ICU Nurses with OCD!!! - page 6

Do all ICU nurses have OCD or something??! Cuz it sure seems like it! The people i work with in the SICU are so anal retentive and obsessive compulsive, i hate it. They are not friendly at all,... Read More

  1. by   a21chdchic
    Yes, alot of ICU nurses are quite serious, but there are a few who are less so. However, the 'clickyness' that is found there, I happen to find very 'high school'. But as long as you work in a female dominated atmosphere, you will find that no matter how 'professional' the job requires us to be.:trout:
    Last edit by a21chdchic on Oct 4, '07
  2. by   cloister
    I've been in ICU 12 years, and yeah, I'm pretty anal retentive at work.

    That being said, I think I'm also approachable - I notice the new staff comes to me with their questions, and I always try to help them in any way I can, as well as share some of my stories and praise them for a job well done.

    But...........

    I get kinda snarky myself when I have to deal with a colleague who I know isn't doing his/her job - the room's a mess, the patient's a mess, orders not done, no clue about anything prior to their shift. We followed one two nights ago - according to the new RN who followed this paragon, his response to many questions was, "Oh, I don't know that."

    As a result, vanco hadn't been hung on a post-op crany (he indicated that it was her job as he handed over the bag), CT of head wasn't ordered, and labs weren't ordered. He's just a good ol' boy with a nursing degree.

    He's a nice guy, and I think he socializes just fine, but hang it, he isn't there to socialize. I don't have time to socialize when I have two patients, and I'm always amazed at folks who sit around googling or reading a magazine. They are probably faster than me, and that's ok, but a little voice in my head wonders if their patient care is all that it could be. Do you want that nurse taking care of your family member?

    Say what you will about the OCDs, orders are entered, meds are given, pt's are assessed, bathed and cared for, and physicians are informed. I think you need to be pretty Type A to do well in ICU. Try not to take it personally.
  3. by   TStewartfan
    I am an MICU nurse and there are a lot on our unit who are OCD but you just about have to be. The people I work with I absolutely adore and could not imagine going anywhere else. If I have two stable resting patients I go and see if someone else needs my help. When a new pt is wheeled into the unit at least six of us rush into the room to transfer the pt to the bed, take vitals, get leads set up etc.

    I am anal retentive about my patients room, I hate trash on the floor, I hate clutter on my med cart and excessive linens in the room drive me nuts. I have to have about 3 washcloths and two towels on the bedside table just in case and believe me I have had to use them. I date mark all my IV lines and label every line with what is infusing so that if I am in a hurry to push a med I am not pushing an incompatible med into a previous infusing line. I go through the top drawer in my med cart which is the so called "junk" drawer and clean it all out, I send meds which the patient isn't on anymore to the credit bin and straighten everything else up. If I need something I want to be able to get my hands on it within seconds, not minutes. time is of the essence in ICU's. Our patients are very, very sick and to be well organized is the best that you can be.

    Our SICU sounds like how you describe your unit. They are anal retentive and not one of them likes to help the others. Our CCU is like my unit but much more relaxed I don't mind being floated there because the nurses are helpful just like the nurses I work with.

