ICU Nurses with OCD!!!

  1. 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, they are a good example of nurses eating their young thing. As a new nurse i am finding it hard to live up to their expectations. Can anybody give me any type of advice/comments/anything about this pleaaasee???
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  2. 75 Comments

  3. by   psalm
    ...what do you mean by ocd and anal retentive? I don't work ICU but have considered it. Can you give some examples?
  4. by   EDValerieRN
    To work in an ICU, with really sick people, you have to be a stickler. If they were a bunch of easygoing nonchalant nurses, many of their patients would die. They're like that because they don't have the time for BS.

    They aren't friendly because they are busy. Work is not a place for socialization, and I don't think it should be expected. Just take care of your patients and don't worry about anyone else.

    I, for one, appreciate nurses that are "OCD and anal retentive" because their patients get good care, and it's nice to follow them because everything is done. And this is coming from the most laid-back, friendly ED nurse in the world.
  5. by   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.
  6. by   hrtprncss
    Speaking as an ICU nurse, i can tell you that not all are ocd's but a lot are. You really kinda have to be, because you have 1 or 2 patients and then if you pass it along to someone who isn't so nice, we'll you'll hear about it the next day, actually the manager will hear about it the next day. Is this what you're going through? I mean the next day you come in and the previous nurse will berate you about the little things you ''forgot'', I'm not talking about important things, but like some not so important things like when they come in there's 50 cc's of urine left in the foley bag that can accomodate over 2 liters, and which you also emptied an hour before when you did your I/O? There's really nothing you can do about it, you just have to shrug it off. But then after awhile it does get to you and you become anal retentive about your patients, making sure everything is pretty much perfect. Then once you start to orient a new nurse, they will also think that you're pretty much OCD.....So the best thing is just leave your work when your shift ends and forget about it. Good luck!
  7. by   nursern20
    Quote from jackie53
    ...what do you mean by ocd and anal retentive? I don't work ICU but have considered it. Can you give some examples?

    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.
  8. by   nursern20
    Quote from hrtprncss
    Speaking as an ICU nurse, i can tell you that not all are ocd's but a lot are. You really kinda have to be, because you have 1 or 2 patients and then if you pass it along to someone who isn't so nice, we'll you'll hear about it the next day, actually the manager will hear about it the next day. Is this what you're going through? I mean the next day you come in and the previous nurse will berate you about the little things you ''forgot'', I'm not talking about important things, but like some not so important things like when they come in there's 50 cc's of urine left in the foley bag that can accomodate over 2 liters, and which you also emptied an hour before when you did your I/O? There's really nothing you can do about it, you just have to shrug it off. But then after awhile it does get to you and you become anal retentive about your patients, making sure everything is pretty much perfect. Then once you start to orient a new nurse, they will also think that you're pretty much OCD.....So the best thing is just leave your work when your shift ends and forget about it. Good luck!
    Yeah, pretty much! but instead of the previous shift, its my preceptor that berates me, i guess. I feel like i cant even leave work after the shift ends, cuz i have to then go home and study every little thing i was taught about vents, drains, surgical procedures, medical diagnosis, etc... after my preceptor makes me feel so little for not knowing these things off the bat.
  9. by   stressgal
    Well, I'm a "new" RN in the ICU. Been off orientation for 30 days and yes, I am hypervigilent. The first thing I do is my initial assessment of the patient, then of the room. I cannot stand clutter in the patient's room. Full trash cans, excess or used supplies and items found in the patient's bedsheets send me over the edge. These patient's are sick, I need to be able to find the supplies I need without digging for them. You cannot have numerous chairs surrounding the patient's bed, what happens if the patient codes? Do you want to have to move everything out of the way during a code? If a patient goes bad I also do not need to search through unmarked, discontinued IV bags on a pole to find the correct line to use. Accurate I&O's are very important to many of our patients. I have floated to medical floors where RN's don't clear pumps at the end of their shift, monitor subtle changes in their patients and so on. During orientation I was given the most difficult patients, with the thought that I will then be able to handle anything when it comes around. It has been a great experience and I love it. It is a different mind set and not every one is made for the ICU. Find your bliss.
  10. by   bisson
    Quote from nursern20
    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, they are a good example of nurses eating their young thing. As a new nurse i am finding it hard to live up to their expectations. Can anybody give me any type of advice/comments/anything about this pleaaasee???

    it's ICU as in INTENSIVE care. it's not med surge, where you have room to be easy going.

    if you're referring to them being by the book and by he rules with 0 slack OCD, than yes, all ICU nurses are OCD and thank god for that!

    you are in a professional environment where you are there for 1 specific purpose, and it's not to make new friends.
  11. by   TiffyRN
    Quote from nursern20
    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.

    Sound like me; except I'll probably be nice enough to wait until you leave the unit to do those things. I keep a messy house and a spotless uncluttered bedside (in NICU the patients don't usually have their own room). It helps me think better. I cringe when I know I will be following certain nurses because they are messy. It's just a thing with me. But there's no need to be tacky about it. But I was that way when I worked on Med/Surg. Constantly picking up the room and cleaning off bedside tables.
  12. by   DDRN4me
    although I have never worked in an ICU; i can certainly call myself anal when i am in a pt room...thats how i organize myself...with such critical patients they just need to have "all thier ducks in a row" to be able to function.
  13. by   gradcare
    Two things.

    1) When the excrement hits the rotary device, you need an uncluttered environment, leads, wires, old drips/ med bottles all over the place are dangerous. Also if your lines are a mess then you may just accidently give that morphine bolus into the "pressor" line............ Don't want to even think about that!!

    2)Sometimes the only way a relative knows how their relativel is being looked after well is the way theyapear (most civilians don't understand what good / poor nursing is.

    Hence the anal retention.

    Oh and another one surfaces that are not cleaned regularly are a sitter for colonisation, usually by a multi resistant organsism, hence the almost obsesive room cleaning.
  14. by   Gompers
    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.
    What you're describing is typical ICU nursing behavior. Not the cocky part, or the part where you say they are eating their young in another post - that's more your particular ICU because things vary from unit to unit. Let's face it, sometimes you'll work with nice people, other times not.

    But yeah, the cleaning sprees? TOTALLY normal. The reason is that before we can feel comfortable, we need to organize our workspace so we know where everything is in an emergency. If old, used, expired supplies are cluttering up the area, it makes it hard to get organized so we attack that stuff first. Then we make sure we have stock supplies of other things that we might need so that when we're working with the patient later, we don't have to keep running around getting things that should have been nearby in the first place. It's common courtesy to clean up and resupply the area at the end of your shift so the next nurse doesn't have to waste time getting organized. What goes around comes around, you know?

    We all cringe when picking up from certain nurses. I'm in the NICU, and there are a few people that we joke about after we pick up from them because you can't even find the BABY sometimes. There will be tons of supplies, blankets, washcloths, etc. in the bed and it's just a mess! Getting things clean, organized, and stocked is essential to providing efficient patient care.

    And yes, these patients are very, very sick. We need to be a litle OCD about things like cleanliness and organization. Cleanliness because these patients are often immunocompromised and often have things like ETTs and central lines that are germ magnets. Organization because if a patient goes bad on you, there isn't time to shuffle through all the clutter only to find that you don't have the supplies you need in an emergency.

    I do agree that your coworkers and preceptor do sound quite unfriendly, though.

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