From Med/Surg to ICU

  1. HI all,
    I've been a Med-Surg/Oncology nurse for five years now. I'm thinking of transferring to ICU. I need a change and was wondering if this will be a hard change. I am willing to learn and am excited to be able to take the ACLS class and any others I need. My pt ratio right now averages between 6-7 and our pts are pretty heavy. I know the pt ratio in ICU is alot less, like 1-2 but these people are on vents and are very sick too.
    Any advice?
    Thanks, Amy
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   augigi
    Depends mainly on the nature of the unit you'll be transferring to - what sort of orientation do they give, are the experienced staff receptive to training new staff, expectations of the unit manager re new staff. If you're quick to learn, and receptive to a massive information overload and going from expert to beginner again, then you'll have a great time!
  4. by   medic971
    As an nurse in the surgical ICU, I agree with the previous post by augigi. It will be intimidating and the doctors may think of you as an idiot and you my feel like you don't belong...If you you want to make the change because your patient ratio is less, DON'T DO IT. If you want to make the change because you desire to grow professionally, then you go girl! There are some great teaching tool available and references you should invest in. You may only have one or two patient, but it is a very different animal.
  5. by   LaurynRN
    Amy,
    I just did it. I worked oncology/organ transplant for three years and just moved to ICU.
    To answer your question, the change is hard! You have to be willing to go from expert to novice overnight. I left a place where I knew the answers, to one where I know nothing. I am still on orientation and leave everyday feeling like my brain will explode. I would've never imagined that there would be so much I didn't know or never even heard of.
    I decided to switch after getting my cert in Med/Surg. I figured that I knew that I didn't want to do Med/Surg for the rest of my life so why not try to find my niche.
    What I try to remember is that any job change is traumatic and frustrating. Whenever I need a confidence boost I go back to my old job on Med/Surg and work per diem. There I am still the expert. :wink2:
  6. by   aquaphoneRN
    I believe your 5 years of med/surg experience makes you an excellent candidate to work in MICU/SICU.

    Of course it will be a difficult transition. You have to be willing to learn and you will have to leave your comfort zone.

    Seriously though, 5 years of med/surg? You are now very seasoned and unless you're a below average nurse, you should be very well prepared to make the transition.

    It's an opportunity to learn and experience incredible things.

    With so much experience, at this point your attitude and work ethic are what will make the difference.

    Just do it.

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