Pittsburgh Hospitals

  1. Hi. I am graduating in May and trying to decide where to work. It seems like every hospital is about the same in pay/sign on bonus. I was wondering if there was a reason someone works for a hospital over another hospital. I feel overwhelmed by the choices out there. Any info is appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   K98
    According to the travel nurses on my unit, there isn't much difference between the major teaching hospitals. West Penn just achieved magnet status, and that's supposed to be a good thing. I work at another WPAHS hospital and would not do it again.
  4. by   NurseyBaby'05
    I know one thing I looked @ re: sign-on was the length of committment. Also, I looked at the fine print about "high need" facilities that some health systems sneaked in the contracts to sign. The facility that I work at pro-rates your sign-on. Yeah, it was a little disappointing to get a smaller first check when my friends were getting theirs in a lump sum, but now they're stuck at a facility or having to repay several thousand dollars if they leave. If I leave where I'm at now, I only have to pay back the last increment I received. You don't know what's going to be a good fit until you get there. I received 20% when I signed-on, 20% when I passed my boards, 30% when I was an RN for a year, 30% when I've been a RN for two years. Some people were taking their sign-ons during our last year and some of them didn't wind-up passing. It wasn't pretty.
  5. by   K98
    Very good advice in the above post
  6. by   Pompom
    Are you interested in a teaching hospital or a smaller community hospital? UPMC seems to be taking over but I worked for them through an agency and I can say they work their nurses to death with little resources and supplies. What area of nursing are you interested in? OB, PSych, etc...One of my favorite hospitals was Mercy but now that UPMC bought it I don't know what will happen.
  7. by   pghfoxfan
    What are your interests?

    West Penn and Mercy have great burn units.
    AGH and Mercy have great trauma units
    Presby has a good Liver transplant unit.
    Many of them have very good ICUs for anything from CCU's, Open Heart, MICU's( I suggest the larger hospitals for ICU experience. Presby, West Penn, Mercy, AGH, Shady Side.
    Childrens for anything kid related.
    Magee for anything female related
    Magee or West Penn for any Neo Natal interests.

    If I left a unit or hospital out, I'm sorry...no bad intentions.

    Anyway, what are you interested in?
  8. by   Lacie
    Dont forget the VA hospital who has one of the top liver transplant units in the country. Bennies outwiegh any civilian sector also due to federal retirement, days off and vacation allowances.
  9. by   tatarn2b2007
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I am interested in ICU or PCU. I have done clinicals at West Penn and enjoyed it for the most part. I will be looking into West Penn to work when I graduate. Does anyone work there? Do you like it? Thanks again.
  10. by   tatarn2b2007
    Any thoughts on UPMC Passavant?
  11. by   pghfoxfan
    I like West Penn. I can't speak for a UPMC hospital because I have never worked in one.
    I think another thing to consider is the area of the hospital and your drive in. I personally would never want to work in Oakland. Traffic and parking my only reasons. Most city hospitals offer shuttle parking, which does add to your commute, but can save some money. West Penn for one, is free. Big perk, IMO.
  12. by   Shamira Aizza
    Quote from tatarn2007
    Hi. I am graduating in May and trying to decide where to work. It seems like every hospital is about the same in pay/sign on bonus. I was wondering if there was a reason someone works for a hospital over another hospital. I feel overwhelmed by the choices out there. Any info is appreciated. Thanks!
    Depends on what you want to do...specifically, what kind of ICU.

    If you just want adult ICU, you could probably go pretty much anywhere. All of the big hospitals have similary acuity in their general and medical ICU's.

    If you want CT-ICU, go to Presbyterian. You will be exhausted and likely overwhelmed for a bit, but after two years (or less), which is usually the payback for any bonus, you will be able to work in any unit in the country and will be able to get into any graduate school. I worked in the unit as a new grad and one evening one of the travelers told me that if you can survive there, you can survive anywhere. Those patients are sick; they will fix just about anyone's aorta, no matter how tore up, transplant a heart into just about anyone (they put a liver in an AIDS patient), and they'll do a 5 vessel CABG+ventricular aneurysm repair+valve repair on a 75 year-old obese man with diabetes and renal disease who has already had a dozen stents and one previous CABG. Try keeping that fellow alive for a 12 hour shift after surg.

    Their Trauma/Surg ICU and Surg ICU are equally demanding.

    That said, I sent my parent to West Penn for CABG...just a nicer cardiac facility for lower acuity cardiac surgery. Shadyside has a CT-ICU as well, and a friend of mine worked in the neuro ICU at Shadyside.

    Children's for PICU or NICU. West Penn or McGee's Womens for NICU. West Penn for Burn ICU, or Mercy for Burn/Trauma ICU.

    I imagine things are a bit stodgy at Mercy right now as they become UPMC-Mercy. It will settle no doubt, but I wouldn't want to deal with that as a new grad.

    The ICU at St. Margaret is nothing more than a "Technical Dependency" ICU or Geriatric ICU. Not someplace you want to go if you have aspirations to expose yourself to progressive medicine.

    I no longer live in Pittsburgh, but if I were to go back, I'd probably go to Children's ICU's or the NICU at McGee or West Penn.
  13. by   JoshuaAdamsRN
    Oops, Mulder, you forgot to mention West Penn received the ANCC Magnet Designation.

    Cheers,
    Your Favorite Magnet ER Nurse
  14. by   tatarn2b2007
    Thanks everyone for the info. I am still leaning towards West Penn right now. I had an interview there last week. I have a few more interviews to go on, so that could change!

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