Best ICU experience

  1. Im one semester away from graduating from a pretty good BSN program and am starting to look for jobs. If i want to eventually become a CRNA, which ICU area would be best. Im most likely going to be at a major hospital so its really just a matter of which area rather than hospital size or amount of patient flow.

    Thanks
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   andrew921
    It seems to be that the goal for the ICU experience required by anesthesia schools is for you to learn about ventilators, vasoactive and sedative medications, and invasive lines. Although you will get the vent and medication experience in most ICU's, the place to get the invasive line experience is in a CVICU. The trend in ICU care of patients is away from Swan-Ganz catheters, except in the CVICU. I just applied and interviewed at several schools and many of the questions posed were regarding Swan-Ganz catheters. I would try to get into a CVICU. I'm telling you this coming from someone who did not work in one (I worked in a Neuro/Trauma ICU for 6 years before applying for school). We did have Swan's but they were few and far in between.

    Good luck,
    Andrew
  4. by   piper_for_hire
    Second that - swans and drips. Don't discount MICUs - if they specialize in septic patients everyone will be swanned on every pressor you can think of.

    -S
  5. by   meandragonbrett
    Our MICU and SICU do not utilize swans period. They have to send their RNs to us in CVICU to learn swans. They actually have a non-invasive CO/CI monitor they use. Pretty interesting stuff. G
  6. by   piper_for_hire
    Someone told me today that they worked in a neuro ICU where most of the patients were swanned - so don't discount neuro when looking for an ICU.

    -S
  7. by   ***Bonita***
    CV Recovery/ICU. You will learn so much.
  8. by   Mags4711
    CVICU is good, but pretty diagnosis specific. If you want Swans and a good overall ICU experience, I'd go for Surgical ICU, you get plenty of septic folks, lots of drips, Swans, ECMO (if your facility does it), all diferent kinds of surgery patients, usually transplant, CVVH, basically a good overall smattering of patients.

    And I had plenty of patients who were in for a post-op issue and had an MI so you get cardiac/EKG exposure as well.

    Though Trauma has it merits, too. Trauma doesn't discriminate, I had a pt who was about four weeks post heart transplant and got biffed by a semi driving down the highway. Fascinating to take care of. I had plenty of Swans where I worked (but it was a Burn ICU as well as Level I trauma), loads of septic patients, lots of surgical issues, CVVH, and the bonus, I got ventrics/codmans.
  9. by   CavemanCRNA
    Any ICU that has lines, drips, vents, codes, and IABP. All of your interview questions come from ACLS. You can get questions about timing of balloon pumps. A CRNA advised me 11 years ago to find the sickest patients with the most lines and the most drips. Do it until you can't take anymore. Then apply for CRNA school. You want your ICU experience to be so bad that when things get tough in anesthesia school, and they will, you won't look back but continue to forge ahead. Hope this helps.
  10. by   piper_for_hire
    I think it depends on the school. None of my interview questions had anything to do with ACLS or balloon pumps.

    -S
  11. by   CavemanCRNA
    True. One school I was accepted, the interview consisted of me talking for 45 minutes about my nursing experience and the CTRU where I worked. At the end of the interview I as notified that I was accepted. Most other schools asked questions about pharmachology, vasoactive drips, hemodynamic interpretation, oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve, cardiopulmonary system, vent settings, etc.
  12. by   Brad_RN_Student_PA
    Quote from CavemanCRNA
    Any ICU that has lines, drips, vents, codes, and IABP. All of your interview questions come from ACLS. You can get questions about timing of balloon pumps. A CRNA advised me 11 years ago to find the sickest patients with the most lines and the most drips. Do it until you can't take anymore. Then apply for CRNA school. You want your ICU experience to be so bad that when things get tough in anesthesia school, and they will, you won't look back but continue to forge ahead. Hope this helps.
    Great advice!

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