I am a nursing student about to enter my last semester
!!! I feel a calling to work in peds, and I think specifically PICU. I'm looking for advice in which direction I should go initially after gradutaion to give me the best knowledge base to carry me into the PICU. I currently work in the Emergency Room Admitting Department at my local children's hospital. Sometimes I think that (ER) would be a good place to start , but other times I don't because of so many run of the mill (sore throats, minor lacs, ect.) cases. Maybe peds med/surg? Any input would be appreciated. Also, any words of wisdom from PICU nurses regarding not becoming too emotionally involved in cases is greatly appreciated. Does it get 'easier' over time? I am not an overly emotional person in the first place, but we recently had a patient at our hospital that was heart-breaking. I know the best gift a nurse can give is compassionate care, but how does it not chip away at your soul?
Sorry so solemn, but thanks!
Oct 12, '06
I think that the best advice I can give you is to start where you feel the most comfortable. I began my career in a PICU as a GN. Unfortunately they did not offer any type of orientation and after 5 weeks of orientation they set me free. Well I fell flat on my face as you can well imagine. But I stuck with it and eventually it "clicked" for me and everything came together. I honestly believe that it was the right decision for me. Had I started anywhere else I would not have had to meet that challenge head on. 16 years later I am an educator for a peds cardiac ICU. The minimum orientation for an experienced nurse is 12 weeks.(Unless the experience is PCICU) and for GN's I leave them on for 6 months.
As for the emotional attachment I feel this way. The day I walk on to that unit and feel nothing or the day I don't cry when we lose someone is the day I get out of nursing.
Last edit by bwpcicuube on Oct 12, '06
Jan 26, '07
I've been reading this forum on and off for a long while now. I'm a L&D nurse with almost nine years experience, and for many reasons, it's time for a change. I have applied for a job in PICU, talked to some nurses that work in that area, and of course read a lot here. I've been thinking about this for a long time, and the timing and the posting timing are finally right. I can see that the nurses in PICU here in the forum love it, and that is even more encouraging!
I have a few questions...
1. What sorts of things should I read up on for an interview, should I get one? I do have a PALS course that I took in the fall, I'll read up on that even though I know the course is changing as we speak.
2. Will I really love it? I love looking after the sick L&D moms, they can be very complex!
3. Interview questions
I should prepare for? I started in L&D as a new grad and haven't had many interviews since that time.
4. I have no general peds experience...should I have that first?
Any advice/feedback would be invaluable and greatly appreciated!!
Last edit by Canadian_Nurse on Mar 6, '07