Making the move- PCU-ICU?

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    Hello everyone. I have always been interested in critical care, especially neuro critical care and I just recently applied to a position at a large Trauma 1 hospital. My question to you is, do you feel like you had adequate training/orientation to feel competent?

    I realize most of the real learning is on the job just doing things and asking questions but I'm afraid to go into this and not feel like I wasn't trained thoroughly enough to feel safe. I am not afraid to ask questions, but I want a solid orientation. It seems many facilities do not want to train as much right now due to the economy/job market. Most job opportunities require at least one year experience in the chosen specialty.

    I have about 15 months experience on a stroke PCU where I could have up to 5 patients (usually is 5), which is insane because of the acuity of these people. I've taken care of 2 hour post-op brain surgery case, CVA's (hemorrhagic & ischemic), patients post tPA, patients with brain tumors, meningitis, closed head trauma, neuro deficits due to drug use, MS, and we have 2 specialty beds for seizure patients. I don't have any experience with vents or ICU equipment, but I feel that maybe I would be happier having 1 or 2 very sick patients and being able to do more for them. I am thankful for any thoughts!

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  2. 1 Comments...

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    Sounds like you're already taking care of high acuity patients. I'd think that you would be happier with 1 or 2 very sick patients. Vents and gtts can be learned on the job. I worked two years of cardiac telemetry/stepdown before going to icu and was intimidated by vents at first. I was used to most of the gtts. Now I prefer to take care of vented pts, I know that airway is protected! I received an one month critical care course and 3 months orientation. By that time, I was ready to be on my own. Most of your learning will occur on your own though.


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