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Changing departments after a rough start.

Nurses   (439 Views | 6 Replies)
by KatieRN29 KatieRN29 (New) New Nurse

65 Profile Views; 3 Posts

Hello everyone,

I want to start this by asking for any advice or insight if anyone has been in the same situation. It would be greatly appreciated. Now to my story....... I graduated two years ago with my asn, I was 21 at the time and enjoyed nursing school very much, graduated top of my class and had aspirations of going to CRNA school, so, I accepted a job at a large hospital in the CICU. I also enrolled back into school less than a month after graduating nursing school because there were several pre reqs courses that I needed to take before I could start my BSN. I enrolled in 4 courses for that semester (all online) and started in the CICU. The hospital was 60 miles one way from where I live but I was willing to sacrifice the drive to obtain the experience in hopes of going to CRNA school. Shortly after I started I was to a point of crying before work, could not sleep the night before a shift, had no appetite and started feeling depressed. I attributed it being exhausted from driving 120 miles everytime I had to go to work, taking so many courses at once online while trying to learn the role of being a nurse, along with attending classes mandatory for the CICU (CRRT,IABP, etc). So, I applied for another ICU position at my local hospital (small rural hospital) and got the job, started and even though I felt more rested, I was still doing the same thing, crying before work,  nervous at work, no appetite. After talking with my family, I decided that maybe the ICU isn't for me and a position became avalible in PACU and I applied and started.... this all happened in the course of 6 months..... now after 1 1/2 years of being in PACU, I love my job and I love the people that I work with. I feel comfortable at work and am happy. However, I now realize that I put to much on my plate at the beginning of my nursing career and that was more than likely they reason I didn't succeed in the ICU at first. I was very ashamed of myself because I failed at it. I still very much want to become a CRNA, especially now that I have been able to work around and see first hand of what that job entails. Recently, I have been contemplating giving ICU another shot with the intent of eventually applying to CRNA school. But, I am scared to leave my current job in PACU not knowing if I will actually like being full time in ICU. I just dont know how to approach this situation because I do not want to get myself in the same position that I did when I first graduated plus if I leave PACU, the turnover is so low that I would not be able to easily get my position back. Has anyone gone thru a similar situation? Any advice on how to approach this? 

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,332 Posts; 33,063 Profile Views

Considering your age, I say try ICU again. You're too young to settle without being 100% sure about what you want.

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CalicoKitty has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-surg.

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1 hour ago, KatieRN29 said:

now after 1 1/2 years of being in PACU, I love my job and I love the people that I work with. I feel comfortable at work and am happy.

Honestly, you may want to stay. Plenty of people are unhappy with their jobs. Happiness at work is lucky. 

I'd probably finish your BSN first, focus on that and your grades. PACU can be considered critical care, maybe work towards your CCRN?

1 hour ago, KatieRN29 said:

I was still doing the same thing, crying before work,  nervous at work, no appetite. After talking with my family, I decided that maybe the ICU isn't for me

Maybe it isn't for you. Not a fault. ICU isn't for everyone. Plenty of awesome nurses hate the ICU for a million reasons. Others love it. Figure out what you liked/disliked about it. No reason not to try it again, and PACU isn't really "limiting" you in the way some specialties are.

I'd suggest finishing up your BSN, try ICU again when you have nothing else on your plate, apply for CRNA school after you get settled into the new position.

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9 hours ago, CalicoKitty said:

Honestly, you may want to stay. Plenty of people are unhappy with their jobs. Happiness at work is lucky. 

I'd probably finish your BSN first, focus on that and your grades. PACU can be considered critical care, maybe work towards your CCRN?

Maybe it isn't for you. Not a fault. ICU isn't for everyone. Plenty of awesome nurses hate the ICU for a million reasons. Others love it. Figure out what you liked/disliked about it. No reason not to try it again, and PACU isn't really "limiting" you in the way some specialties are.

I'd suggest finishing up your BSN, try ICU again when you have nothing else on your plate, apply for CRNA school after you get settled into the new position.

I do plan to finish my BSN while working in PACU before making any move. If PACU experience is accepted towards CCRN then I would try to obtain that as well. I feel like alot of what made me nervous in ICU to start with was I constantly was on edge because I was scared for someone to code, and I also felt incompetent with sick patients that had alot going on. I take care of ICU patients in PACU now and it doesnt bother me so that makes me feel like I could go back to ICU and succeed this time. I feel like I really didn't give ICU a chance before I jumped ship so I dont really know if I would like it or not but I do know that I want to be a CRNA and if I'm going to do that then I need atleast one year on ICU experience. I guess if I still dont like it then it will be a sacrifice for something that I really want. 

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speedynurse is a RN, EMT-P and specializes in ER.

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Have you ever thought of shadowing in an ICU? Or taking a PRN job instead of giving up your fulltime? The only reason I am saying to be cautious is that you said you love your job and love your team. And to be honest, that can be hard to find sometimes. I have left teams that I have loved and gotten along with beautifully because I thought I needed a change - only to go into an environment that was much worse and unsupportive. You may love the ICU and have a great team! Or you may have a very hard time again. 

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4 hours ago, speedynurse said:

Have you ever thought of shadowing in an ICU? Or taking a PRN job instead of giving up your fulltime? The only reason I am saying to be cautious is that you said you love your job and love your team. And to be honest, that can be hard to find sometimes. I have left teams that I have loved and gotten along with beautifully because I thought I needed a change - only to go into an environment that was much worse and unsupportive. You may love the ICU and have a great team! Or you may have a very hard time again. 

Yes I have thought about both. It would be hard for me to take a prn job because I work mon-fri along with taking call on certain weekdays and some weekends. If I leave PACU then I would need to just go full time in ICU because theres no way I could do both. If I could take my PACU team to ICU with me then I know without a doubt that I would like it 

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LibraNurse27 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown.

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21 hours ago, KatieRN29 said:

Yes I have thought about both. It would be hard for me to take a prn job because I work mon-fri along with taking call on certain weekdays and some weekends. If I leave PACU then I would need to just go full time in ICU because theres no way I could do both. If I could take my PACU team to ICU with me then I know without a doubt that I would like it 

you put words to how I have been feeling! My team is sooo great that I am scared to leave my job even though some days it's hell 😂 thanks for sharing the sentiment!

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