What is the difference: MICU vs. CTICU?

  1. Good Afternoon Fellow RNs!
    I am currently an oncology/tele med-surg RN (of 1 1/2 yrs.) hoping to interview for both a Medical ICU & Cardio Thoracic ICU nursing position. My questions are:
    1.) What are some of the challenges & stressors in MICU vs. CTICU nursing?
    2.) Are there more ventilated patients in MICU or CTICU?
    3.) Which do you recommend as a better place to start as my 1st ICU job?

    Thank you to all Responders! Look 4ward to hearing your pearls of wisdom!

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    About ReeseW

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 33; Likes: 2
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in Nursing Informatics


  3. by   AfloydRN
    The CCU I worked in was a general CCU- but we also recovered post open hearts. Medical CCU is a catch all. Any patient goes- Renal, neuro, GI, cardiac etc. Cardiothoracic should be post open hearts, valves, fem pops, AAA stents etc.. Any CCU stressors are typically the same. It's just learning to organize and prioritize your care. Learning to look at trends and anticipate whats going to happen next is not taught, comes w/ time.
  4. by   LoraLou
    stressors would pretty much be equal, a Medical ICU is medical type patients, you'll be getting pnemonia's, people on gtts, anything requiring ICU care except for surgeries, it will be a catch all unit. CTICU will be mostly surgical patients, I currently work in that and we take any surgical patients that the cardiothoracic surgeons do, thoracotomies, Open Heart Surgery (cabg and valve), cartoids, thoracic aneuyisms, etc. As for which you should go to, go where you have the most interest, you'll learn much more and function better in a unit where you have a true interest in the type of illness your patients have.