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Ms.HoneyBadgerRN 2,639 Views

Joined: Jun 24, '12; Posts: 6 (17% Liked) ; Likes: 1
RN; from US
Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in Cardiac/Neuro

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  • Aug 15 '12

    In my opinion, SICU all the way. You will get more exposure to a variety of things and will get more exposure to the anesthesia team. You will also have a larger array of meds, drips, lines and procedures. I've been in the SICU/CTICU for 6 years so of course I would say that, but I occassionally get floated to Neuro ICU, Medical ICU and Cardiac ICU (in a large teaching hospital). But like someone said earlier, it may not increase your odds either way. From my experience and conversations with fellow ICU nurses, most come from the SICU, CTICU or Medical ICU. Never heard of any coming from the Neuro ICU (yet).

  • Aug 15 '12

    I think you should consider a few things with this decision. First, beyond what would look good for CRNA school, how do the individual units compare in terms of work culture, schedule, etc.? You will be spending 1 or 2 years there so you don't want to be with miserable co-workers! If you don't get in the first time, you need to be comfortable staying in that unit because you like it. This was important with me in deciding between ICUs and I made the right choice and love my job and co-workers. Have you shadowed both units?

    Also, does the hospital have a CRNA program? My SICU has a reputation for having consistent turnover due to CRNA school but my school knows what kind of skill set people from my unit arrive with and that offers them some idea in what I know/don't know. I don't think my interview was as difficult as others from people out of state because they are trying to get a feel for what that candidate was competent with day to day. With me, I think they knew more of what they were getting.

    I think it would look good for you to branch out from neuro to SICU and make you a more diverse candidate. I work in a level I trauma hospital in the SICU and we see a lot of neuro trauma too (we've had EVD's and bolts lately, most with extensive concurrent ortho injuries) so hopefully you'll get some neuro patients there. I got anesthesia and surgery references from my unit and I think the exposure to the OR team/CRNAs was helpful.

    Good luck with your decision and best wishes in your pursuit! I can't remove all bias because I really enjoy my unit as a whole and work with my best friends that I've made while here :-) I'm going to Duke in Spring.

    Quote from Ms.HoneyBadgerRN
    So here is my current dilemma...I am currently between choosing jobs in either the Neuro ICU or the SICU. Both jobs are at the same level 1 trauma hospital in downtown Detroit. My plan is to eventually become a CRNA and I want to make the best choice so I can get into CRNA school. I currently work on a stroke/cardiac unit and I love my neuro patients, so I feel it would be easier for me transition into the neuro ICU. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind getting out of my comfort zone and expanding my knowledge base into another area of practice. I've also heard that SICU's tend to be "farms" or "breading grounds" for CRNA's. I guess I just don't know enough about SICU to know that I would like working there.

    If anyone has any experience in these areas or has gotten into CRNA school with either one of these backgrounds I would really appreciate your feedback! Thanks everyone!

  • Aug 14 '12

    Hey! The ICU is for sure the best place to be! You should definitely mention your internship in school and how you developed your passion for critical care during that time. You went on to a med/surg tele just to get that "experience" all the nursing professors tell you to do... time management or something. (You dont need it) But the fact that you have some experience and do know most of the basics, they will much likely pick you over any new grad that applies. If you get an interview, bring your resume, cover letter (2 of each, just in case). ICU nurses are known for being ocd/anal whatever you want to call it so come super prepared. Even type out a list of questions you have for them at the end of the interview. It will impress them, I promise. Good luck!

  • Aug 14 '12

    Well I was in your shoes, almost exactly. I did my final immersion in a M/S ICU and went to work on a telemetry/intermediate care unit. I just recently got hired in to a medical ICU and I am currently working out my last weeks before I finish here and move for this new job.

    Personally I stressed everything that I could that I felt would help to get the position. I mentioned about doing my immersion in the ICU and that I discovered then where my true passion for nursing was. I also mentioned about starting on a tele floor to help to build a solid foundation in my nursing practice. While I didn't mention it in my cover letter, during the interview the director seemed to like the fact that we do certain drips (cardizem, insulin, nitro, heparin, amiodorone, etc). In the cover letter though I did stress my ability to think critically and to be able to handle stressful situations, and more importantly, to continue to function effectively under such stress.

    Good luck to you! I am so excited to start in the ICU in the next couple of weeks and I hope you find your dream job!!