PCU vs Med/Surg

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    I wanted to know what you all thought would be the better choice. I am completely TORN between two jobs. If you got a job offer for the following two new grad positions, which would you choose:

    One at a smaller non profit hospital in their progressive care unit. They have a wonderful residency program and offer a lot of classroom time and eventually move you to ICU and train you for that if you feel comfortable moving to ICU and if your preceptor feels you are ready. If you want to stay in progressive care, they let you do that too. There are nurses that have been there working there for MANY years and people seem to really like being there.

    The second choice is in a bigger magnet hospital that offers a bit more hourly pay and wonderful benefits. They also have a really good residency program, but much shorter. The residency program would place you in med/surg unit. The managers were all very friendly and the institution really seems to have a lot of resources available.

    Now I eventually want to work in labor and delivery in the future, so no ONE unit is calling me more than another. They all sound wonderful! I am trying to get experience as a new grad before pursuing further education ect... What would you all do? I'm torn because they both seem really great in their own way! On one hand one has is a magnet hospital with great benefits, pay and a wonderful residency program in a reputable hospital. On the other hand the other hospital gives me an opportunity to work in a critical care setting, also has a great residency program, and might look good later on when applying to L&D. What do you guys think? Do you think that really matters? What would you do?

    Thank you for your help!!
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

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    If money is not a factor for you, as a med/surg nurse, I would recommend taking the PCU position because those nurses don't take as many patients as a med/surg nurse. But not only that, you will get the skills needed to take care of more seriously-ill individuals. After you learn to do that, caring for med/surg patients won't be an issue; time management will be simply because we have put to 7 patients and some of the things we have to do requires us to be in possibly 7 places at once. Of course, this varies by facility. When I worked PCU, we got the overflow of med/surg patients as most units do when there aren't anymore med/surg beds. So you will still get that encounter. I can't compare the experience on either unit when it comes to any area of OB. I avoid that area at all cost.

    But I would definitely recommend taking thee word MAGNET out of the description of facility options in reviewing your consideratioins because it really means NOTHING when it comes to the treatment and training that you will get as an employee and the treatment the employees extend to the patients. This is just my opinion, of course. But I believe that's just a gimmick that some organization created to use as a means to attract people to their hospital while competing with other nearby hospitals. I worked for two magnet hospitals before and the one of them, I will never set foot in again as a nurse or a patient and the other, I left only due to relocation but it was pathetic how they only allowed the help of agency nurses when they were expecting a visit from Joint Commission. After the visit was over, the agency nurses disappeared and we couldn't get the help we needed for another couple of years (the next JC visit).

    So review YOUR NEEDS and ultimate goals when making your decision. In my opinion, smaller facilities provide better care because they are not faced with ALL that large facilities are faced with. I think goes a long way in easing the anxiety of a new grad. But if you like drama, crash courses, and the sink-or-swim experience, OR you like to get that adrenaline going, the larger the better. I more in a large teaching hospitaland there is never a dull moment!
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    You know what, you make a really good point! It will be a bit easier getting started with less patients. Also, I really appreciate your thoughts on the MAGNET thing. They make it seem like such a big deal and I was starting to think it really was. Also, when they were describing the residencies, it seemed that the PCU offered a lot more slow paced introduction to the floor. I really appreciate your answer! I think I made up my mind PCU it is!
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    I've worked at 2 magnets hospitals and one was excellent and I only had one problem with one of the directors there and he was quickly transferred because I wasn't the only one who had a problem with him. The staffing levels were appropriate there. And if you did have more than normal the charge nurses would take an assignment or they would try hard to get more help. The 2nd magnet hospital I would have panic attacks before work. They gave you an insane amount of patients and the people there were very snobby. The charge nurses yeah what a joke. So don't fall for the magnet status like I did. I quickly left the 2nd hospital. And the crazy thing is the 1st hospital was a top ranking hospital and the other one wasn't and you would have thought the 2nd one was with their attitude.

    But as far as your question PCU sounds better because you will learn a lot more. Even though you want L&D the PCU will make you more comfortable when an emergency arises in L&D.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
  7. 0
    I started as a new grad in PCU 1.5 years ago, and I know you will learn so much! I think you made the right choice. Good Luck in PCU!


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