Hear me out and give me your opinion (or support, which I need!!!)
I am weighing the pros and cons of leaving telemetry for ICU......
I have been working on a 33 bed telemetry unit for a little more than a year. It is a relatively small hospital, (ICU,Tele,MedSurg,OR,ER,L&D,Rehab, & CathLab). Recently I became the charge nurse of my night shift crew. I have found that I am starting to get worn down. The other night I started off with 3 patients and got 3 admits only three hours into the evening. I called my unit director and the supervisor begging for some help, and the only response I got was, "Look at the matrix and see what it says." I have gotten to the point to where I feel like asking for help is a waste of time, because I ought to just start on whatever I have to do and cross my fingers that none of my other patients go bad on me while I have to neglect them.
The whole point of this is to give you a picture of what I am dealing with. I love my job. I love what I do. I love *most* of the people I work with, (we have a few 'supernurses'). But am I justified in feeling that putting a 1 year old nurse in charge then sticking her with 6 very sick patients (sometimes 7!) is wrong? Or am I not cut out for this?
Sure, a bad night is a bad night. But this is consistent, and I feel like I am at my breaking point.
So, I finally broke down and applied for ICU in another hospital. There are two big differences that I think will help me not be so worn down.
The first (and biggest) is that this new hospital is a 3 day work week. The facility I am at now alternates 36 hour weeks and 48 hour weeks. I work every other weekend. The reason this wears me down so much is in part the sheer # of hours I work. (Keep in mind they always call you on your days off to get you to work and sometimes I am guilt tripped into coming in more.) My husband is a fireman
, which means with our schedules we sometimes will not see each other for a week. (And I love him so this makes me really depressed
.) I miss out on a LOT of family time and I can't even have children right now because the insurance at the current hospital is awful, and I wouldn't have time to ever take care of my own kids!!
The second reason is because I think I will love ICU. I love analyzing and knowing everything about my patient. And it drives me crazy when I can't see my patient because I am too busy doing charting on 6 patients or dealing with tons of admits. Being able to FOCUS on every only 3 patients would be a dream for me. Don't get me wrong, I don't think ICU will be easier that tele, but I think it is where I am meant to be.
My manager loves me and told me 1 week out of orientation that I was already advanced to the proficiency of a 1 year old nurse. (Which was probably flattery to con me into being charge nurse
) I'm smart and have done well with learning on the job. However I do know my limitations, and I am not afraid to look dumb by asking questions. All I really want to do is take care of people.
And I feel like I can't get through to people when I am in and out of their rooms, juggling meds/vitals/orders/tasks/admits/etc.
So if anyone takes the time to read this, (and bless you if you do). Am I digging myself into a deeper hole by attempting to crossover to ICU?