So, Can I do this someday?

  1. I graduated in December and started my job on a med/surg type floor. (A lot of neuro, but we get general medical pt.s too sometimes). I really wanted to work on a cardiac floor, but it was so hard to get a job where I live that I finally took the job I have now b/c I needed it, and I figured I would get good experience. I'm learning and becoming a little more confident. (I still feel sick on my way to work sometimes, but hopefully that'll go away someday). I have to stay where I'm at for a year and would hopefully like to work in a CCU at my hospital or another one close by if I can. I guess my question is, Do you nurses, who have worked on a med/surg floor before, like working in the CCU/CVICU better? If so, why do you like it better. Is having 1-2 really sick patients sometimes less stressful than having 6-7 regular patients? (This many pt.s kills me sometimes, but I understand that the pt.s in CCU are sicker so maybe it evens out...I don't know). I did rotations in the CCU and CVICU during clinical and I liked them both a lot, but I know its different when you're the actual nurse. Also, have any of you nurses been really nervous to go into work (even when you worked on a med/surg floor?) and overcome that to love working in a critical care setting? Just needing some info from other nurses. Thanks!
  2. Visit palmettogirl profile page

    About palmettogirl

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 23; Likes: 13
    RN
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in ICU, med/surg

    6 Comments

  3. by   BBFRN
    I went to the open heart unit after working med/surg & telemetry for years. I never regretted it. I actually felt safer with my critical care patients (usually), because there were only 1 or 2, and they were more heavily monitored. I got burned out in med/surg, which happens quite often.

    Med/surg can definitely be one of the more challenging areas to work in, because you have to fine-balance that heavy patient load, and 1 event with 1 patient on your team can trash any other plans you have with your other patients.

    I got treated with more respect by others on the health care team in critical care, too- which stinks, as med/surg nurses are often the backbone of the hospital. Many hospitals ask way too much of them.

    I am a firm believer that if you can work in med/surg, you can do just about anything.
    Last edit by BBFRN on Jul 7, '09
  4. by   Rene24
    I took a job on a cardiac surgical intermediate floor right out of nursing school and totally had that same sick feeling on the way to work. I would literally throw up on my way to work this went on for several months (but only when i worked day shifts and not nights). I got comfortable after the first few months - I think part of the problem was the person I oriented with. I've been there now for two years and have two weeks left before I start in CCU. I think you can defintely do it - it might be better to start out on an intermediate floor if you have no tele or rhythm experience.
  5. by   jhodaki, RN
    palmettogirl,

    I also graduated in December, and went to the CVICU right after school. I knew it would be hard, but we did a rotation there as students and I LOVED it, begged for a job, and I got it.

    Some nights I still feel sick going to work... so you are not alone! Although I am not getting fresh open heart patients yet (that happens at the one year mark), I still feel overwhelmed at work some nights... I guess most nights. However, I feel like I'm learning like crazy... from the drips to what to do in different situations. I have completely grown in the environment, and quite honestly I think it's hard not to.

    I know the way of thinking was for new grads and "inexperienced" RNs to start on a med/surg floor to learn organizational skills, etc. We are getting cancelled so often now that I have been floating to medical floors and the medical ICU. I think all areas are different, and you will take the skills you learned on med/surg to wherever you go. I think the ICU just gives me more confidence, because I feel as if I am competent enough to man any situation. It's hard for me to say if I would feel that on another floor or unit, because this is what I am used to. Just know that the ICU is challenging, but you are never alone in a situation. I am constantly asking questions and having people help me with tons of stuff... I never feel like I am stuck doing something by myself. I think it's really important that you not only find a place where you feel comfortable in your nursing skills, but also with the people you work with. That's what makes it all worthwhile ya know?

    But go for it! I can tell you that from my floating experiences to other units, I definitly prefer the ICU. It keeps you on your toes and you are constantly learning. You can do it!
  6. by   GucciRN22
    Yup, still sick sometimes! But now it's usually only after I've been off for more than like 5 days or if I had a really crappy shift the last time I worked.
  7. by   WalkieTalkie
    I started as a new grad in the CVICU. I had previously worked many years as a tech, with experience in a nursing home, SICU, and ER.

    I personally love taking care of the really sick patients. If they're awake, alert, and talking, that equals boring for me

    I'd personally be more stressed out caring for 6 walky-talky types than for 2 critically ill patients. However, the CVICU can be a very stressful place. There are so many different parameters to track. For example, last night I had a patient with a fresh post-op LVAD, on a balloon pump, had a Swan, on the ventilator, pressors, getting blood products, etc. It took a good 15 minutes every hour just to chart numbers and what not... but I love that sort of thing.
  8. by   Mrs.Rollins
    I get that sick feeling fairly often as a new grad in ICU/CVICU. I start each day by taking bedside report, verifying my lines and all due meds, reviewing labs/diagnostics/documentation, and taking a deep breath and saying to myself, "You can do this!" All in that order. :spin:

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