Switching: High-risk OB to ICU - Am I nuts? And how do I do this?

  1. 0
    About 11 months or so ago I started my dream job as a new-grad RN in a high-risk OB/L&D unit. I absolutely love my work as I get to help the sickest of the sick moms deliver their babies safely, and get to circulate some pretty interesting cases in our OR's.

    However....it seems I'm getting the 11-month itch, and now want to switch to some type of ICU. I guess I'm envisioning even sicker patients and even more adrenaline pumping days in the ICU (is this realistic?) But most of all, I'm envisioning a change in scenery and a whole new set of skills and knowledge (and the steep learning curve that comes with it)


    Questions:

    1.) Am I nuts, or have you also ever felt the new-grad itch?

    2.) Is ICU even an option for me? Will employers want me to complete some form of critical care training course before even applying?


    Thanks for your interest.
    (FYI - I work in a major academic medical center in Northern California)
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  4. 8 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    I would suggest staying in an area for at least two years before switching. When I interview I don't like to pick someone who moves around a lot or hasn't been at their job/area long. It shows instability or someone who may get bored easy. I've been in ICU for many years and I'd say it has its excitement but you would be surprised at how often you don't see a crashing pt and have fairly stable days. It's great experience and you would probably see more things than a L&D. Way more variety anyway.
  6. 0
    Agree with above. ICU can be calm or crazy. If you are wanting to leave because you are unhappy, burning out, or just feel like you have plateaued, there's nothing wrong in try something new. But, as mentioned, it's not good to just move around. Getting into the ICU is awesome and it's one of the more coveted job positions. Some people wait a long time to get into the unit and many stay for years. If you want to go to the ICU b/c you really want to go there, that's fine. We all know nurses who tried a position for a couple of months and left b/c they hated it, but the reason it's ok is b/c they were basically miserable. Some people even leave a position and then come right back. If you do want to go to the unit, just make sure you really want to be there. Every position has it's pros and cons. The ICU is an awesome place to be. Ask yourself if you are miserable at your current position.
  7. 0
    You might ask to shadow for a shift or two in your hospital's ICU. This might answer some of your questions.

    Yes, the ICU is an opion for you (after you finish a year in your current role). Hopefully your employer would offer a structured training program (4-6 months) for new folks entering the ICU.
  8. 0
    Hi,

    In my home country I worked in LR-DR and rarely did we have high risk cases. After 2 years of working there, I felt I wasn't learning enough. I wanted more professional growth and I was thirsty to extend my knowlege and skills in nursing.

    So, when I applied for work abroad, I chose to be in the medical/ surgical ward area. Though, ICU was really the area I wanted to be in, I didn't try applying to it because I thought I wasn't ready for it since I was in a completely different area for a long time.
  9. 0
    Hi,

    In my home country I worked in LR-DR and rarely did we have high risk cases. After 2 years of working there, I felt I wasn't learning enough. I wanted more professional growth and I was thirsty to extend my knowlege and skills in nursing.

    So, when I applied for work abroad, I chose to be in the medical/ surgical ward area. Though, ICU was really the area I wanted to be in, I didn't try applying for it. I thought I wasn't ready for ICU since I was in a completely different area for a long time.

    Fast forward, I got the offer to work in the ward, but when I arrived here in KSA, the nursing admin said they didn't have slot for ward areas anymore. They offered me other areas, but I insisted on ICU. They did not want to allow me, however, because of my background. I still insisted, and they gave me a condition that if I pass the probationary period, that's the only time they would allow me to be fully absorbed in the area.

    Now, for nearly 2 years, I have been working (and coping) as an ICU nurse in a 1,000+ bed capacity hospital. The start was honestly really tough for me- learning about ventilations, crrt, cvline's and aline's, etc... But what kept me staying there was because I really liked what I was doing and that I enjoyed learning and that feeling that I have grown and is still growing professionally
  10. 0
    Did your employer talk about a commitment time frame (usually 2 years) when you hired on and they agreed to train you? If not, and you went through a new grad training program, you should still hang out there for at least 2 years prior to switching units. No manager will hire you if they have to train you and you stay less than the commitment time or a couple of years! From their perspective, why spend money to train someone who won't stay around? What you might want to do is go meet the ICU manager after 1 year, and introduce yourself and tell her of your interest on training for ICU but stress that you want to finish your current commitment and ask if she would consider you once your commitment to your current unit is completed. It you do this method, keep in touch with her but don't make a pest of yourself! Good Luck!
  11. 0
    I'm a paid regular employee since the time I arrived here. Probationary period here means that we are being shadowed by the seniors. After probationary period, we can work on our own.
  12. 0
    Quote from dah doh
    Did your employer talk about a commitment time frame (usually 2 years) when you hired on and they agreed to train you? If not, and you went through a new grad training program, you should still hang out there for at least 2 years prior to switching units. No manager will hire you if they have to train you and you stay less than the commitment time or a couple of years! From their perspective, why spend money to train someone who won't stay around? What you might want to do is go meet the ICU manager after 1 year, and introduce yourself and tell her of your interest on training for ICU but stress that you want to finish your current commitment and ask if she would consider you once your commitment to your current unit is completed. It you do this method, keep in touch with her but don't make a pest of yourself! Good Luck!

    "No manager will hire you if they have to train you and you stay less than the commitment time or a couple of years"


    Not in Saudi Arabia. In the hospital that i work in, in first month, we undergo the General Nursing Orientation. It's a training where we are taught general nursing and the policies in the hospital. It's like a review of nursing covering physical assessment, medications, and other basic stuff to know in nursing.

    On the 2nd month, we are trained in our specific areas. That's also actually the probationary period. For a week (for some 3 days only) we attend lectures. And then for the rest of the month are in the clinical area. Then sometimes we are given homeworks or small lectures.

    We get paid as a regular employee on those 2months and the hours we spent there are already included in the 2 year contract we have. In fact, my contract starts on my date of arrival here, and ends exactly after 2 years. And it's actually clear to everyone who goes here, so nothing to clarify about.


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