    I have only been an ICU nurse for a year and if the people I work with weren't as great as they are, I would have transfered out after six months. In fact, I almost did had a team leader who was lazy, gave preferential treatment to two other nurses and ignored the new nurses and then I get yelled at during a staff meeting being told I don't ask enough questions, so I started asking questions even if I knew the answer and even if the question was dumb. But now I have a great relationship with our new team leader and she is fantastic, always asking if you need assistance and I feel like I can go to her with any type of problem that I have.
  4. by   RN1980
    i don't think it's a matter of ocd at all. i think you practice nursing in a fashion that you are comfortable with, wheather you're a so called strong type a or b. if a person is of a more laid back background you can't expect him to easily convert to type a ways and vise versa. but you have to get the job done in the icu, you really can't hide any weakness that you may have while in the unit. and i think that if you are to the extreme of ethier pole you are apt to have one. i have the great oppertunity to work with alot of different icu/er nurses in multiple hospitals with my full-time and part-time gigs. and i've noticed there are great and poor nurses who has to have everything just right all the time and the same can be said for the more laid back kind. i've seen really uptight rn's who seemed more conscerned with a messed up bed vs falling sats, and i've wittnessed a far type b nurse who continue to let a b/p drop until the patient had renal failure....i can only speak for myself but i do my best to maintain a balance, right in the middle, but i can become quite ocd in certain situations and these situations really revolve around life,sight and limb. again i believe a nurse has to practice within their zone...
  5. by   dorie43rn
    Coming from a medsurg floor, where ICU nurses have bad reputations for being "*****y" I now see both sides. I've seen ICU nurses be downright mean to floor nurses, but, since being in the ICU for 9 months now, I have never seen such cut throat and mean nurses as on the medsurg floors! The next time I hear a nurse say ICU nurses are mean, they are going to hear it from me! :angryfire The main point: I don't care if you have OCD, ADHD, or PMS, we have no right treating another person, especially our sister nurses in a nasty way! If you are having problems at home, leave it at home. If you hate your job, please find the many nursing jobs that take you away from patient care.

    I am not OCD, but when I come on a shift, and there is garbage overfilling my patients room, stuff on the floor, things passed off to the next shift, my charge nurse hears it from me. If you let those things go, lazy nurses will keep on doing it.

    After my post, you would never guess that I am the most calm of nurses, and stay out of trouble and confrontations would you? Its true.

    Dorie43RN
  6. by   All4Seasons
    It's just fine to come on duty and want to feel you have 'control' over the physical environment you are going to be working in that day by tidying up,putting supplies you'll likely need within reach,etcetc, BUT,it is NOT ok to make the previous nurse feel bad (a previous poster called it 'tacky' and I 100% agree with her) - that's just so rude; a form of oneupmanship that some nurses employ to make themselves feel superior...sad sad sad.

    From my perspective,the need for a controlled environment in ICU has a lot,not everything,but a lot,to do with working around an unstable, critically ill patient where everything can go wrong despite our very best efforts - fussing with the physical environment allows us to feel we have some control over the situation. It helps relieve a little of our stress, at the very least,it distracts us.

    Do I believe that the 'anal' or 'ocd' type ICU nurses are those who give the best ICU care (this is certainly the gist I am getting from many of the previous poster's opinions) ...not on your life. A calm,confident,nurse who thoroughly knows her theory and can brillantly apply it at the bedside does not necessarily need to be a neat freak.

    My point is,be a 'neat freak' if it makes you feel better -whatever works for you - but,getting back to what the OP was asking for -a little kindness and a genuine respect for your nursing colleagues,some humility that "I,too, can make mistakes",AND a good handle on theory and its correct application at the bedside are what the VERY best nurses have going for them imo...This has got nothing,whatsoever,to do with wanting to "socialize at work" - it's just common decency - treat people exactly as you would like to be treated yourself.

    Sometimes,nurses stay in areas where they're really not happy anymore. They've gotten themselves into a rut - so to speak,and they're scared to make a change... sometimes a change is scarier than putting up with the current situation.So they stay where they are and are stressed all the time,though they'll never admit it. They're burnt out. And they're mean. They make life miserable for the new ones (or the happy,positive nurses) -the fresh new ones, who are coming to ICU so full of energy and enthusiasm - and it kills them.Putting people down is their way of feeling superior...and the saddest thing of all? those who do that to colleagues aren't likely to be caring and kind nurses to their patients' families either.

    A little kindness goes an really long way...and comes back to you four fold. :wink2:
  7. by   nursern20
    Quote from PACUJennifer
    It's just fine to come on duty and want to feel you have 'control' over the physical environment you are going to be working in that day by tidying up,putting supplies you'll likely need within reach,etcetc, BUT,it is NOT ok to make the previous nurse feel bad (a previous poster called it 'tacky' and I 100% agree with her) - that's just so rude; a form of oneupmanship that some nurses employ to make themselves feel superior...sad sad sad.

