I wanted to know if when you first started ICU if you felt ready for it or if you were terrified. I have worked in a Step-down unit for sometime now and started here with the intent to move to ICU but have not done so. Although we seem to trade pts back and forth with our ICU I am absolutely terrified to make the move. I have had two of my old managers ask why I didnt move to the ICU yet and when I told them I didnt feel that I was ready they said that if I could handle the pts where I worked I would do fine. I feel very confident where I work now and am wondering if I am just too comfortable there to challenge myself or if I really am not ready. I honestly do have the desire to move to the ICU but dont want to fail or worse do something to jepordize my pts. I see brand new nurses go fresh out of school into the ICU and do fine but am still worried. Any insight or advice would be appreciated. Thanks
Apr 28, '07
Many of the patients I take care of are step-down patients that are remaining in ICU until a stepdown bed opens up. It is really not that different. I think if you add a few "attachments"-vent, sedation, etc, you can turn a stepdown patient into and ICU patient.
If you want to stay on stepdown, and are happy, stay. Experience is always needed there.
I always go to work in ICU with some anxiety, but confidence is developed and earned with experience. Anything was better than med-surg, so I was willing to give it a try.
Apr 29, '07
The longer you wait to go to ICU, the more nervous you'll be. I honestly think that. You'll psych yourself out more, when, really, there's not a lot of difference between your stepdown patients and the ICU. And, you will be starting off ahead of those new grads that do ok, since you already have your organizational skills down. (and I can say that as I went to ICU straight outta school!) Any ICU I've ever worked prefers someone with experience, so you should go for it!
There is a lot to learn, but it's a lot of fun too!
May 9, '07
It is so scary, I really do not know if this is the place for me either, we'll just see how it goes.
May 11, '07
I was terrified. I started on a Neuro Traum/ Surgical ICU. Open heads were everywhere!!! I told my head nurse my fears, and this is what she said to me: (paraphrased of course)
If you weren't scared, that would tell me to watch you very closely. Being nervous in the ICU is very common on a daily basis. Remember this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Tag your more experienced nurses for help. LISTEN to them. What they don't say can be as important as what they do say. The machines are just that, machines they don't bite. We will not let you fail.
So the bogeyman is out there. Do you face him or do you go back to the comfortable?
May 11, '07
I precepted several nurses in a level 2 trauma unit. My first statement to them was learn who the ones with experience are and use your charge nurse. Your preceptor should be willing to give you feed back on how you are progressing. Best wishes
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