Why are you and ICU nurse?

  1. 0
    I am seriously considering ICU to start my nursing career because all of the wonderful things I have heard, and it is a challenging job, and I love to study and learn new things all the time. At the same time, it is a very stressing place to work and I don't know if that is a good thing for a new nurse. I would appreciate if I have some feedback from new nurses and experienced nurses
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I am a new grad orienting in a busy MICU. I always knew it was where I wanted to work, and I am loving (almost) every minute of it. Don't get me wrong, its stressful, esecially when you are a new grad. There is so much to learn, you really have to learn how to prioritize and use critical thinking. Lots of situations come up where you have to think quickly and intervene in life threatening situations. For me, I have enjoyed learning so much every day, I love the challenge, and I love feeling like I am really making a difference. Being an ICU nurse, you are there at possibly the worst time in the patient/ family's lives. You may be able to play a part in saving that persons life, or if thats not possible you will be there to make sure the patient is comfortable and provide emotional support to the family when they must say goodbye to a loved one. I have my days where I feel really confident and like I can actually survive as an ICU nurse, and then there are days where I feel like crap, make silly mistakes, get overwhelmed, and just want to give up. But from what I hear its totally normal to feel that way when you're new. I have been told that after a year or so it stops feeling like you are going to have a heart attack by the end of the shift
    NewTexasRN likes this.
  5. 0
    Because I make a difference in someone's life, and it is a big difference. You can be there at the last breath, or when everything is being done to save a life such as cracking open a chest. It is an amzing area to work in.I have done it for 15 years, and whilst there are stress and burnout issue, I still love it.
  6. 0
    Thank you so much for your feedback, I think that this specialty is a wonderful way to show that nurses are there to support people in their most difficult times, and I definitely I will go for ICU.
  7. 0
    I am an ICU nurse, have worked both adult ICU/CCU and Pediatric ICU for 22 years now, but I must say, I really think new graduates should work for a year or so on a general medical-surgical floor. You see a lot and get a lot of hands-on experience there. You learn time-organization, team-work, etc. ICU is great, but after orientation, you are on your own. A patient can go down the tubes in a heartbeat. The other nurses there will have their own patients to take care of. I am not trying to disuade you, but do consider med-surg as a stepping stone of learning in preparation for an ICU environment.
  8. 4
    I have to disagree. If you are a motivated student and truly truly love to learn and have the personality where you will seek deeper knowledge of a situation/event/treatment/etc., then I don't believe that you need to start your career on the floor as long as your hospital has a good preceptorship program with receptive senior nurses.

    The ICU and the floor are two different animals and one does not prepare one for the other. Time management and organization should not take you a year to learn, and further more, its a different type of time management and priotitization. The type/level of understanding of patho/surgeries/neuro/medications is very different. I have taken report from nurses on the floor who will be transfering their patient to me and half the report I would consider absolutely non-essential and questionable why for the situation at hand the nurse believed to report this to me. I have gone to the floor on the rapid response team and I usually see a crowd of nervous floor nurses surrounding a patient that I wouldn't even consider that bad. They typically have less access to "tools" of our trade and less exposure to procedures. The nurses that transfer to our floor and trains after years of floor experience compared to new grads that train on our floor dont seem to have had any more of an advantage,.. except a slight bit more cofidence.

    This is not to say that ICU nurses are superior to floor nurses because these nurses work HARD and have their own set of merits. I would be nervous as hell if I ever had to float to the floor and would be at a great disadvantage.

    I suggest really doing some introspective soul search searching. you must be very motivated to learn and complete complex tasks, you must be able to stay focused under pressure, and you must accept that things change very quickly in the ICU.

