francoml 11,629 Views
Joined Nov 7, '12 - from 'Dirty South'.
francoml is a ICU Nurse.
Posts: 147 (40% Liked)
Your autonomy is perceived autonomy, and a lot of floor nurses exercise the same also.
I have been an ICU nurse for about a year now. I have learned a million and one things and still have a lot left to learn. I just wanted to offer a little help to new grads trying to get into the critical care scene and newly hired nurses in the ICU.
If you want to be an ICU nurse go for it. It is one of the biggest learning curves you can take on but if that is your passion don't let anyone shoot your dreams down.
Apply to a large teaching university hospital. Usually those hospitals will have an internship program that lasts 4-6 months which includes one on one patient care, constant supervision by a preceptor, and critical care classes to teach you critical care medicine.
Study on your own time. Pharmacology, pathophysiology, A&P, ect. This will all be things that help you tie the whole picture together.
When in clinical (students) or once hired as a new ICU nurse, participate in everything you can if your patients are stable. If they are intubating a patient, ask if you can record or push meds. When coding a patient be the first one to hop on the chest and due compressions, bag the patient if needed, record everything that is going on ect. Watch the nurses place lines with ultrasound and ask them to teach you. Basically, as long as your patients are taken care of and stable, go around and ask if you can watch and learn or help out with procedures.
You have to love what you do. You will see more death then any other form of acute care nursing. Some of the things you will see will tear your heart out. You have to go into this career path knowing that there is a very high turn over rate in this field because of how stressful it can be. That being said, there is nothing more rewarding that seeing the 19 year old girl who should have died, walk out of the hospital with a full recovery. It is the "little miracles" that keep you coming back for more even though the day to day can be gut wrenching.
I hope this helps, ICU nurses are a breed of their own. It has been the only job that I have ever had that I truly wake up in the morning and am excited to go to work. You will either love or hate working on a unit and you will most definitely develop a dark sense of humor. I wish all of you students and new grads the best of luck in your nursing careers and always remember, there is a lot of people out there that are "dream killers." Don't listen to the negative people out there. You can accomplish anything you want as long as you put everything you have into it.
Ultrasound.... Should be the gold standard. I don't know how it is in other hospitals but in my unit (large level one ICU) the majority of our nurses know how to use ultrasound to place difficult IVs. I am a pretty darn good at IVs and if I think a PIV is going to be hard I just grab the ultrasound.
That being said, I work in a very well funded and nurse friendly environment that fosters clinical expertise and training on advanced techniques. I have never worked in a rural hospital or a facility with poor funding or many restrictions on nurse scope of practice.
If your facility allows it learn how to use ultrasound. I truly believe that it will be the gold standard in the next 5-10 years.
Also remember that practice makes perfect and don't be afraid to try just because they are difficult.
Hey guys I have read many of your posts about bias, not fitting it, the mean girls don't like me, blah, blah, blah.
Let me give all you new male nurses some advice. Stop with this whole male vs female nursing BS. We are all professionals and should conduct our selves as such. I have been a nurse (male ha) for about 4 years now and I still don't understand why new male nurses are so sensitive about things...."Oh my patient doesn't want me to put a foley in because I'm male"...get over it. Just have one of your female colleagues put it in and return the favor some other time.
Maybe its because I work in a busy 33 bed ICU and at least 30%+ of us are male, but I just don't see the problem. We don't have problems in our unit because we are not males and females....just nurses. If your not comfortable working in close proximity with the opposite sex that is very telling about your personality.
Now Im not saying don't protect yourself. If you are putting in a foley, rectal tube, ect in a female just have one of the women hang out in the room for a bit till your done but dont pawn off your duties just because "you don't feel comfortable"
And for god sake stop assuming all women only talk about gossip, makeup, and bon bons (what ever those are lol). I for one know many women on my unit who hunt, work out, play video games, nerd out on medical stuff, and are adrenaline junkies.
LEARN TO BE SOCIAL AND EXPAND YOUR REALM OF THINKING!
STOP BEING SO SENSITIVE!
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