considering change from cvsicu to neuro icu

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    HI I have been a RN in cvicu for the past 3 years and feel it is time for a change. I am seriously considering neuro icu. It seemed very interesting in clinicals and I worked a couple months in a six bed neuro icu as an extern. Any tips or general info or is this even a good choice at all? Thanks
    Last edit by pcw rn on Jan 3, '11 : Reason: language error
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

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    Hi. I reckon go for it.

    I've worked in general, cardiac and neuro ICU in Australia and the UK. Neuro is a great one to have under your belt: the skills you learn.

    It's a different approach to critical care nursing. I found it very useful. Moving around and mixing up your ICU experience is great on your CV.

    The only thing I found tough about it, and it could just be where I've worked, lots of young people with trauma. Car crashes, assaults, etc. sustaining head injuries. It was hard looking after people my age (37) and younger.

    But there is lots of exciting stuff happening in neuro. Go for it and all the best.
    Zookeeper3 likes this.
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    I loved my time in neuro ICU! Go for it.
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    I've only floated to neuro ICU from my regular stint in the CVICU and it seems to me that the neuro patients are either very nice (please/thank you) because they are just there for observation, or they are very sick with syringes sticking out of their head, seizing, etc. Then when I get back to CVICU where it's supposed to be all about the heart and stuff ... ALL the patients are CRAZY! (reaching, pulling, kicking) One thing that I couldn't get used to about Neuro ICU was the daily morning CT runs. Ugh.
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    I have been a Neuro ICU nurse for over 3 years now and as with any type of patient care it has positive and negative aspects. Most of the patients we see are seizures, strokes (ischemic and hemorrhagic), craniotomies, and of course altered mental status (who isn't). AMS patients can be anyone from 90 year old nursing home patient that is still a full code to an alcoholic with hepatic encephalopathy. We also get non neuro typical medical ICU patients with CHF, DKA, respiratory distress, and other health issues. The only things we seem not to get are surgery patients (non crani/necks/backs). Most of the more difficult patients are drug overdoses, going through DTs, and altered patients that are very physically strong yet confused. I would rather have 2 septic patients with numerous drips on the vent instead of a confused stroke patient trying to get up out of bed every second pulling at their ivs through their restraints and mittens. Different form of nursing that takes a lot of patience.
    But as you can see I have been doing it for 3 years and wouldn't trade the experience gained. Best of luck.


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