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Best Way to Move from LTC/Rehab to ICU

purplegal purplegal (Member)

I am currently working two jobs, one as an ECG Technician and one as a RN at a ltc/rehab facility. Where I currently do ECGs, there is an ICU that sounds incredibly fascinating:

An intensive care unit that is one of the premier cardiac surgery centers in the nation. This highly specialized adult/pediatric cardiac surgery and heart/lung transplant intensive care unit provides technologically advanced postoperative management for all patient populations from neonate to geriatric requiring cardiac surgery.

An extensive multidisciplinary team and advanced support modalities such as ventricular assist devices (VAD), total artificial heart (TAH), and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in addition to multiple other critical care technologies make this an exciting and challenging place to work. State-of-the-art computerized documentation and monitoring systems are utilized. Family-centered care is supported with open visiting and a strong commitment to continuity of care and the primary nursing care delivery model. The high acuity and technologically advanced environment, in conjunction with shared decision making, creates numerous practice, research, and educational opportunities for nurses.

Skills include TPM, PPM, Chest reopening, chest tubes, trach, PEG, JP, NG/OG, pigtail cat, extubation, sedation, CT/MRI, Bronchoscopy, line placement, cortrac, IR, specimen collection, medications including inotrops, vasoactive, blood administration, insulin, heparin, CPN/lipids, paraltyics, and lines such as arterial lines, Cordis/STCVC, pAC, TDC, TPM wires, PICC, non-VAT blood draws, CRRT, Flexiseal, and pumps including PCA, Medication and Tube Feeding.

Right now, it would be too much. What would be the best way of eventually obtaining this job? I admire the nurses who work here and all the incredible things they do

tcvnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Thoracic Cardiovasc ICU Med-Surg. Has 15 years experience.

Have you ever worked at an acute care hospital? Thats your first step. These kinds of ICUs tend to hire either new grads or experienced ICU nurses. Sometimes internal transfers. BUT. No one will hire you to an ICU without acute care experience.

I would apply at teaching hospitals to an intermediate unit/stepdown area. Get some experience there and see how you like it.

The reality of working in cardiac surgery it is very fast paced and high stressed and even a "stable" patient could become unstable and or code at the drop of a hat. These patients are often the sickest ones in the entire hospital.

I'm not saying you can't ever make it there, but if you are serious it will take years of building experience and skills so you have a shot at it. SNF work is about the most opposite job of CVICU that I can think of.

Problem is I had a 3 month orientation in the hospital's cardiac surgical PCU that didn't go well.

Part of me thinks that, as appealing as this ICU sounds, it's probably out of the question because of my history with the PCU.

Thanks though.