Good Morning, Gil 10,949 Views
Joined Jul 27, '11.
Posts: 626 (41% Liked)
Thought I would throw my 2 cents in, as well. I started in an adult MICU as a newer nurse (only 1 year of exp when I started), and I think that is probably the best option for a new nurse who is unsure if they want to specialize in PICU/NICU. Also, you will more likely get hired into an adult ICU since many PICUs/NICUs require at least 1 year of ICU experience, though some will hire new grads if they have a good orientation program.
I occasionally take care of PICU patients in my MICU (not really PICU, per se), but teenagers who may be 17 or those who have chronic conditions and are now 19 or 20. Having some experience with those patients and their parents will help you to know if PICU is something you would enjoy doing. (You would at least know if you wouldn't ever want to do it).
PICU/NICU isn't something I considered for the reasons that many people elect not to do it. Those that do find it very rewarding, though, but I just would have a hard time leaving work at work if my patient who was 3 or 4 died, or a 3 weeker, for that matter. If you think you could leave work at work, and it's something you're interested in, go for it. But, like I said, those that do PICU or NICU typically enjoy that specialty because it's their niche, wouldn't want to do anything else. If you're wondering, I really enjoy adult MICU/SICU, and wouldn't want to do anything else. I may venture into another ICU down the road, CCU or something along those lines, but I've found my niche in ICU. Later on, I would like to get my MSN, and teach, as well. Best of luck to you. Just be open-minded at this point; I didn't think I would do ICU when I was in school, but kept an open mind, and here I am
I'm sorry you are so burnt out with nursing. However, you do have 7 years of experience. That should land you a job with an insurance company pushing paper or answering phone calls from patients or something of the like (though those jobs are not easy to come by). Or you could go back to school for nursing research or nursing informatics if you want to advance your career, but don't want the bedside aspect of nursing anymore. I hear nursing informatics is a growing area, but I've never looked into it since it doesn't interest me in the least lol. Maybe read around here on AN and other websites. If you like kids, summer's coming up, and camp nursing would be a change of pace for you possibly.
Or, if you really want nothing to do with nursing, you could go back to school for something else entirely (just be sure it's marketable in this economy or be willing to move). Best of luck to you! You can find fulfillment in your career even if it requires you to make some changes, big or small. You just need to ask yourself honestly: are you burnt out because nursing just isn't for you? Are you burnt out because you've had crappy nursing jobs? Or are you burnt out because you just haven't found the right area for you? You can find an appropriate/good solution if you can answer those questions. (before I decided on nursing, I almost pursued my master's in school counseling, so I can't help but try to be the "fixer", so hence all of the questions lol).
My question is: how did nurses have time to smoke back in the day? lol
I always call patients Mr or Miss ______ unless they prefer something else or are my age or younger. I'm in my 20's; is this not standard practice? I think it's rude to call someone 50 years older than me by his/her first name.
Some people say that working in a hospital is more difficult than LTC as the patients are more acute, order changes, more prioritizing, etc. (This couldn't be more wrong). I think each have their challenges, and LTC in a poorly run facility or one with very high ratios definitely has to be more challenging than acute care, that is, acute care that has good or decent ratios.
My worst night in the ICU with 2 patients (even if both were to decompensate at the same time), still is less challenging than LTC with 40 residents. I always can visualize my patients, so I know what they're doing, monitored, if they're trying to crawl out of bed, etc. Not being able to see your patient or wondering if you're demented patient is crawling out of bed again would be more stressful. In my previous job, which was not LTC, but pretty close, I worked with 10-12 patients, med pass, etc, lower acuity, and I would take 2 critical patients any day of the week. LTC is definitely not an easy job. Even on a good night, 20-30 residents is a lot, and I can imagine med pass must take a while.
Your foleys don't have that blue lab sample port? Ask your manager to switch to Bard then. I didn't even realize they made foleys without one. So, of course getting a sample will be more of a pain then lol. If it doesn't cost that much more, they might consider it, especially if you tell them the CAUTI rate is falsely elevated from nurses contaminating the samples...that'll get 'em moving to a new product lol.
Any experience is valuable experience, though some experiences are obviously better than others. My new grad experience wasn't the new grad friendly type with lots of orientation. I had a short orientation, was thrown to the wolves, became charge nurse very quickly afterward, but I am no worse for it. Experience is what you make of it. I learned time management, ended up working with great people who I looked forward to working with, and learned much needed leadership skills. I became a leader because I was placed in that role, and I am more confident now.
I then transitioned into the ICU after a year, and had a great orientation, newer nurse friendly, etc. I love it there, and have no plans on leaving. (And, for the record: I did not leave my other job d/t job stress, I was very comfortable there; I wanted more learning opportunities, to advance my career, utilize/expand on my clinical knowledge more).
Don't know how many options you have as a new grad; that depends on your location. You may be able to be more choosy in what you apply for or you may just have to apply for something and be glad they hired you. You sound young, like a person coming right out of school, nothing wrong with that. I'm by no means aged lol, but nursing will help you develop a thick skin if you don't already have one. Nursing is very rewarding. Best of luck to you!
If you're getting that much orientation, you should be fine. Are you getting 9 months? That's insane, but pretty awesome. My guess is you'll be more than ready to be off orientation when it's all said and done.
Best of luck to you! I started in ICU as a newer nurse, have been there almost a year now (including orientation, which was close to 3 months), and it's going well. It will be intimidating at first, naturally, but you'll learn quickly, and gain confidence as you gain experience. Namely, just read that ICUfaqs.org site; that's what I did when I was brand new, and studied my rhythm strips, too (you need to know these really well, and your hospital will probably enroll you in a class, and critical care classes). The knowledge will serve you well when you start. Also, get your ACLS as soon as possible since you can't push drugs during a code until you have it nor can you travel independently off the unit with your patient (which even if you work nights, you will be doing; I can't count the number of times I've gone down for a stat CT at night). And, once I had handled a code or two, I felt comfortable travelling off the unit, and handling codes. After a code or two, and other acute situations, you'll feel comfortable. It's really just knowing your ACLS protocols, which aren't rocket science, and knowing what to do when your patient's going south. Emergent situations become routine once you know what you're doing. You just need to be able to work quickly, but accurately, of course. And, always ask for help if you need it or if you second guess anything. Also, don't get complacent with meds, etc; I still triple check, but efficiently, even with the computer system, and its served me well. Best of luck to you! Enjoy the process!
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