what exactly is micu and sicu????

  1. Ok I am very interested in ICU and will be graduating from an RN bridge program in May 2008. I have a accepted to work in a hospital for tuition forgiveness program and will be applying for a job two months before i graduate. I have been talking to the nurse recruiter and she told me that ICU usually doesnt have any openings but as a new grad it would be a good idea to start in a step down unit. She said a step down unit would be a great place to start to be able to work in the ICU when there is a opening. So here is my stupid question.... Is a surgical step down unit the same thing as SICU and a medical surgical step down unit the same thing as MICU?? I know this is a basic question but I am confused on what exactly these are. Thanks to all in advance for explaining these terms to a confused nurse.
  2. Visit Suz_QRN profile page

    About Suz_QRN, ADN, LPN, RN Pro

    Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 32; Likes: 4
    ICU; from MO
    Specialty: 12 year(s) of experience in LTC, SNF, NEURO-REHAB, Tele, ICU


  3. by   NYRN05
    MICU-medical intensive care unit....and it is not a stepdown unit. patients are sicker. ratio is 1:1 or 2:1 patients to nurse. once the patients start to get better they are transferred to a MICR medical intensive care recovery (stepdown) or a medical/surgical floor where the ratio can range from 5:1 to 8:1 or more depending on the acuity of the patients. ratio is usually 4:1 for a stepdown.

    SICU surgical intensive care unit. and the same would follow for a Surgical Intensive Care Recovery SICR (stepdown unit).

    I work on a Cardiac Stepdown and love it. the patients are still sick, just not sick enough for the ICU, and not well enough to go home. Lots of time they need more monitoring then a floor nurse can provide due to the ratio of patients assigned & frequency of assessments. sometimes the patients get worse and you end up transferring them to the ICU, depending on which ICU they need (medical, surgical, cardiac). not every ICU is separated, some are combined.

    hope it helps a bit. good luck to you in nursing career!
  4. by   Suz_QRN
    thank you for your quick response.... that clears it up a little for me. So would starting on a step down unit be wise if my goal is to work in ICU? I would appreciate any advice you all have.
  5. by   NYRN05

    i think it would be a great opportunity. If you can, and ICU is your ultimate goal then go for the stepdown position, if it is available. i started out on a med/surg floor because when i graduated i had absolutely no idea what i wanted to do in nursing- as far as specialties went. So after 2 yrs and getting my routine down. I transferred to a stepdown floor. Cardiac....its what i love...for now. and hopefully in another year or 2 i'll go to the cardiac ICU.

    Best of luck!
  6. by   ManNurse96
    If your goal is to work in the intensive care and are interested in learning, don't work med/surg first. I've worked both and they are just too different. I am not in any way saying that med/surg is easy because I believe it is actually much more difficult, personally.
    I am an advocate for starting with what you want to specialize in. The mentality that you must work med/surg before any specialty is old-school.
  7. by   chloeysmom
    I have worked both ICCU (intensive cardiac care unit) and Med-Surg floors and they are just too different to compare. When I transferred to ICCU after 5 years on med-surg floor, I felt like a brand new nurse. I personally feel like you should aim for an ICU job right off, if that is the area of nursing you want to specialize in. What is wonderful about starting off as a new grad in the ICU, is that #1-the senior nurses take you under their wing and teach you by your specific facility policy (I had one hospital that the nurses didn't do that for me, so now I am a policy junky, because it protects you in the end if anything goes wrong). And, #2-Usually, the hospital/facility will give you a 90 day book/classroom intensive, critical care class before you even start in the the actual unit. Hope this helps! GOOD LUCK!!.
    PS--Another suggestion, don't be like me, and be a mousey person afraid to ask questions for fear of getting yelled at. IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, then tell them! You will cry more times than you can count but it is worth it in the end.
    Last edit by chloeysmom on Sep 8, '08 : Reason: spelling error