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An ICU that will give you plenty of opportunity to work with ventilators and multiple IV drips. A busy CVICU or SICU, or a mixed ICU that has a lot to offer. When you interview, scope out how the manager feels about going back to school. I'm sure advancing your education will come up during the interview. If they seem to have a negative reaction to your hope to return to school (and you can be vague when you plan to return, just say something like I'm considering returning to received my advanced practice......) I'd look at interviewing with another manager. The schools I applied to required an evaluation/recommendation from my manager.
Ditto...multiple, drips, vents, invasive lines, I would tend to stay away from anyplace that is strictly CV, this will limit you and allow you to only get focused on the heart. I would work somewhere that gives you experience with a varied population. With that said you will see lots of lines in CV and working there would not be bad experience at all. So the point being. Get varied experience....if you can.
CVICU all, if you the way if you have a choice. Heres the deal if you get great experienrce in a busy large fresh postop CVICU or RR then you can go work prob. in any other unit besides maybe Neuro.
Once comfortable and competent in Hemodynamic mgmt, drugs, drips ect you will be more versatile Ill say. You will be able to float to trauma say and be pretty comfortable in managing a fresh trauma just out of OR.
On the flip side many trauma ICU nurses have floated the CVICU and been a little shocked in trying to admit a fresh CAB and mega drips that is all over the place as far as stability and is loaded with devices. Even at a large busy trauma center there is not going to be 15-20 major traumas a day to admit like at a major heart center that pump out that many CPBP cases a day.
The CV unit will give you experience with aggressive mgmt. We want to recover these pt's asap is tolerated. We want extubation soon ect. With many trauma issues you end up sitting on the pt for a while and maintaining them, not being to aggressive.
Id say the trauma may be a little more emotionaly stressful though ICU areas are. All trauma is a total unexpected shock to both the pt and family that is usually tradgic (mispelled). Many CV cases are planned day,weeks to months in advanced though def. not all. The pt and family are better prepared and know that death is a risk they have taken. As well many trauma pt's are younger as compared with the older cardiac surgery pt's. Though age should not matter the death of a younger pt always seems to be harder on family as well as staff that provided care.
All in all both ICU's are great. SICU too. Again I just reiterate that if you manage CT postop patients well then you can go to any SICU and manage a critical belly case or plastics case ect. While many SICU RN's with no CT experience have more difficulty managing the fresh heart surgery pt.
Neuro on the other hand is a total diff. story. I have no I idea how to manage a pt with severe brain trauma with all kinds of intra cranial monitoring. Neuro ICU though a great place would not be the place to go get your exp for CRNA school.