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86toronado 11,297 Views

Joined May 6, '07 - from 'FL'. 86toronado is a RN-emergency. She has '5' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'neurology, cardiology, ED'. Posts: 526 (41% Liked) Likes: 652

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  • Mar 27

    I was a new grad in Neuro just about a year ago, so I'll try to answer some of your questions...
    In our ICU, we get a lot of strokes, TBI's, seizures, and brain tumors. Some are surgical, some are medical. The surgical patients tend to be more involved, since they tend to come back from the OR still vented, sedated, on pressors, etc. The medical patients are usually the seizures and ischemic strokes. Unless a seizure patient is in status epilepticus and needs to be vented, we rarely have a neuro-medical patient on a vent.
    As far as being a new graduate with no experience other than nursing school, I'll be honest with you... I don't remember the last time my unit hired a new graduate without at least some tech or CNA experience. Not that I can remember in the last four years. But we are a smallish hospital, we don't have a critical care residency the way some of the bigger hospitals do.
    Physically, it is demanding. Most of our patients literally can't do anything for themselves. We don't have techs in our ICU, but we do have 12 step-down beds on our unit and can sometimes borrow their tech for turns, etc. But it's usually pretty much total care for a 2 or 3 patient assignment. We (the RN's) try to help each other out.
    Average patient stay totally depends on diagnosis and outcomes, but I can tell you our average stay is probably 3 times that of CCU if not more; we're talking weeks, not days. It's a very interesting place to work, because you get to see patient who are completely helpless start to get better, but unfortunately on the other end of the spectrum, you will see heartbreaking cases such as a younger patient with a brain tumor, and you have to watch them get worse and worse.
    Wow, my post is getting long... I'll stop here. Feel free to ask more questions, I love answering them!

  • Mar 26

    If I were finishing NS next summer, my 5 year career plan would look like this:
    Year one: finish nursing school, work as a nursing assistant at XYZ hospital to gain experience, and get an idea of what I would like to specialize in.
    Year two: pass NCLEX, start working as an RN on a med-surg floor, gain some competence, perhaps get my ACLS if I plan on doing adult nursing, or PALS if Pediatric is where I want to end up.
    Year three: Continue to improve competency in Med-surg skills, perhaps start to fill in as needed on specialty floor of my choice to see if it will be a good fit. Apply for BSN program.
    Year four: Apply for job opening on specialty floor. Begin BSN program.
    Year five: Complete BSN program. Start thinking about board certification in specialty (CCRN, CNRN, etc.)

    That's pretty close to what I put when I had to do the same question for a mock job interview. Hope it helps!

  • Dec 28 '16

    I just have to put in my here and say that now that I've worked 12-hour shifts, I'd never go back to the 8's again. Even if one of your days off is "wasted" because you're tired, you still have three more days to get things done. If you want to work some overtime, you can come in an extra day and still wind up with three days off.
    I should add here that I don't have kids (and don't plan on having any) and my hubby also works 12's, so our days off are usually together. I guess if your SO worked a 9-5, and you had little ones it might be different.