll be learning a ton and will get to perform some cool nursing skills, your biggest priority will still be patient care.
    But don't get me wrong, its an AWESOME job!
  9. by   kht124
    I guess getting into the float pool might be good for me, might not be too bad since I already float a lot. My concern is not having a home unit and possibly being the first ones to be let go if there is a budget cut (in the past, the float pool had been the first to go d/t budget cut). sunnybabe, I haven't thought about transfer difficulty with managers...hmmm...

    tigerita, I hope you are enjoying your job and learning lots. I will remember to emphasize on patient satisfaction and patient care...if I even get an interview...
  10. by   Piggles
    I'm a senior nursing student and I just started working as a telemetry technician in the ICU. I did an internship in this department and expressed an interest in working there after I graduate from nursing school. They have a great training program for new grads. I took the internship with this plan in mind the whole time. I can't believe it's actually working!
  11. by   classicdame
    I doubt seriously that anything you said in an interview would be known to others. I do believe there are more applicants than jobs. Have you considered tech or monitor tech or unit clerk in another critical area, like the emergency department or cardiac unit, etc?
  12. by   kht124
    Can I work as a monitor tech? Will the hospital train me for this or will I have to take a course outside of the hospital before applying? All the jobs I applied for were cna/unit clerk. I don't have an emt so I can't do much outside of clerk work in the er.
  13. by   Piggles
    I took an online EKG course through the AHA and that sufficed for my tele position.
  14. by   ladedi
    I took an EKG Technician class last summer, but was never able to get hired as a tech at a local hospital because everyone wants 6 months experience. In the meantime, I subscribed to Learn To Read An ECG ? Sample 5-3 because the cardiologist teaching on this site is excellent. I have learned tons from him and hope to use that knowledge to secure an ICU position once I graduate from UTHHSC BSN Program next summer.