Practicum advice please!

  1. Hello Allnurses,

    The time has come for me to choose a unit for my senior practicum. I am interested in critical care. I work on a PCU/tele unit, so I am familiar with that level of critical care, and I want something more critical.

    I was thinking of choosing CCU. Is this unit a good place for apracticum? Do you think it offers a broad learning experience? Are there patients with problems other than cardiac?

    Which other units are good? Is an ICU stepdown a better place to learn than an acutal ICU?
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    About Lev <3, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 2,900; Likes: 5,362


  3. by   Good Morning, Gil
    One unit is not superior to the other. I would choose whichever area you enjoy more, and whichever area you would like to land a job after graduation. Both will give you valuable experience. If you want to be a stepdown nurse, choose stepdown. If you want to be an ICU nurse, choose CCU. There are plenty of other good areas for practicums: general m/s floors (or specialized m/s floors, however your hospital organizes them), any ICU, ER....

    I'm an ICU nurse, newer nurse, and I will tell you that I have learned more in my short time there than I have in any other nursing area. I wish I could have done my practicum in an ICU...

    While you still need critical thinking on m/s, and it's very important that you know when to intervene, the physicians don't really seem to be as involved in asking you what you think on the floor as they do in ICU's. It's not really fair, but it just seems to be the way it is, and maybe it's just b/c it's easier to find us since we only have 2 patients in the ICU. And, I personally get burnt out if I don't feel I have much of a say in the care my patient is getting or their outcome. I love that the physicians ask what I think and rely on my assessments for treatment decisions. They don't just come up and write orders (for the most part). That's just part of the reason why I love the ICU, but that doesn't mean you'll like it. Different strokes for different folks