What characteristics & personality traits

  1. Hello SICU nurses:

    Based on your experience, what kind of personal characteristics and personality traits does a good SICU nurse typically possess?

    I'm trying to figure out if SICU might be for me or not. How did you decide whether the SICU was for you? Thanks, Stephanie
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Hey Stephanie - your post caught my eye because our youngest son's name is Toby! I'm an ER RN, but have worked in MICU/CCU before. Loved ICU. Traits: calmness, intelligence, ability to grasp concepts quickly, ability to adjust to changing patient condition, good assessment/treatment skills. Does this help?
  4. by   versatile_kat
    Stephanie, I started out in an SICU after college and loved it. Some of the best nurses on the unit possesed these traits : remained calm under pressure (patient coding, bleeding, hemodynamically unstable, septic); assertive in dealing with unit nursing issues without offending; aggressive in their patient care; communicated well with the patient's family (seeing as how the patient was usually intubated/sedated); showed respect and earned respect from their co-workers (nurses and MD's alike).

    I've found that the more nurses like this you work with and around, the more you strive to be like them. If I had to choose only one trait that was imperative in the ICU, it would have to be remaining calm under pressure ... and there's plenty of it when patient's are that sick.
  5. by   SICU Queen
    You definitely have to be cool under pressure, and able to think critically and logically in the midst of chaos. Surgical patients can get extremely unstable, and quickly, and you have to be vigilant of impending problems. A surgical ICU is NOT a place where the patients go on "auto-pilot" for a while. They require frequent, thorough assessment.

    You also have to be assertive. I have found myself many times at 2 am having to be aggressive with a physician (an understatement) to get what I wanted for a patient.

    The families of these patients oftentimes require a great deal of emotional support and teaching from the nurses, so compassion is a big plus too.

    Hope this helps... and good luck!
  6. by   Toby's mum
    Dear TraumaRU, Versatile Kat, and SICU Queen,

    Thanks to all three of you for your thoughtful response. You have each mentioned some great traits that I summarize as follows:

    *Ability to remain calm under pressure (and stressful conditions)
    *Appropriately assertive as needed/required
    *quick thinking
    *Good assessment skills (these probably come with practice)
    *Constant vigilance--good observational skills
    *good communication

    This is very helpful--and good to know. Fortunately I believe I possess most of these characteristics so that's a good sign that SICU might well be the place that's right for me. Thanks again! I really appreciated your input. Regards, Stephanie

    P.S. to TraumaRU--Toby is the name of a dear maltipoo dog for whom I had the great privilege of being 'mum' too for the first few months of his enchanted life. He is much loved and beloved by all who have the pleasure of coming into contact with him. I'm sure your son is the same
  7. by   Havin' A Party!
    Thanks folks!

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