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Don't want to work ER as new grad. What should I do?

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Nineline Nineline (New) New

I've been employed with an Emergency Department here in my city for about 3 mos. I like it a lot as a tech, but some of the stuff I see the nurses doing scares me. I'd rather not get into details, but I think the ICU would be more my pace. Working as a tech for this ED I am all but guaranteed a job when I graduate because they love me, I just don't think the ED is for me. I have a year left before I graduate, would anyone have any advice for me? I've read new grad ICU positions are hard to come by and I can understand why, would it be beneficial to transfer as a tech to an ICU? How does one go about doing that without pissing off my current manager (who btw also loves me).

I can only speak from the tech side of things, but I found the ER a lot more fast paced and chaotic than the ICU. The ICU is kind of boring from the standpoint of a tech. Not that you aren't busy, but the work is more back breaking and CNA like than the ER.

Of course the scope of techs varies so greatly from hospital to hospital that its hard to compare the two jobs based on having worked in one ER and one ICU.

For RNs I've also found ER Nurses tend to be different from ICU Nurses, and the mentality for one setting doesn't really translate well for the other. I've found ICU Nurses tend to be a lot more prickly and difficult to get along with than ER Nurses, who seem to be a lot more cool and laid back generally, they usually dont sweat the small stuff, although you find all types on either units.

3 months is not much experience. Its barely enough time to become competent.

I appreciate you getting back to me, maybe it's just more the place but in my ER the nurses are very disgruntled. You are right, 3 mos is not very much experience and I don't wish to sound like I know everything there is to know. Are you suggesting that I ride it out, even though the possibility exists that I will be stuck working here as a nurse? I would like to avoid that very much. The alternative is that I piss off a couple of people and work somewhere I don't like as much as a tech but will enjoy a lot more as a nurse. Maybe it's that both sound unappealing so I'm having a hard time making up my mind.

If you're asking which you would rather work as a new RN, I cant really say because ive never been an RN and I don't know what its like in the ER you work in. When I worked as an EMT I know there were a couple ERs I didn't particularly like going to because of the atmosphere and staff.

Both units have their unique stresses im sure. I think both would have a steep learning curve starting out, and both would get easier as time went on, but I think once you get past the initial hump and gain some experience the ICU would be easier as there is more of a routine to it.

In the ER even an experienced RN can get overwhelmed and I think it would always be a stressful job even with a lot of experience, but that can vary some depending on the particular ER. If its a large ER they can rotate you around to less acute patients from time to time, but you still gotta deal with drunks and psychs and drug users/seekers in the less acute beds.

I personally liked the ER better as a tech, but I came from an EMS background and was friends with a lot of the EMTs and Paramedics that brought patients in and felt more at home there. I could just never get enough hours where I worked as the more senior techs were entrenched and the hours didnt work with my school schedule.

What do the nurses do that scares you?

I would say this. If you have an almost guranteed spot at a hospital I would apply to outside hospitals in the specialty that I want and if I could not get hired because I am a new grad then I would suck it up and accept the ER position because getting experience is always the hardest part. You can work there for a year to two years( however long thre contract is) and then transfer to a different unit in thay facility or apply outside of that facility and odds are you would get hired because you would have that precious experience that all employers want but is so hard to come by. Good luck to you hun.