Final practicum emergency nursing? Good choice or not?


Hi, I'm in the process of choosing a final practicum and am interested in emergency or intensive care, but I'm not sure if these are logical choices for me or not.

Some things about me: I love physiology and research. I'm also passionate about psychology, although I think I would benefit most from a placement that allows me to use my skills. I've enjoyed clinicals such as Cardiac that incorporate more physiology. I did not enjoy med surg so much as this was more about procedural knowledge (types of surgery, etc) and didn't fulfill my interest in physio as much. Unfortunately, I feel that I should be an expert in everything, which makes it hard when I go to do a skill for the first time and feel so amateurish...I have felt a huge lack of confidence and a huge fear in caring for patients. However, I've been gaining more and more confidence on the cardiac unit and feel that with time I will be a confident nurse. I would love to do my practicum in the ER but fear that I won't be able to think on my feet? Perhaps I will panic with the instability of patients?However, my GPA is > 3.7, and I don't think I should run from an ER experience because of "fear." The ER would probably be very rewarding! Unfortunately, I have not had the time to work as an undergrad with family commitments and other things going on in my life.

Based on my strengths and weaknesses, do you think an ER or ICU practicum makes sense? Or should I choose something with a slower pace?

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Flight.

ER patients are 90% stable & non emergent in terms of thinking on ur feet & such.

if you are put into a situation such as a trauma, or a pt who is going into respiratory arrest, seizing, shock... you wont be alone. & it will help you connect concepts seeing someone present with such extreme symptoms.

thats how i see it , the decision is ultimately up to you :)


120 Posts

Thanks for your advice Pneumothorax. It's a relief to know that most patients are stable and non-emergent... This lessens my apprehension considerably. Based on your advice, I think the learning opportunity would be huge in the ER :specs: !

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Flight.

you will learn a great deal. i love the ER just for that reason. you will see people and procedures and things that if you told someone they wouldnt believe you bc its just that off the wall :)

good luck

ImThatGuy, BSN, RN

2,139 Posts

Just go with the ER. It's the best way to get a dose of reality.

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Flight.

(& bull honk) hahahha

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