Quote from elizanne
I LOVE general med-surg peds, but I recently did a short observation in the NICU and fell in love with that as well. I'd really like to hear from general peds, PICU, and NICU nurses about these different areas. Pros and cons? What do you love about it? What would you rather do without?
I'm definitely grateful that this is my only dilemma since a lot of new grads are having are hard time finding jobs. Thanks for your help!
I worked in the PICU.
First and foremost, I loved seeing kids that were really sick (or very badly injured) get better. I saw some AMAZING recoveries- and some days, that was the only thing that kept me going back! I loved that I got to use my brain, and that I was frequently challenged. CVVH, high frequency ventilation, hypothermia protocol, drips and monitors galore, I could go on and on. I learned SO much.
The flip side of that- the things that I didn't like. Not everyone that was super sick/injured transfered to the floor and eventually left the hospital. There were a lot of them (too many for me) that never left the unit. Some of them were perfectly healthy children who were fine one day, and the next day they weren't. I was part of way too many care conferences.
I also didn't like having to chase someone down to cosign a PRN every time one of my patients started acting crazy or thrashing around, trying to self extubate. That leads me to doctors that firmly believed that sedation and analgesia prolonged the amount of time that patients required mechanical ventilation...so they just wouldn't order drips on the infants. Nerve racking to say the least.
That was just my experience. I wanted to work in the PICU when I was in nursing school but there were no positions available so I worked in an adult trauma center (much less sad, for me anyway) and quit when I was able to get a PICU position. Initially, it was great and I loved it. I have two young children though, and over time, it began to wreak emotional havoc on me. I dreaded going to work. Some people thrive in that environment and can stay long term, but I was not one of them.
Good luck with your decision!