Yeah, or if you will get a new admission, or a patient that crashes while you're in the other room doing something else with your other pt.
I am a new grad and have been in the ICU for about 2.5 months now. And I'm now at the point where I'm thinking of asking to be put back into med surg until I get my time management skills and sea legs. But this is just me. I have no prior nursing experience whatsoever, no prior tech experience or anything. I did have a month on a really busy med surg floor in school, but that's not enough, believe me. And yes, I did very well in nursing school, got good grades, was one of the "smart ones," LOL.
I am gearing up to tell my manager, and I feel entirely at peace with my decision. My goal is to get back to this unit in about 6 months or a year, maybe even more, who knows. I just know now that I need it before I even attempt ICU again.
I do have a very stressful home situation as well. Hubby is gone overseas, kids at home, lots of responsibilities and I can't find the time to take care of myself well enough to be ready to go in there with guns blazing.
Again, this is MY situation. If you're young, strong, smart, have freedom on your off days to really study, or to come in and practice skills on your off days (that's what I wish I could do, but can't as I do have a family to take care of as well) have had some prior experience, even as a tech, I thnk you could do it w/ the right preceptor and courses.
I know I will be ICU material someday, but just not now. I can easily grasp the pathyphysiological concepts, but I need time management skills and basic nursing skills solid in my brain first. Also need solid support at home as well.
Just getting to this decision takes an enormous burden off of my soul at this point. I don't feel the slightest bit ashamed ...ICU is a LOT of additional information and skills to learn, a lot of critical thinking, on top of your basic nursing skills. You gotta be fast, and you have to handle very tough situations. Just the illness level of the patients is so sad ... sometimes that is also what would put me over the edge. And yes, we all love a challenge, but this is a really HUGE challenge that for me was not doable.
But it IS doable, with the right conditions. I also feel that the unit needs to BUY IN to your presence there. Our unit took on 5-6 new nurses at once -- so, we were juggled among preceptors w/ odd schedules, and there was little consistency. Not good, not good. You need a consistent, solid preceptor who will not abuse you and who can bring you along quickly without killing you in the process.
Just words of experience from one new grad out here now.