    From my perspective,the need for a controlled environment in ICU has a lot,not everything,but a lot,to do with working around an unstable, critically ill patient where everything can go wrong despite our very best efforts - fussing with the physical environment allows us to feel we have some control over the situation. It helps relieve a little of our stress, at the very least,it distracts us.

    Do I believe that the 'anal' or 'ocd' type ICU nurses are those who give the best ICU care (this is certainly the gist I am getting from many of the previous poster's opinions) ...not on your life. A calm,confident,nurse who thoroughly knows her theory and can brillantly apply it at the bedside does not necessarily need to be a neat freak.

    My point is,be a 'neat freak' if it makes you feel better -whatever works for you - but,getting back to what the OP was asking for -a little kindness and a genuine respect for your nursing colleagues,some humility that "I,too, can make mistakes",AND a good handle on theory and its correct application at the bedside are what the VERY best nurses have going for them imo...This has got nothing,whatsoever,to do with wanting to "socialize at work" - it's just common decency - treat people exactly as you would like to be treated yourself.

    Sometimes,nurses stay in areas where they're really not happy anymore. They've gotten themselves into a rut - so to speak,and they're scared to make a change... sometimes a change is scarier than putting up with the current situation.So they stay where they are and are stressed all the time,though they'll never admit it. They're burnt out. And they're mean. They make life miserable for the new ones (or the happy,positive nurses) -the fresh new ones, who are coming to ICU so full of energy and enthusiasm - and it kills them.Putting people down is their way of feeling superior...and the saddest thing of all? those who do that to colleagues aren't likely to be caring and kind nurses to their patients' families either.

    A little kindness goes an really long way...and comes back to you four fold. :wink2:
    Jennifer, thank you thank you thank you for adding this post. I couldnt have said this better myself. You truly understand what i meant by my original post and thank you for your input, i agree with you 120%. I wish I worked with more nurses like you
  8. by   All4Seasons
    Quote from nursern20
    Jennifer, thank you thank you thank you for adding this post. I couldnt have said this better myself. You truly understand what i meant by my original post and thank you for your input, i agree with you 120%. I wish I worked with more nurses like you
    You are very welcome,my dear! I didn't notice until just now that you wrote this post ~ a year and a half ago. How are things going? Are you in the same ICU, and are things any easier for you now?

    I made it a personal commitment quite a number of years ago that I was going to do as much as I could to show respect for my fellow nursing colleagues. I don't belittle anyone,I don't aggressively 'jump all over them' or challenge them when they do things a different way (I will address something it's a pt safety issue,of course) - I don't have all the answers;there are many ways of looking at the same problem.I try and leave my mind open to new ideas,new ways of doing things. It's essential,imo,for personal growth.

    All the best!
    jen
  9. by   RNFELICITY
    Quote from Bethy-lynn
    I'm so OCD that my students laugh at me. The tease me about not being able to function unless I have all of my lines labeled (and, yes color-coded...Red labels on Xigris and Bicarcb, green on ns, yellow on other drugs that may be compatable with some things, but not with others like Neo, Levo, Versed,....). I even got some butt pats for being the only one who could get the ng, art, tlc, periph, vent, and dialysis lines sorted, orgtanized, and COMPLETELY untangled in a rotoprone. When I walk into my room in the morning, I end up spending the first twenty minutes getting things sorted. Granted, I don't get upset with others because they don't have it the way I want, unless it's a pt safety issue...That's just where we have to draw thew line. I guess you could say that I am one with my OCD, and its Good For Me.
    OMG I would LOVE following you. I am very obsessive with things in my pt's room because I feel that I cannot work in a messy environment and 99% of the time, families or the patient themselves will thank me for cleaning up the clutter and making the room seem larger by moving back chairs and using a little organization.

