pre-ICU experience

  1. Hey just wondering if anyone can give me any insight. I ultimately want to be a CRNA. Right now I am one year away from being an RN. I was offered two jobs today(both as a nurse tech), one in intermediate care the other in cardiac stepdown. Both seem to have postitives. The intermediate has a trauma unit, and they chart on ICU notes and have a lot of vents. There will be more variety of patients than in cardiac step down. In cardiac stepdown I will learn to read EKG's; they hang vasoactive drips and I will get my ACLS.
    If anyone can give me some advice into which would be better I would really appreciate it.
    jen )
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    About JennyMacRN2B

    Joined: Dec '03; Posts: 28


  3. by   bassbird
    Hi Jenny

    Good luck in your career. It's great to have goals established. I have been a nurse for 2 years now. I started on a cardiac stepdown unit. Here I have learned to read monitors, hang drips, etc. Either unit will probably be a good stepping stone to ICU and then on to CRNA school. (I'm heading to the ICU in August) For me, starting on a stepdown unit let me develop my organizational skills and improve my critical thinking. Whichever position you take, ask tons of questions and become a sponge.

    Good luck
  4. by   JennyMacRN2B
    Thanks for your input Bassbird
  5. by   catcolalex
    whichever one will better prepare you to get into an ICU, both sound good, so choose one that you would like better. remember, you're not going to stay there so you might as well enjoy the time you do spend there.
  6. by   bwt02
    My advice is to go straight to the ICU. There is really no need to start in an intermediate unit if that is not were you really want to be. Some nurses love the step down units, and others will refuse to even float there on occassion.
  7. by   JennyMacRN2B
    Thanks so much for the advice, I have an interview in the NICU on monday...thats my first choice, so wish me luck If I don't get that I will prob go with the intermediate b/c of the variety, and I really liked the staff.
  8. by   david3249

    Either unit sounds good, but the ICU would be a better choice if you are thinking about a career in anesthesia. For one thing, almost every CRNA program requires a least a year of critical care experience for admission. After you've been in NICU for awhile, you might check to see if your hospital has a critical care float pool. Not only will you great experience, you will also be working with the CRNA's, anesthesiologists, surgeons, etc., who will be a good cource of letters of recommendation down the road. Also, if you spend some time in MICU / SICU, you will deal with challenging cardiax cases anyway; in fact, you will get everything you'd get in the step-down, and then some, because your cases wil be a lot more involved on any of the ICU's than they would be in a telemetry / step-down.

    Good luck! :hatparty:

  9. by   catcolalex
    some schools want adult ICU exp. i am assuming that NICU is newborn or neonatal ICU? I have a friend who could only apply to certain schools because she does newborn ICU. check with the schools you want to attend and ask what they want, this will also give you a heads up to what they are looking for as far as experience goes.
  10. by   JennyMacRN2B
    the NICU I am interviewing for is Neuro ICU; I don't think I could work with little babies w/o constantly being depressed. The school I want to attend just says they want ICU experience, and the broader the better.
    Thanks all of you and Have a great day
  11. by   Katnip
    Our intermediate care requires being able to read EKGs and monitors. You DO get a wider variety there, but it's often a lot busier than an ICU because you have more patients. Our unit has very high acuity patients and we are now doing drips that were only done in ICU a few months ago.

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