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ER to Neuro ICU


Specializes in Neurosurgical ICU, Emergency, Psych, Art Therapy. Has 6 years experience.


I've been a nurse for almost 5 years. The first 2 1/2 years were spent in a busy ER in Baltimore City, where I saw and experienced a vast array of medical complications and scenarios. Then I moved to inpatient psych focusing on neurodegenerative disorders for the past couple years, and I've really enjoyed learning about cognitive decline, dementia, Parkinson's and other movement disorders, seizure disorders, etc and although we mainly focus on the behavioral aspect of the patient, there's often a underlying focus on neurology given the patients medical background. I've been considering Neuro ICU and I just want to be sure I'm not getting in over my head. I've had intubated patients, more than 1 intubated patient at a time, strokes, I've given TPA and Mannitol, have had many seizure patients. I haven't really dealt much with trauma aside from the initial stabilization. The ER was pretty gritty. Every shift was an insane rollercoaster ride. It wasn't necessarily clean or organized, but we saved lives. I've always viewed ICU as more streamlined, sterile, rigid type A personality. I have the ability to be detail oriented but also have a tendency for anxiety. I want to be in a field that is a challenge and a learning experience, but not a career that's going to beat down my confidence. Am I already over-reacting? I have a phone interview with a Neuro ICU this week and maybe my anxiety is already revving up...

rubyagnes, BSN

Specializes in Neurosurgical ICU, Emergency, Psych, Art Therapy. Has 6 years experience.

I'm also concerned about ER burn out, as it is so fast-paced. Anyone want to share their thoughts about longevity as an ER nurse vs on a unit?

I'm an ED nurse currently and to be honest ED has a very high burnout rate and high turnover. I think most ED nurses leave after a few years to other areas. The burnout is real, sometimes I can't even get out of bed on my first off day. But I learned a lot and did a lot and I'm thankful for it. I'm looking to move to a unit where I can learn new things and have different types of experience.