Med/Surg to ICU

  1. I recently interviewed for an ICU position @ a local hospital and I have 9 months med/surg experience. They are ready and willing to start training me. I worry because I read some postings here about ICU and I have no clue what you guys are talking about!!

    Sometimes I feel like I was more knowledgable when I was a nursing student. Med/surg is so hectic and I have so many patients to juggle that I never have time to really think about what is going on with them physiologically. How does ICU compare to this?? I was wondering if you guys could give me some insight. Also, do you think 9 months med/surg is sufficent for this transition?

    Thanks
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   geekgolightly
    People do it with no experience all the time, so 9 months learning how to juggle patients and give meds on time and care for family emotional needs as well as patient needs as well as do proper assessments, and interpret labs, and get the nerve up to call docs about issues is giving you a head start. I have had the same fear, honestly, and after almost five years in med surg and tele, I have realised that I can not get any more ready unless I do a year of Pulm and year of renal (the only two specialties I haven't worked on yet, even though I have cared for those patients plenty.)

    Go for it, and be well pleased that you have nine months in medsurg. It will help you so that you can focus on learning vents, ekg interpretation and the myriad of assessment skills that you have yet to pick up. It's exciting!
  4. by   FutureNP-PA
    double post-error
    Last edit by FutureNP-PA on Dec 17, '07 : Reason: didn't know how to delete
  5. by   FutureNP-PA
    I have been in Medsurg for 6 months and just yesterday applied to transfer to my hospital ICU. A lot of co-workers feel that I will do well. My gut tells me to go for it but I am scared as Heck! I feel like your response was directed at me too! So thank you. And.....KayCeeLeeRN thanks for asking a question I needed the answer to. =)
  6. by   karaydrian
    Quote from FutureNP-PA
    I have been in Medsurg for 6 months and just yesterday applied to transfer to my hospital ICU. A lot of co-workers feel that I will do well. My gut tells me to go for it but I am scared as Heck! I feel like your response was directed at me too! So thank you. And.....KayCeeLeeRN thanks for asking a question I needed the answer to. =)

    YOU are not the only one with this feeling. I transfered from 1 year of MED Surg and every morning I ask myself should i go to work or not.I am really scared too.
  7. by   Conrad283
    I'm going to go straight to ICU after graduation. I'm a little nervous because I'm new to the nursing scene. But, the orientation period is 3 months and you take many classes to further your knowledge.

    Good luck to you.
  8. by   FutureNP-PA
    Hey there Karaydrian;
    When did you transfer over? And how is it going so far? I should find out this week if they accepted my transfer. My hospital is offering a critical care course & ACLS starting in January. I really do hope I can start then! =) I'm excited, scared nauseous. So many different emotions but my gut tells me it's a good move. My gut hasn't failed me yet!
  9. by   Newandconfused
    I had 10 months Med/Surge experience b/4 I transferred to ICU. There is good and bad with that. Yes, I love the fact that I have my organizational skills down pat, I have no problem calling a doc etc. I have ran into the problem with my co-workers thinking I know more than I do b/c I am not a fresh new grad and do have floor experience. That has happened with most transfers into ICU at my hospital. Hopefully your facility has a better orientation than mine. Just remember if you do not feel comfortable taking your own patients when the time comes, tell them so. You will do fine, it is just a whole new kind of nursing.
  10. by   Lisbeth
    I transferred from med surg after several years of experience, hoping to be able to use my skills and be able to really focus on my patients. My orientation in ICU was 3 months, but was so intense that I was exhausted every day. I am still stressed that I am not remembering things or picking things up quickly. Everyone else around me seems to be very calm and efficient. I'm wondering now if I'm really cut out for this kind of nursing. Everyone in ICU says the first year is the hardest, then it will feel more comfortable; I've been there 8 months, and I'm anxious about going to work every day!
  11. by   ggfifirn05
    I, too, have just transferred to SICU after 3 years on a med/surg floor. I was pretty confident of my skills and knowledge prior to transferring (I even had been orienting GNs and students on my former unit), but I've been overwhelmed by the vast amount of information I feel I need to absorb in order to function as a competent SICU nurse. I've been given 3 months orientation, but my NM and preceptor feel I still am not quite ready to go it alone (they say I am still too "anxious") so I am being given an additional few weeks with my preceptor.

    I also have the problem that most of my new coworkers assume I am more experienced because I'm older (I'll be 52 in April) but this is my 2nd career; I've only been a nurse for 3 years. I'm so impressed by the other nurses on the unit: most of them are young twentysomethings (my own children's ages), already BSNs and working on advanced degrees, and extremely knowledgable and confident. Overall they are friendly for the most part, and they never hesitate to jump in and help out if a patient is having problems. I know they've "got my back". I want to be like them when I grow up!

    I know a year from now I will look back and wonder "what was I so worried about?" just like I did after my 1st year as a nurse, but right now I'm wondering I've made the right move. Its all just so new and overwhelming!
  12. by   squirlkeeperCCRN
    I agree that going from one's comfort zone to a new, overwhelming, very busy ICU can be very un-nerving. I think new critical care nurses need to allow themselves a year before they get critical of themselves or question the move they made. Take evey opportunity to learn when ever you can and eventually everything will start to click.
    Good luck to all of you, (and to me who will be retesting and needs to re-remember everything I once knew for my CCRN).

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