Leaving Neuro ICU - wishing it had gone better

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    So I've spent my first year of Critical Care nursing in the Neuro ICU and learned a great deal, but also had some really negative experiences. I promised my NM that I'd give them a year, and did - I was really looking forward to some of the promised educational opportunities that were discussed when I hired on - they never materialized - and I was hoping for the chance to expand my clinical knowledge and skills base. Instead it seems like I'm consistently assigned to the heavy lifting patients, the frontal patients who are "difficult", the DT patients - because I'm a male nurse, a big guy, and have prior EMS experience, I suppose. There's a core group of people who make all the assignments, and they and their friends seem to get all the choices and the learning experiences. I understand that things are seniority based, but it becomes a little bit frustrating and more than a little bit discouraging. So I applied to transfer to the Cardiac Surgical unit - and was welcomed with enthusiasm by the NM. This new assignment will give me opportunities to advance my career and give me the foundation I need to apply (eventually) to my Masters' program as a Critical Care NP or a CRNA, whichever path I choose.

    Unfortunately, my conversation with my current NM did not go so well - while I wanted to be the one to tell him about the transfer, apparently someone else beat me to it, and he was unhappy to say the least. I wanted to leave on better terms. Turnover in the unit is rather high, and he's running pretty short going into the holidays - which doesn't make me feel any better about my decision, either. On the other hand - I had to take the opportunity when it was offered, right? The whole thing has just turned into such a mess.
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

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    Don't feel bad about looking after yourself, no one else will. Do however tell your current manager just why you are leaving. He will not be able to change the culture of a select few always doing the assigments if he doesn't know about the problem.
    Spiderella and TDFlMedicRN like this.
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    Quote from ukstudent
    Don't feel bad about looking after yourself, no one else will. Do however tell your current manager just why you are leaving. He will not be able to change the culture of a select few always doing the assigments if he doesn't know about the problem.
    Thank you for that. However, I'm very much convinced he's fully aware of the situation re: unit culture - he's the one who's designated his "core" group of charge personnel and preceptors, and gives them full control over patient assignments. There's very much a glass ceiling for getting into the "core" group as well. It's all very unfortunate.
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    Quote from TDage
    Thank you for that. However, I'm very much convinced he's fully aware of the situation re: unit culture - he's the one who's designated his "core" group of charge personnel and preceptors, and gives them full control over patient assignments. There's very much a glass ceiling for getting into the "core" group as well. It's all very unfortunate.
    Hey man, you have to take care of your own career. You wanted a better clinical experience and did what you needed to do...don't look back and have fun learning something new!
    vivacious1healer and TDFlMedicRN like this.
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    Sounds like your opportunity for growth was stunted while on the NICU unit. You put in your year of experience (which is fulfilling the verbal agreement you had with your manager).

    Like the above posters have said, you need to take care of your own career, as no one else is responsible for it, except you! Best of luck!
    TDFlMedicRN likes this.
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    I absolutely agree with the other posters. With the goals that you have staying somewhere that doesn't provide a good learning experience is not an option. I don't think you'll ever regret your decision
    vivacious1healer and TDFlMedicRN like this.
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    How is it you applied for a transfer without your manager knowing? In my geographic region the current manager MUST sign off on the transfer request PRIOR to the interview in the new unit.

    However, I DO understand that you were not given the opportunity for professional growth and development that is essential to feel useful. Glad you persued making things better. Good Luck.
    TDFlMedicRN likes this.
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    You fulfilled your commitment, sounds like they didn't meet the educational goals that you had previously been promised/expected. Perhaps had they maintained this, their unit would not be so short. That is a shame about them using you as far as your "size" skills.

    I hope this new opportunity allows the educational opportunities you hope for!
    TDFlMedicRN likes this.
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    you did the right thing. unfortunately i saw male nurses treated like this all the time in my clinicals...they always seem to get the same patients that are heavy to lift, difficult to manage, etc. then the managers wonder why the guys never stay. well duh!


    just talk frankly & professionally with your new manager & tell them the situation & why you chose to handle it the way you did, you will be great!!

    TDFlMedicRN likes this.
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    i thought it was rather professional of you to try to leave the neuro unit under respectful terms. like everyone else has stated, take what you have learned in neuro with you. who knows you may end up in a generalized micu where they tx everything & the yr of learning neuro will bennefit you & other nurses. good luck with the new transfer.
    TDFlMedicRN likes this.


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