    I am always vigilant about how I leave my patients, as well. I have extra IV bags or drips ready to be hung, etc.

    I think we are all a team and each player has their own personality. I know we are not here to socialize or to make friends, but being friendly and helping others makes it a little more bearable on those bad days and it is nice to have a friendly ear or shoulder to cry on or talk to when you need it.
    :heartbeat
  10. by   joeyzstj
    Quote from nursern20
    i see what u are saying. i know work isnt really a place for socialization, but I'm trying to see the humanity in the ICU. Like helping out another nurse with their pt if they need it. Also whatever happened to the "holistic" care?? I dont see any signs of "caring". The nurses are so rough with the pts. I dont think its healthy for us as caregivers to be like this all the time. It's definitly a source of unhappiness and job unsatisfaction. Granted that maybe if i was a more seasoned, experienced nurse, i wouldnt have a such a problem with this. But since im totally fresh, a little kindness could go a long way from my fellow co-workers.

    Holistic care is a term that they beat unrealistically into your head in nursing school. I work in a CVICU and I can tell you honestly that the last thing you have time for, thanks to administration and staffing shortages is the time to give back rubs and foot rubs and talk about relgious aspects and getting to know the patient in depth and all of the "fluff and puff". Most of the time in a busy ICU you have a phone in one hand screaming at pharmacy while you have another phone in your other hand getting screamed at by the surgeon while the families are in the background freaking out that the patient is sneezed and wanting freash icewater and in the meantime management is trying to give you an extra patient while bed 4's V-tach alarm is going off and bed 10's IV pumps are beeping empty becase pharmcy lost your STAT drip refill orders..............all of this while your art line is clotting off and bed 7 is confused and climbing out of bed and surgery is trying to call report on a patient they want to ship to you and beds 1-12's family is calling wanting updates, the same updates, that you have given the other 40 family members in each patients family and they are mad becasue DR. X hasnt updated all of them on rounds, ect,ect,ect. In the meanwhile you are trying to keep your composure, make time to pee and maybee just maybee get one meal. AND chart all of your days activities with amazing precision so that some genius in middle management does come to you a month later complaining that you used an @ symbol instead of the word "at"...........and this is just before lunch. Making critical decisions on patients and keeping them alive takes presedence over other things sometimes unfortunately. By the way, WELCOME TO ICU
    Last edit by joeyzstj on May 16, '08
  11. by   neko11111
    Quote from nursern20
    Hmm, well i mostly mean like the nurses have to have it their way or the highway, they are extreeeemly cocky about the fact they work in an icu, they think they know more than you do. As far as ocd is concerned, i'll give u an example. If the previous shift leaves some supplies, equipment, or whatever, on the counter in the pts room, or forgets to discard finished iv bags that are hanging on the pole, the nurse freaks. They go on a cleaning spree of the entire room. I like for things to be neat and tidy too, but not to the point where its obsessive compulsive. These are just my observances on my unit, maybe its just me. im just frazzled at this point, whatever.

    The only thing I can say about the neat freaks / cleaning sprees, etc. is... I've only been in the CCU for a year now - and I've found myself doing this too - the reason being....... when the sh()*t hits the fan and your patient goes south very quickly - you don't want a bunch of crap in the way to where you can't find what you need.
    I go through every one of my rooms first thing - clean all of the empty crap, and uneccessary stuff out of my way.... my major pet peeve is when the previous shift leaves several IV lines tangled and all messed up. If my patient is on vasopressors, sedation, etc. - I want - no, I NEED to know exactly what is going into this line, and this line, etc. in case I need to shut it off fast, disconnect it, or titrate it up in a hurry.....
    I just feel that it is better to be prepared for the worst.... than to be caught unprepared - and end up loosing someones' life.... but that's just how my brain works. I need to have it all neat, labled and ready to go! Call me ocd or anal, whatever - it works for me and gives me peace of mind.

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