How much experience would you recommend having prior to applying for a ICU position?
Feb 10, '05
If you read this forum your answer will have already been answered.
It depends on the nurse asking the question, and the one answering it.
I am of the older school who feels that a nurse should have some basic skills down before coming to ICU ie basic meds admin, transfers, bathing, etc etc that one can pick up on the floor in a few months.
One example is Mayo Rochester's NG program where the NG spent six months on medical telemetry then a three month orientation in the ICU.
However there are those here who make the case that as a NG theres no point to spending time in a unit that isnt where you want to work. In todays environment there are plenty of facilities that have excellent orientation programs.
My current unit is one of them. We orient NGs all of the time and usually have 2-3 at any given time. We are used to it, and have experienced preceptors who are very capable af taking a floor nurse or NG through that process. We also have a three tiered sytem of classes that ALL nurses take when starting here NG or not.
So you have to ask yourself how you feel about your basic skills, and how quick of a learner you are.
For myself I am glad I did not jump into a busy high acuity ICU right out of school. Others have had no problem doing it. Then again others who might have made very good ICU nurses bit off more than they could chew and wont come back because of that experience.
If you are going to come here with little or no experience, especially into an ICU like I describe above, be prepared to live in fear for a couple of years and deal with a lot of stress.
Also prepare for learning more in a few months then you will anywhere else, experience pts, procedures, and equipment that you wont see anywhere else, be involved with MDs and others like you wont be anywhere else.
I hope you do it if thats what you want-
Last edit by 11:11 on Feb 10, '05