I know there are threads like this but I would like a more updated response. What do u guys think? Is icu or med surg better for a new grad? Which is better in general? Do u think one is more difficult than the other. I have read so much on how med surg is better for the new grad. I'm starting an internship at a local hospital where I hope to get hired on as an rn when I graduate. Initially I was going to work on the icu but when I heard about all this new grad med surg stuff I decided to switch to med surg. I want to make sure I am the best nurse I can possibly be, meaning I don't want to limit my skills to one specialty. (At least not until I get basic practice at first). However a lot of these posts on how crazy med surg is, is somewhat scaring me away. Any advice is much appreciated!
Mar 15, '13
Each has their "pros and cons" really. I personally think that med surg is best for a new nurse simply because that is where you will truly "learn to be a nurse." You will see every diagnosis under the sun, be exposed to a million meds, learn to prioritize care and assess, and you will also be able to practice all of your skills and therefore become a confident, safe nurse. The ICU is "safer" in that, although the patients are obviously much sicker, they all have lines, trachs, foleys, etc. So, if something goes down, you have a way to help them immediately. Also, you aren't typically spread as thin in an ICU as you are on a med surg floor. However, I think that an ICU nurse should typically have experience elsewhere prior. You don't want an insecure or unsure nurse working on these sick patients.
Mar 15, '13
Yeah I see what your saying. I originally wanted to do icu, but I completely understand why starting out in med surg would be better. All the posts here were scaring me about med surg though. I actually volunteered on the unit yesterday and it didn't seem that bad. Although there definately was a lot going on there were two cna's to help the nurses and the nurses actually got their breaks.
Mar 16, '13
General rule of thumb: if all the nurses got solid breaks, it isn't that bad! Lol
Mar 16, '13
New grads can start out in ICU, they just need a long, thorough orientation, as with any new grad position. If ICU is what you want to do, make sure your employer has that long, thorough orientation. An internship would be ideal.
Mar 18, '13
I want a long orientation either way lol. I'm thinking volunteer on both units and see which one I like
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