I know this discussion has been presented many times by many different levels of student nurses to RNs to APNs. I would like to give a more detailed background about myself in hopes of a more detailed response
I am an Accelerated BSN student who is about to go into my 10 week residency which is the culmination of my program. I am trying to decide between the ED and the ICU for the residency as well as for future employment as an RN. I have been at a level one trauma, county hospital for my clinicals. I was in the ICU (one floor for all patients) for 10 weeks. I was only in the ED for 1 12 hour day. The hospital I will be at for both (hopefully) is a level one trauma center. I LOVE working in trauma...I know that for sure. So here are what I my thoughts on both:
- Amazing. Teamwork. These people tag team like no other.
- Constant movement
- Every patient is like a mini mystery
- Get them stable and move on
- Have MDs and Pharmacists working with you at all times
- Adrenaline rush with trauma's
- Broad knowledge of many degrees of care and stabilization
- Quick gratification from treatment given
- Critical thinking is a must...which is what I like
- Sometimes the patient to nurse ratio is nice, other days I get a little antsy
- More interaction with the patient and the family
- From what I have experienced, it is the culmination of nursing skill and knowledge
- Sometimes I feel like I am a housekeeper to tend to someone for weeks with no improvement
- Get to take care of the sickest of the sick
- Deep knowledge of patho and treatments
- Autonomy due to MDs not being there 24/7
- Possibility of being on code and/or rapid response team in future (dream of mine)
I went into nursing school with the idea of wanting to be an ICU nurse, but that changed when I went to the ED for my 1 rotation. It was a mild day, but it was the best clinical day I have had. My clinical instructor, family and nursing school friends see me in the ICU. I am torn!
TL;DR - ED or ICU for new grad?!?