Quote from log0phile
I feel that I am running away from the tremendous challange (that I know I am fully capable of accomplishing) and would appreciate any reinforcement that veteran PICU RNs may have to offer. All I can see right now is the daunting aspect of it. If you would, please take a little time and elucidate the positive side of this kind of nursing... the side that initially captivated me and magnetically drew me towards it... the side of which I have lost sight...
I am so sorry to hear that you are having second thoughts, but this is absolutely normal. As you finish your training it is very easy to become daunted by the transition from student to RN and the responsibilities that this entails. It is not something that is unique to the PICU environment and my gut instinct is that you would be feeling this way no matter which area of nursing you entered.
As for the reasons to join PICU, well I can only tell you about the satisfaction I get from this high-demand area:
As a nurse in the PICU I get to work in a fast paced environment where I learn something new every day. I get to treat children that are so sick and meet families that are experiencing the worst time of their lives. There are no promises that we can restore the child to their previous way of life, but we give it our best shot. This means that we are always thinking 2 or 3 steps down the line - trying to troubleshoot before a problem has even presented itself. The respect a PICU nurse gets from other nurses is quite amazing and it is given in the knowledge that no matter how sick a child is the PICU nurse will always cope. If things go wrong for a patient we can make the last hours or days of life a time filled with love and respect. Even when this happens, knowing that I have done as much as I can it can be satisfying in an odd way... I guess it stems from the fact that if it is done well then the family is completely prepared and at ease with the outcome.
Having said all of this, don't worry if PICU isn't what you want straight away. There is plenty of time to come back to the PICU after getting your feet wet somewhere else. I hope you make the decision that will be right for you. Good Luck.