Utmost respect for Burn Unit Nurses. - page 2

I am in my last semester of nursing school. Last week's clinical was in the Burn Unit. I was able to help with taking off dressings, hydrptherapy, and redressing. Some of these patients were on... Read More

  1. by   dpiana
    I woked on a Burn Unit for almost 10 years in NYC. I was drawn to Burn Nursing because at the time I liked seeing wounds heal. But Burn Nursing is so much more. For the most part these are really really sick patients with ventilators, lines, drips, cardiac monitors, tubes and on and on. Big social issues. Where I worked it was a mixed unit; babies, children, adults...what u see is quite horrific, sad and very unusal....but there has not been a job since my days on the burn unit where I knew I made a difference in somebody's life. You are really making a huge difference. What kept me going day after day was the extraordinary group of people that work on a Burn unit. From the RNs, LPNs, Aides, Housekeepers (oh my god the housekeepers are amazing), docs, PT, OT, Nutritionist, Social workers...what an incrediable group of people. You know you are on a team that is unlike anything else. Do it for 3-4 years, then move on. It is exhausting both physically, emotionally and mentally.
  2. by   MadpeysRN
    I have thought about doing burn nursing, what kind of experience do you need? Also wound care...
  3. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    Quote from madpeys
    I have thought about doing burn nursing, what kind of experience do you need? Also wound care...
    Honestly, I'm a new grad who was hired directly onto a burn unit. (We have floor, tele, and ICU beds and we are expected to work them all.)

    Burn is SUCH a niche specialty, unless you have prior experience r/t military medic/RN stuff. Previous wound care experience is a plus but not necessarily always relevant because most wound care revolves around pressure ulcers, etc. on your general floors. The biggest area that was hit on when I interviewed was actually my ability to deal with psychiatric (diagnosed and undiagnosed) patients, as well as patients from a lower socioeconomic stratum. Why? Because the majority of burn patients are poor folks with psych/addiction issues.

    Don't know what you meant by the "also wound care" but, yes, you will be doing wound care. Depending on where you're applying, perhaps not as much as you'd think because most units have techs who are specialized in wound care. (Unfortunately, this does mean that you end up doing a lot of "tech work" like bathing, dressing, bedpans, etc. because the techs are doing dressing changes.) But it is a big part of the work and not something that you can get around.

    My best advice would definitely be to shadow on the burn unit. See if you can stomach it. I actually wasn't as grossed out as I thought I would be when I initially shadowed, and I shadowed with a ripe 85er% burn. Smell isn't as bad as you'd think or as bad as it can initially be down in the ER.

    'tho, thank god I'm a vegetarian because escharotomies smell like BBQ to me.
  4. by   Guttercat
    I realized burn was not mah thang some years ago when I worked ED, and a house fire victim came through our doors. The whole scene was so bad it was the only time I've ever had to physically remove myself to the bathroom to uurrp (ever try to start an IV on an arm that peels like charbroiled marshmallow when you pick it up?).

    It also took a long time to "get the smell out of my nose..." A couple of years in fact. Not to mention the horrible pain of the patient. I just can't go there.

    Hats off to those that can.