I can't go to the ICU! - page 3

by Nolander

2,769 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


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    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.
    Okay...I recognize that. The thing is - my school said that too (they went as far as saying that we could not do our preceptorship in the hospital we work in...but we had 8 major hospitals within a 20 mile drive of our school...). That said, they didn't stick to their rules. Well, the one they did stick to was that if you tried to set up your own placement you would not get that placement.


    Quote from Nolander
    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.
    One of my clinical instructors in nursing school was also our nursing department's clinical placement coordinator. She had to have great relationships with so many people at clinical sites... I hate to say it, but as in everything sometimes it's who you know not what you know - maybe there is some connection between the person arranging the clinical visit from the other school and the NM or educator in the ICU. Who knows? Being upset about it won't change it much.

    Also, my original comments - I had wrongly assumed there was a collection of facilities within driving distance, and I had not intended you apply for or work at the place your school uses for clinicals. I drove 55 miles one way for a clinical placement (110 miles per clinical day) - and that was my practicum/preceptorship...I got placed at the one facility that wasn't as close to our school as others... When I worked as an RN, for 10 months I had a 130 mile round trip drive for work because it was a job. It wasn't what I wanted but it was a job. It got me the rest of my year of experience and I am now working in a dream job... It may not be easy but you will get there - even if it's not your first job... My first job as an RN sucked, but it showed me who I do not want to become. My second job was great, except the drive... I now have a dream job and love it - I'm still not even at 2 years post graduation from nursing school. That being said, at the time I didn't see the things I gained from each experience...

    This semester has just started...and I saw you said you have a preceptorship next semester - are you talking summer term 2013 or fall term 2013? I don't know much about where you are located. Some high ranking medical centers have internships/externships - where during the summer between junior and senior years the student nurse can work 1:1 with a preceptor. A couple of my classmates did the one near us, and another moved for the summer to work at a major hospital in the ICU...(may or may not be possible, I don't know your situation)... I'm just trying to say there can be some AMAZING opportunities for senior level students or new graduate nurses if you are willing to work to find them (not all of them are well known or easy to find)...

    Regardless, best wishes and good luck!
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    Our school is a new campus, and with all the programs in this area, they can't find any hospitals willing to let in more students. It sucks big time. I'm trying to find a PCT, CNA etc job so I can get at least a little time in the hospital. For psych, we are at the same long term facility, but they do have a lock down psych unit with some schizophrenia and other interesting stuff. I still can't stand the facility, it's filthy.

    For OB, Peds we do have hospital clinicals, thank goodness. Will probably have to find my own preceptor. I am looking at transferring, but campus would be at least an hour away, i like being sorta close. Gonna hafta look at it. I'm also working on finding facilities that will let me set up my own observation. I volunteer, so that helps too.

    back to OP, one day is not going to make or break you. Gotta be flexible, and work with what ya got! Good luck!
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    Quote from DesireeRN2011
    This semester has just started...and I saw you said you have a preceptorship next semester - are you talking summer term 2013 or fall term 2013? I don't know much about where you are located. Some high ranking medical centers have internships/externships - where during the summer between junior and senior years the student nurse can work 1:1 with a preceptor. A couple of my classmates did the one near us, and another moved for the summer to work at a major hospital in the ICU...(may or may not be possible, I don't know your situation)... I'm just trying to say there can be some AMAZING opportunities for senior level students or new graduate nurses if you are willing to work to find them (not all of them are well known or easy to find)...

    Regardless, best wishes and good luck!
    Fall 2013 is my final semester. Yes, there is in fact an externship at my hospital for nursing students during the summer. I will most definitely be applying with hopes of going to the ICU/CCU. However, I don't even currently work at the hospital and I just know they will take preference to people who either have worked as a CNA/tech previously, or currently are employed by the hospital; I meet none of these criterion and am unsure of how me applying to extern will go.
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    I never had an ICU type experience (rotation nor observation) while in nursing school, but I work ICU now. I don't think you're missing anything. If you really want to work ICU as an RN, apply when you get licensed...or become a floor nurse and then transfer into ICU once you get experience.

    As for being a CNA/PCT, use it to get your foot in the door at a hospital, that's what I did in nursing school and I worked ortho (it showed me that I wanted to do more than just ortho).
    loriangel14 likes this.
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    Personally, I would talk to your instructor and see if you can get some contact information for the ICU that you would've been observing at. Many ICUs are more than happy to let you shadow an RN for a day. Although it won't be part of clinical hours shadowing is one of the best opportunities for ruling out what you would like to do for your preceptor-ship.


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