    I became an ICU nurse because I love taking care of people at their sickest. I love patho and pharm and I love seeing the direct effect of my actions in a short time span. I also love the challenge of figuring out what is wrong with a patient and working closely with MD's to choose the right interventions. It is amazing how much I've learned and how fast my competency has increased in just these two years.
    CBsMommy, Ochin09, IheartICUnursing, and 1 other like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from I_See_You_RN
    I have to disagree. If you are a motivated student and truly truly love to learn and have the personality where you will seek deeper knowledge of a situation/event/treatment/etc., then I don't believe that you need to start your career on the floor as long as your hospital has a good preceptorship program with receptive senior nurses.

    The ICU and the floor are two different animals and one does not prepare one for the other. Time management and organization should not take you a year to learn, and further more, its a different type of time management and priotitization. The type/level of understanding of patho/surgeries/neuro/medications is very different. I have taken report from nurses on the floor who will be transfering their patient to me and half the report I would consider absolutely non-essential and questionable why for the situation at hand the nurse believed to report this to me. I have gone to the floor on the rapid response team and I usually see a crowd of nervous floor nurses surrounding a patient that I wouldn't even consider that bad. They typically have less access to "tools" of our trade and less exposure to procedures. The nurses that transfer to our floor and trains after years of floor experience compared to new grads that train on our floor dont seem to have had any more of an advantage,.. except a slight bit more cofidence.

    This is not to say that ICU nurses are superior to floor nurses because these nurses work HARD and have their own set of merits. I would be nervous as hell if I ever had to float to the floor and would be at a great disadvantage.

    I suggest really doing some introspective soul search searching. you must be very motivated to learn and complete complex tasks, you must be able to stay focused under pressure, and you must accept that things change very quickly in the ICU.

    I became an ICU nurse because I love taking care of people at their sickest. I love patho and pharm and I love seeing the direct effect of my actions in a short time span. I also love the challenge of figuring out what is wrong with a patient and working closely with MD's to choose the right interventions. It is amazing how much I've learned and how fast my competency has increased in just these two years.
    Thanks so much for this insightful and inspirational response. I am a new grad and will be staring in the SICU soon. I completed my preceptorship on this particular unit and immediately knew this was where I wanted to begin my career. I began to allow some of the negative opinions and cautious suggestions of others to create some doubt as to whether I could hack it in such a challenging starting position. Then, I took a moment to reflect on who I am as a person and what I know my strengths to be.

    So, thanks for reinforcing what all new grads starting off in the ICU need- the assurance that it is doable.
  10. 0
    Quote from rsw1960
    I began to allow some of the negative opinions and cautious suggestions of others to create some doubt as to whether I could hack it in such a challenging starting position. Then, I took a moment to reflect on who I am as a person and what I know my strengths to be.

    So, thanks for reinforcing what all new grads starting off in the ICU need- the assurance that it is doable.

    It is definitely doable. Being a new grad has nothing to do with success in the ICU. I have precepted both new graduate nurses and experienced nurses from med/surg, ER, OR, and even one from case management. Success in the ICU is not totally 100% dependent on your background or experience.

    The new graduates that tend to excel are very focused, inquisitive, and are willing to put forth the effort to learn things outside of their 36 hours a week of work.
  11. 0
    I have seen some new grads flourish AND sink in the ICU. I agree that you need to be motivated and eager to learn. I started out in the neuro ICU as a new grad 6 years ago after doing a clerkship in a trauma ICU. There was never a doubt that I belonged in the ICU setting. I do feel that my clerkship and job experience as a nurse tech did set me up for success.

    Good luck!
  12. 0
    Quote from meandragonbrett
    The new graduates that tend to excel are very focused, inquisitive, and are willing to put forth the effort to learn things outside of their 36 hours a week of work.
    I couldn't agree more. I have been orienting in my ICU for about 2 months now. I am constantly asking questions and looking things up. Of course, during the shift sometimes it is too busy to look things up or ask questions, so I jot stuff down to look up or ask later. I make the most out of my slower shifts by helping out other nurses and looking to see if theres anything interesting going on on the unit that I don't have experience with yet.
    You have more power than anyone else as far as making sure you get the education and training you need to be successful!


Top