from floor nurse to ICU is it very hard???

  1. HI guys, I am a one year experienced RN and I work in a long term acute ventilator unit. I am so scared of going to another hospital to be in ICU. I already had the position offered but I am so scared!!!
    I really want to be an ICU nurse but I am so scared of messing up! I already work with vents and I am very comfortable with them but I guess I am not very confident.
    thanks for your advice,
  2. Visit Pamelita profile page

    About Pamelita

    Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 92; Likes: 6
    RN-Vent Unit


  3. by   rachel h

    Just go for it! I just graduated in May and prior to that I did a preceptorship in the SICU at the county hospital. I loved every minute of it. It was awesome... the county hospital is a level 1 trauma center so we were having traumas air lifted in left and right. It is a lot to know, but at the same time I think if you already have experience nursing and with vents, that would help you a lot. I hope it works out for you!
  4. by   zambezi
    HI there...just read your post and i think that you should go for it. I am a new grad in nursing and i work in our coronary care critical care unit. I was lucky enough to be able to orient there for six months as a student and was just hired on as a new grad...scary but so interesting and challenging...i think that your experience with vents is going to be a huge asset and goodnurses are always need in the critical care setting. Good Luck
  5. by   christianRN
    Pamelita, HI!! I also worked at long-term acute care hospital before coming to ICU. It sounds similar to what you're doing. We weaned them off the vent or shipped them to a nursing home if they couldn't be weaned. Anyway, I felt VERY well prepared for ICU. THe lower pt ratio helps, and with you already being comfortable with vents, you should go for it!! I still feel like I learn something new everyday, and I always want to learn more!!!
  6. by   tylerrose
    Go for it! It is overwhelming just thinking of it but you're going to have your orientation, go to the critical care class and you will be working with a preceptor. Just have the right attitude... let them know that you are there to learn, ask questions when in doubt ..take the initiative to learn.. you'll make it!
  7. by   renerian
    I understand completely where your coming from on your fears. I was offered ICU and opted to go back to an oncology unit just like the one I worked on 10 years ago.

    Go for it and ask for a long orientation. I know most ICUs do that
    anyways.......let us know what you decide.

    Good luck

  8. by   raiderron
    Last Dec. I graduated from an ADN program. This last July I started working in ICU after working on the floor for the last year and a half (last year as an LPN), I was scared and intimdated about going into ICU but wanted so much to learn and better my skills. I have no regrets whatsoever. I love ICU although I still feel a little over whelmed at times. After talking to some that have been in ICU for several years...they say that there are times when they still feel overwhelmed. I think the key thing is to have a great preceptor. I happen to have one of the best and it has really made a difference in my transition. My advice is to go for it and have a great time and learn as much as you can. Best of luck!
  9. by   nick1
    It sounds as if though we are sort of in the same situation. I just recently graduated in May 2002 and started working icu. Prior to working in icu i was a med surg LPN for 1 1/2 years. I didnt feel like I had learned much of anything from floor nursing because icu is a very complex and challenging area. There's so much to learn and nursing school only gives you the basics. I'm still in orientation, but already feel a little overwhelmed. I had a good preceptor to start with for about 3 weeks and he left, so I had to pick up another preceptor that was not very pleasant and not willing to help out as much. Right now I'm currently on day shift, but will be going to nights soon. I pray that once I get on nights, things wont be so hectic and I can get a good learning experience in a calmer environment. Keep your head up and I wish you all the blessings.
  10. by   Allison P
    Go for it! I went straight into ICU after I graduated in May. It is overwhelming in the beginning, but I have learned so much in just a few months. I've gotten to do and see things I never would have experieced as a floor nurse.
    I was lucky that I worked as a student nurse tech in my ICU before I graduated, so that made the transition a little easier for me. I love my unit and the great nurses and RT's I get to work with. That's also a big plus for ICU- you always have backup if you need it. We work as a team. It's wonderful.

  11. by   Enabled
    Pamelita, first if you were incompetent professionally you would not have the position you have or had for the length of time you did. You would be pounding the pavement. Give yourself some credit as not many nurses can deal with patients on a ventilator. If your not sure talk to the potential employer and see if there is any way you could work with Nursing Ed and improve your self confidence. Then have you thought of waiting and working with nonvent patients for a while. The nonvent patients can also be very challenging as many of them move where vent patients are usually medicated or comatose and give little resistance. Most of the resistence comes from patients newly placed on vents that "fight the vent" so to speak. Give it some thought.
    You have already accomplished several things that you should be proud of. You completed your initial nursing program and graduated. You have worked in a unit whose patients are totally dependent on your assessments and skills to literally keep them alive or the body functioning so that someone else might benefit through a transplanted organ. That takes responsibility as there is still chances for chronic lung infections, "unscheduled" extubations. Dealing with families who member may never come off the vent. With long term care the patient and the patient's family becomes your patient. You may find that a couple of years down the line there was that special patient and family on a vent that you were able to assist in their recovery with aggressive care or assist the family in deciding what is best for the patient either to continue the vent or to discontinue it. It is nursing not the physician who does much of this very important nursing care. You and those like your deserve a lot of credit. I don't know how you do it as I did take care of a vent patient in a private home and I know what one on one was like on difficult nights let alone several patients in the same condition.
    Talk to your present manager and see if he/she has any advice to help with your confidence scale. Managers are there not only for the facility but for the staff and many times the later is forgotten.
    Good Luck in whatever you decide to do