i'm a newly hired nurse here in the u.s. and i need ur help in deciding what dept. i should specialize in coz the hospital offers many fellowships to choose from. i was supposed to be in the med-surg unit because i thought it was a requirement but i learned from the forums here that it is not necessarily like that. i prefer to be solely responsible for the patients and i don't like the idea of having to depend on other people to do all the work, which is the case if u are on the floor, right? i just want to know if it's different when u are in the critical unit? i need ur suggestions. pls? i'd really appreciate it...
Dec 14, '01
I know how you feel ... we go into nursing because we like doing things for our patients and as students we're taught hands-on. None of us want to give that up. We want to start our own IVs, draw our own labs, mix our own nebs.
Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way -- not even in a critical care unit. In fact, if you did try to do everything, you'd get completely overwhelmed and backlogged. Nurses must learn to delegate -- not everything and not all the time, but they have to do it.
This is more important in ICU than on the floor, in fact. There are times when one of your two patients needs your absolute, undivided attention for either critical medical, emotional, or social reasons. It is at those times when you have to turn the care of your other patient to one of your collegues.
Also, don't forget the phone calls, charting, and meds you need to keep up on -- more of all of them in an ICU than on the floor-- there's a reason you only have one or two patients. You'll be very thankful for all of the respiratory therapists and lab techs around to do some of the tasks you now want to do as a newbie.
More important than wanting to do everything is knowing what kind of patient population you want to work with. Believe me, nursing has never had a lack of things to do hands-on.