Burn ICU Question


OK, this is kind of broad...I'm a CEN/CCRN who has worked in Medical/Surgical/Cardiac/Cardiothoracic ICUs and the ED, I'm in nurse practitioner school and trying to get a job at the university for tuition benefits. I started looking at the various ICU openings and there was one in the Burn ICU. I've never even really thought about burn before, but it caught my eye and kind of intrigued me, so I applied. From what I understand, it's a small unit that does get a fair amount of overflow from other ICUs due to the fact that it's not a major burn center. I'm not really sure what I might be getting myself into! :-). I've worked with burn patients in the ED (I worked in this same hospital's ED a number of years ago) and I've seen some really bad burns. What is "life" like as a Burn ICU nurse? (told you it'd be broad!)I'm working on my DNP and looking at sepsis and shock for my research. I would guess you deal with that a lot in a Burn ICU? What else could I expect (if I even gt the job, I've just applied at this point)?Thanks!


47 Posts

I worked in an Australian city public ICU that had a burns speciality for 3 years.

A few random thoughts that entered my head when I read your note:

  • The rooms are really hot, which is hard to work in when you are in scrubs/gowns.

  • The smell is awful- they always get infections.

  • The dressings take hours (sometimes 4 hours). The skin is slimy and some staff assisting have fainted.

  • There are usually some psych issues that surface when they get better. Either spacing out on all the ketamine they need for dressings; or trauma and stress from the incident.

  • It's a tough area, but it looks good on your CV; and you hear and see some amazing things!

Good luck.


352 Posts

Has 10 years experience.

OK, I've got an interview! I'm really getting excited about this. I think it'd be a great experience. The recruiter I talked to said that this is kind of a fluke, there are never any openings in this unit (I've never seen one posted before). I guess that's good, must mean staff turnover is low. What sort of things should I be doing to prepare for an interview? Anything in particular that I should read up on? Any questions that I should ask?Thanks!