Hi everyone, I'm new here, but I'm wondering if anyone else's unit has this problem.
I work in a small hospital. Our ICU census is usually 8-11 patients. However, we take EVERY kind of patient short of a transplant. A recent census of ours: fresh CABG, a patient in 4-points, a vascular surgery, a sepsis patient, a craniotomy, a crashing surgical, a cath needing sheath removal, a chemo patient, a GI bleed....I could go on. We also do CVVH, IABP, and all stat/first responder/code team calls in the house.
While I like having variety, I am very leery about us getting complex surgical patients only sporadically. In my book, it's nearly impossible to be a perfect CV/neurosurg/MICU/SICU/CICU nurse all in the same week, when you only get to take care of a certain kind of patient once a month or so. Our hospital loves what the surgicals do for business, but it leaves the nurses and patients vulnerable.
Not to mention about half of our staff have less than 2 years experience (i.e. new grads who went straight to ICU).
Is this situation normal? Can anyone else feel my pain? HELP!
Oct 16, '06
I feel your pain, Sunshine. It's frustrating at times bc we all have to reference/remember the non-cardiac stuff like ICP monitoring, trauma protocols, and so on. However I also like the occasional variety and I think it makes us better nurses bc we truly do see alittle bit of everything. My unit is an "open unit" whereas all the other ICU's are "closed." This often makes us the "dumping ground" for the non-medicine services.
The part that really stinks is that once we get comfortable with those particular patients, the doctors usually move them out and back to the ICU in which they "belong". All too often this plays havoc with our census... if we are having low cardiac pt census, the SICU/Neuro/Burn docs see that we have open beds, fill us up with their pt's, then a day later move them out and crash our census, forcing us to send nurses home or float, only a day later to fill us up again and restart the process. Very frustrating. This usually only happens in the summer; i expect once winter comes and our cardiac pt's get sick our census will stay more constant.
Last edit by jbp0529 on Nov 28, '06