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Application Help, Please

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by rigmedic rigmedic (Member) Member

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Hi, guys.

I am graduating in the spring as an RN. I have been a paramedic for 6 years, the last year of which has been as a remote medic on an offshore oil rig.

My question is regarding which area to put down on applications as my preference of unit. Most of the applications ask you to list the top 3 choices of unit and the top 3 facilities (large systems). I am interested in primarily three areas; Adult Critical Care, the OR and the ER, in that order.

My dilemma is that I want to make sure I get into an area that offers the possibility of night and weekend shift differentials and OT. If any of you have been the stereotypical "broke medic", you know what I mean.

It appears to me that the OR works fairly set daytime hours and doesn't appear to offer the nights/weekends thing. I am leaning strongly toward Critical Care. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

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WolfpackRed has 4 years experience and specializes in Nurse Anesthesia, ICU, ED.

245 Posts; 5,869 Profile Views

New grad her, but I would think that critical care/ED would give you the maximum potential to work nights/weekend, as many new nurses start on these shifts for orientation, and OT. I would think that the OR could have potential if you are in a large enough hospital or had a on call status. I don't know much about OR, or ICU/ED, and am just basing these on my observations.

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SteveNNP has 9 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic).

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Any unit has its share of nights and weekend shifts to fill. Most places require that you work every other weekend, some have weekend only shift tracks. These often involve a higher payscale in addition to weekend/night differential. I think it'll depend on the individual unit whether there are weekend only tracks or night tracks available. There are ALWAYS night tracks open. And most people would rather have the weekend off. Pick the area you want to work in. It doesn't matter how much money you make, if you hate it, you hate it....

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74 Posts; 1,613 Profile Views

Thanks, guys. As I said, I am drawn toward the more "technical" side of nursing, and I loved my OR rotation back when I went through paramedic school. My only worry about doing OR is that it seems so specialized that it really limits you, plus I was worried about getting enough hours. One of my goals is to try to stay away from areas where I would get high patient to nurse ratios, because I know that would drive me absolutely crazy. My state (NC) does not limit ratios and some of the ER's are nutty with how many patients they expect one RN to handle.

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WolfpackRed has 4 years experience and specializes in Nurse Anesthesia, ICU, ED.

245 Posts; 5,869 Profile Views

I do recall that the ER at Forsyth Medical center told me, when I interviewed, that the nurse : pt ratio was dependent on which "zone" you were in. IIRC, red zone (critical) pt's was like 1:2 or 3; yellow (intermediate)zone was up to 1:6 and green (primary care type)zone was up 1:8 or 9.

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SteveNNP has 9 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic).

2 Articles; 2,512 Posts; 25,789 Profile Views

The OR doesn't have to be "limiting" to your career.... you can sign on to a Cardiothoracic, transplant, etc. surgical group and learn as you specialize in that area....

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Any specialty area is going to require that you complete an orientation in that area before you will be permitted any overtime. You are not even counted in the number of nurses on per shift, until you have completed the required orientation and have been signed off and permitted to function completely on your own.

No matter if it is OR, ED, or even ICU.

Most ORs have call schedules and you will be expected to pick up hours on it once you complete your orientation. And many ORs are staffed 24/7, so getting hours that way is not a problem. But again, completing orientation first in all of them will delay you from the overtime.

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