Icu

  1. I am a new grad and pursuing a job in the ICU. Some people tell me it wouldn't be smart to start there. I need some advice!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   4tnerzwife
    yeah I thought that's what i wanted to do too. I took a position there then I had the opportunity to do my role transition there. I am a confident person and consider myself fairly good at this nursing thing...til i got to the ICU. It is an eye opener and ALOT of HARD work, mentally and physically. I am debated on whether or not to take the job... It is just an extremely intimidated place for a new grad, if you like intensity, go for it!
  4. by   gt4everpn
    ICU patients are the sickest of the sick, therefore you do need some prior experience before you go to the deep end of ICU. These people are hanging in the balance and you need enough skill to sense that based on their condition. I aspire to be a ICU nurse- Critical care, and I know I am a fast learner, but personally I would not throw myself into such deep waters. Good luck, whatever you do!
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    there are a lot of good threads on this -- run a search and see what pops up.

    my advice, as an experienced nurse, is to get some med/surg experience first. spend a year or two learning how to be a nurse before you get into icu. learn how to pass meds, organize your time, talk to patients, talk to families and what to tell the md when you call at 2 am. learn how to put in an ng and a foley and an iv all within 30 minutes when your patient is trying to commit an assault on anyone within reach. then go into icu. it'll be a new challenge.
  6. by   RedToyota25
    Thankyou for your input!
  7. by   PMFB-RN
    If you know you want to work in an ICU then by all mean go to work there. The people who say that you need med-surg experience first are simply wrong. My first RN job was (is) in a 26 bed surgical-trauma-cardio-nuro ICU at a level 1 trauma center. My hospital had a great 9 month training program for new grads going to work in the ICU. I graduated a year ago and I recover open hearts, bad traumas, vascular surgeries, and just about anything else you can think of.
  8. by   CRNA2BKY
    If you want to work in an ICU, then DO IT! Don't putz around with other areas you are not interested in. This will only lead to job dissatisfaction and frustrations with your new role as an RN. I will graduate from my ABSN program in less than 1 year, with the goal of becoming a CRNA. I'll be damned if I have to spend a couple of years in a med-surge floor first, before getting into an ICU. There are some excellent new grad training programs for ICU/Critical Care, and from what I hear, they are extremely good at preparing you in the ICU. They can last up to a year in length, so they are not rushing you into learning a million things in a few weeks time. That is what I am planning to do, so I don't waste my time for a year or 2 doing something that I don't want to do. So, if you want ICU, then I say GO FOR IT!
  9. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from nurse2bky
    if you want to work in an icu, then do it! don't putz around with other areas you are not interested in. this will only lead to job dissatisfaction and frustrations with your new role as an rn. i will graduate from my absn program in less than 1 year, with the goal of becoming a crna. i'll be damned if i have to spend a couple of years in a med-surge floor first, before getting into an icu. there are some excellent new grad training programs for icu/critical care, and from what i hear, they are extremely good at preparing you in the icu. they can last up to a year in length, so they are not rushing you into learning a million things in a few weeks time. that is what i am planning to do, so i don't waste my time for a year or 2 doing something that i don't want to do. so, if you want icu, then i say go for it!
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    so you're going to take an icu job that has up to a one year internship so that you can get your 1-2 years of icu experience and then move on to crna school. nice! i hope the nurse managers see you coming!

    the thing about spending a year or two in med/surg learning the basics of nursing before moving into icu is that nurses who do this tend to have more longevity in nursing as well as in critical care. they don't burn out as fast, and they seem to be happier in their careers. but i'm sure this doesn't apply to you since you have no intention of staying at the bedside. in my icu, we're constantly churning out new grads with their 1-2 years of icu experience so they can go to anesthesia school, and our turnover is horrendous. i suspect that like most icus in large, teaching hospitals the way around this is to change hiring practices and go back to requiring a year or two of experience before moving into icu. and to spend some effort on retention as well as recruitment.
  10. by   CRNA2BKY
    Quote from ruby vee
    so you're going to take an icu job that has up to a one year internship so that you can get your 1-2 years of icu experience and then move on to crna school. nice! i hope the nurse managers see you coming!

    the thing about spending a year or two in med/surg learning the basics of nursing before moving into icu is that nurses who do this tend to have more longevity in nursing as well as in critical care. they don't burn out as fast, and they seem to be happier in their careers. but i'm sure this doesn't apply to you since you have no intention of staying at the bedside. in my icu, we're constantly churning out new grads with their 1-2 years of icu experience so they can go to anesthesia school, and our turnover is horrendous. i suspect that like most icus in large, teaching hospitals the way around this is to change hiring practices and go back to requiring a year or two of experience before moving into icu. and to spend some effort on retention as well as recruitment.
    nope, it certainly does not apply to me. there are absolutely wonderful bedside nurses who make a huge difference in peoples lives. i intend to be one of those nurses, but with other long-term goals in mind, i cannot say i honestly see myselft doing it for more than a couple of years. during those years, i will give my my heart and soul into doing it with integrity and pride. and i commend those who do it long-term, as it certainly is noble, and those doing any bedside nursing deserve a lot of praise. but, having other long-term goals does not make me a bad person, and i will do everything i have to do to achieve my goals. i am a hard worker and a caring person, and i am sure that i will make an excellent icu nurse. but, as with many parts of many industries, there will always be a certain turnover rate for whatever reason. that is just part of life, and we have to make due with it. now, if there were incentives for me to stay longer, than by all means, the industry can change to keep nurses in a certain position longer. if people feel that turnover rates are too high, then incentives must be put in place for nurses to stay where they are for a longer period of time. for instance, the us armed forces couldn't keep pilots long enough, as they wanted to finish their duty time, and then move to an airline job. so, the armed forces gave a huge incentive for pilots to stay longer. guess what? many pilots took that huge incentive, and stayed on for several more years. the nursing industry should take note of these types of retention bonuses if they want to hang onto the nurses for a longer period of time. that said, there will always be people who have other goals, and will still leave. this is just a part of life.
  11. by   PMFB-RN
    Quote from ruby vee
    there are a lot of good threads on this -- run a search and see what pops up.

    my advice, as an experienced nurse, is to get some med/surg experience first. spend a year or two learning how to be a nurse before you get into icu. learn how to pass meds, organize your time, talk to patients, talk to families and what to tell the md when you call at 2 am. learn how to put in an ng and a foley and an iv all within 30 minutes when your patient is trying to commit an assault on anyone within reach. then go into icu. it'll be a new challenge.
    *** learning to pass meds, talk to doctors on the phone, placing ivs, ngs and foleys, time management and the others are basic skills that should be learned in nursing school.
  12. by   longroadahead
    If your goal is to work in the ICU, then work there.

    I just graduated in June and start my job in a level 1 cardiac/surgery ICU next week. This is what I want to do. I'm not wasting my time working a med/surg floor for 1-2 years because it's ICU skills that I need to learn.

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