Quote from LizzieJ
Hi..Ive been working in a small community ED nurse for two years and im interested in working in the ICU. I dont know what to expect. Any advice?
There will be differences. These are a few of them...
1) Unlike the ED, there probably wont be an MD in the unit all the time (outside of big teaching centers, etc).
2) You will be expected to be a very good communicator, as you'll be doing the talking to and calling of consultants, etc...and the primary contact person with families in crisis-mode.
3) You'll be working with fancy machines (IABP's, PRISMA, etc.) and doing much more in-depth hemodynamic monitoring, etc.
4) depending on how your hospital is set-up, when you're assigned to code-team you'll be expected to be 'captain' and run them (until doc arrives of course)
5) The brand of chaos you'll experience will be different than that of the ED. When you're running crazy it will be centered on at most two patients (hopefully).
6) you'll no longer have to deal with people who abuse the health-care system, come to ED for dumb reasons, or who are not critically sick.
7) You are the patient's last stop. No more "treat'em and street 'em". They will either get better or will die..(...if you do send them away to a bigger center they'll be going to another ICU...)
The points i made are generalized. Specialty ICUs will have a different 'feel' and their own unique ins-and-outs...