I can't go to the ICU! - page 2

by Nolander 2,833 Views | 24 Comments

A little background: I'm just starting the final year of my nursing program. Our clinicals allow for us to have certain observation sites are various hospital units, one of them being the ICU. I have a very strong interest in... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from DesireeRN2011
    Speaking of - you mention having this clinical rotation and a preceptorship. Did you not consider getting a PCA/CNA job in a hospital preferably ICU while in nursing school? That would have likely been much more beneficial to you than a shadow day would be. It's easier to apply within a system as an internal candidate than as 'Joe off the street'... I don't know if it would fit your schedule to do something like that at this point - maybe consider volunteering within the system so it shows a higher level of interest etc?
    Actually, if I wanted to have a preceptorship in the ICU next semester I CANNOT have a job as a CNA or anything in the unit I want to precept in. My school states that if you work as a CNA or tech in a unit, then you will not be placed there to precept. I think it has something to do with knowing the people who work there and them giving you good marks, creating a bias.
  2. 0
    Quote from aachavez
    Im in Med Surg 2, graduating in September, and i've only set foot in nursing homes. Crappy nursing homes. All I've done is CNA stuff. PLEASE dont get me wrong, CNAs and PCTs are super important, BUT I am here to learn more than wiping butts, spoon feeding, and bed baths. (before anyone jumps on me, I really dont mind doing that stuff, but Im just really worried, how am I supposed to work as an RN in a hospital if that's the only experience I get?)
    How are you doing med surg in a nursing home? What about OB/Peds? Is your school NLN or CCNE approved. That soumds awful, I'm sorry
  3. 0
    Aachavez: oh that sounds like a nightmare. You can't learn Med Surg at a nursing home. And what about your
    Psych/OB/Peds rotations as Sali22 said?

    I graduate in May and have been through 2 Med Surg, Psych, community, OB, Peds, and I'm getting ready for my
    preceptorship in critical care. Now we all know nursing isn't all skills-based, but along with the critical thinking component, besides assessments and bedside care, I've dropped an NG tube, placed and taken out Foleys, hung blood, done lab sticks, started IVs,
    done ultrasound, wrestled with psych patients, helped triage in a community clinic, performed dressing changes, done patient teaching, discharged, paged doctors, etc., given report, written up notes, etc. and the experience was invaluable in making me feel like I can do this in the real world.
  4. 0
    Quote from Nolander

    Actually, if I wanted to have a preceptorship in the ICU next semester I CANNOT have a job as a CNA or anything in the unit I want to precept in. My school states that if you work as a CNA or tech in a unit, then you will not be placed there to precept. I think it has something to do with knowing the people who work there and them giving you good marks, creating a bias.
    I am assuming there is more than one hospital in your area, each of which probably has more than one ICU. Apply for tech/cna/nurse intern job and just use a different ICU than what your school would use
  5. 0
    Quote from aachavez
    Im in Med Surg 2, graduating in September, and i've only set foot in nursing homes. Crappy nursing homes. All I've done is CNA stuff. PLEASE dont get me wrong, CNAs and PCTs are super important, BUT I am here to learn more than wiping butts, spoon feeding, and bed baths. (before anyone jumps on me, I really dont mind doing that stuff, but Im just really worried, how am I supposed to work as an RN in a hospital if that's the only experience I get?)
    While in LPN schooling the majority of our clinicals were done at nursing homes. However even in that LPN program we were mandated (by the guidelines and rules of the CT BON) to do clinicals in OB/maternity and psych for certain amount of hours. We did those clinicals in the hospital.

    You're in an RN program and you haven't stepped foot out of the nursing home? Is your program accredited by the State it is in?? You are being greatly disserviced by not having any experience doing clinicals in the hospital for your RN program. You still have 9 months to go, are you sure in that time some of your clinicals won't be at a hospital?
  6. 0
    Quote from aachavez
    Im in Med Surg 2, graduating in September, and i've only set foot in nursing homes. Crappy nursing homes. All I've done is CNA stuff. PLEASE dont get me wrong, CNAs and PCTs are super important, BUT I am here to learn more than wiping butts, spoon feeding, and bed baths. (before anyone jumps on me, I really dont mind doing that stuff, but Im just really worried, how am I supposed to work as an RN in a hospital if that's the only experience I get?)
    My guess would be, based on that education, you won't be a nurse in a hospital. I can't imagine anyone hiring a student that's never even set foot inside a hospital over students who have.

    I'd transfer out of that school if you can.
  7. 0
    Well, yeah....you are reacting strongly to it. But I can see why you'd be upset about it. You were excited about it.

    However, I highly doubt having one observation day is going to help them remember you. They see a lot of students, patients, other people, etc. Don't worry about it. Just do your best at med/surg clinical. Talk to your instructors about getting a job someday in that area, and what their advice would be.
  8. 0
    Quote from ChristineN
    I am assuming there is more than one hospital in your area, each of which probably has more than one ICU. Apply for tech/cna/nurse intern job and just use a different ICU than what your school would use
    No, only one hospital in my area. That's actually the reason why I didn't get the chance to do an ICU observation day. A school from out of town, knowing that the only hospital near them is the one in my area and where my school does clinicals, some reason got there students ICU observation spots, yet the school located in the same city as the hospital (my school) gets left out; that's why I'm so frustrated.
  9. 1
    ::cue the Rolling Stones:: "You can't always get what you wa-ant ..."

    Seriously? One day obs and you think they'll even remember you at all? No. Get over yourself.

    And the reason you don't get to do your senior rotation in a place where you have experience is so you don't coast, so you learn something new. Even if you work on a med/surg unit and you do your senior practicum on a (different) med/surg unit, you will be in a position to learn new things with people who do not see you as a nurse's aide but as a potential nurse.
    Last edit by GrnTea on Jan 17, '13
    DesireeRN2011 likes this.
  10. 0
    It's not a big deal. My program didn't offer us any chances to go to the ICU, not even for an observation day. I had several classmates that got jobs in ICU/CCU straight out of school, even without any clinical days there AND not doing practicum there. They were hired before we even did practicum, as the hospitals here fill new grad positions about two months prior to graduation. I got a job in the ER the same way, I had one clinical day in the ER a year before I graduated, I guarantee no one there even remembered my face when I went in to interview. What DOES help is being a nurse extern on a floor you want to work on, but it's not necessarily needed.


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