I will be graduating in May 2002 with a BSN. Has anyone out there gone right into SICU after graduation and passing boards? Would you recommend experience in a step down or telemetry unit before SICU? Thanks.
Mar 14, '01
I went straight to Neurosurgical ICU- which had overflow trauma/Surgery beds. It was definitely hard, and I had been an ED tech for several years- been EKG certified, had ACLS etc. Personally, I would recommend especially a stepdown unit. The patients are still fragile- just a little less fragile- and you get a lot of experience with interventions to prevent intubation (etc)- and you seem to do a lot of tasks (ng tubes, foleys, iv's, in the stepdown area. you still see all the chest tubes and drains, etc. but you know, it's really up to you- with the shortage the way it is. Right out of school, I would have never gone to a stepdown- I wanted ICU, now I wish I had done the step down for 6 months to a year- just to get my feet a little wetter.
Mar 31, '01
I commend your intrest in sicu. It is a challenging area and can be extremly rewarding. I had experience on telemetry prior to moving to the ICU and it has helped me greatly. I learned to prioritize tasks, manage the care of several patients, keep trak of numerous meds and administration times, and gained experience with many of the tasks needed to be succeed in nursing. More importantly I became familiar with the hospitals culture. I learned who to turn to to help solve problems. I got to watch how the team comes together during a code (with out the pressure of managing the code).
The tele unit I worked on had Several experienced nurses who were very supportive of new staff. This made a huge difference in my getting started in nursing.
It is better to focus on finding a first position that will support your growth be it tele step-down or ICU. I hope you find nursing as rewarding as I have.