ER to ICU?

  1. Any ER nurses on here go back and forth to the ICU? One of my supervisors is pushing me to "broaden my horizons" and apply to do some shifts in the ICU (Med/Surg/Trauma). I know it would be good experience, but it makes me nervous to learn all that new stuff. Swans, ICPs, oh my lord. I know they would fully train me, but I also worry about being so involved in 2 people's care...as opposed to being superficially involved in MANY people's care.
    Any thoughts?
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    About RunnerRN

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 386; Likes: 231
    Specialty: ER

    7 Comments

  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    ER and ICU nurses generally have the same temperment and the same level of difficulty skill sets - even if the focus is different.

    I've worked both and find that most ER nurses find critical care patients as something to 'ship to the unit'. On the other hand, since ICU is my focus, I have just as much nervousness taking care of babies, pregnant women, etc. etc.

    Working in Critical Care will give you a comfort level with those types of patients. It will make you a better ER nurse as a result.

    If you can work ER, you can work ICU. But you are correct that the 'focus' isn't treat and ship, it's manage long term. I think you'll find it won't be a change in difficulty as much as a change in gears.

    I'd give it a try. Good luck.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  4. by   AtlantaRN
    Do what makes you comfortable. I've worked alot of different areas. I like the ED, i like that it is task oriented.

    linda
  5. by   NYTramaRN
    Quote from AtlantaRN
    Do what makes you comfortable. I've worked alot of different areas. I like the ED, i like that it is task oriented.

    linda
    I'll second linda's advice, been on med/surg,recovery,icu,ccu,copters and ED. Enjoyed them all but ED is where I hang my hat.

    Paul
  6. by   nurseforallages
    Worked in a Trauma Center as an RN. Transferred to ICU. Big mistake. ER is where the adrenalin flows.
  7. by   jojotoo
    Quote from RunnerRN
    Any ER nurses on here go back and forth to the ICU? One of my supervisors is pushing me to "broaden my horizons" and apply to do some shifts in the ICU (Med/Surg/Trauma). I know it would be good experience, but it makes me nervous to learn all that new stuff. Swans, ICPs, oh my lord. I know they would fully train me, but I also worry about being so involved in 2 people's care...as opposed to being superficially involved in MANY people's care.
    Any thoughts?


    I'm all for increasing your knowledge base whenever you can. but I don't think that it will make you a better ER nurse (unless you are holding ICU patients in the ER).

    Zashagalka is correct that the focus is completely different, these will be your patients for TWELVE hours. Now that in itself would be enough to stop me. I don't even hang out with my friends for twelve hours straight. But that's why we all have such different personalities - so everything gets covered!

    Why is the supervisor encouraging you? Is this an ER supervisor (charge RN, Manager, etc.). Or is it the house supervisor that's trying to get shifts covered? What kind of orientation would you have? Once trained, if the ICU was shortstaffed, would you be forced to float from an assigned shift in the ER? Does ER staff float to ICU now? Just asking.
  8. by   extremebean
    Quote from RunnerRN
    Any ER nurses on here go back and forth to the ICU? One of my supervisors is pushing me to "broaden my horizons" and apply to do some shifts in the ICU (Med/Surg/Trauma). I know it would be good experience, but it makes me nervous to learn all that new stuff. Swans, ICPs, oh my lord. I know they would fully train me, but I also worry about being so involved in 2 people's care...as opposed to being superficially involved in MANY people's care.
    Any thoughts?
    do your time in the ICU. what's not to lose?
    with the current trend toward "holding" in the ED..........this is invaluable experience. do it.
    you'll have a broader knowledge base.........
    do it!!
    L.
  9. by   NurseCard
    At my old hospital, many ICU nurses floated to/trained in the ER, but not the other way around...

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