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How to switch to Neuro ICU?

Neuro   (3,193 Views | 7 Replies)

2ndChance has 4 years experience .

3,104 Profile Views; 56 Posts

Hello, all.

I need some advice about switching to neuro ICU from acute psych, which I am working in right now. I had a lot of trouble deciding which I wanted to do, went with the psych, and (naturally) now feel that I have made the wrong decision. The problem is that this is my first nursing job and I have not worked a medical floor yet. I know that they hired several new grads into the neuro ICU from my class, but I am wondering now if they are going to see it as a disadvantage or something that I was a psych nurse. What do you think? Thanks.

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NeuroICURN specializes in Neurology, Neurosurgerical & Trauma ICU.

377 Posts; 4,854 Profile Views

Hello, all.

I need some advice about switching to neuro ICU from acute psych, which I am working in right now. I had a lot of trouble deciding which I wanted to do, went with the psych, and (naturally) now feel that I have made the wrong decision. The problem is that this is my first nursing job and I have not worked a medical floor yet. I know that they hired several new grads into the neuro ICU from my class, but I am wondering now if they are going to see it as a disadvantage or something that I was a psych nurse. What do you think? Thanks.

No, I doubt that they'll see it as a "disadvantage", per se. If nothing else, you'll already be good at dealing with the typical crazy client! LOL :chuckle (You might want to check out the "you know you're a neuro nurse if....." posting now. LMAO)

Anyway....a manager may take pause momentarily because you don't have any "medical" nursing experience, but I doubt that it will keep you from getting in. Be sure to let him/her know that you're willing to work hard to learn what you need to learn. Neuro is a place that not many people like, so it's always refreshing to find someone who's eager to learn and wants to be there!

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7 Posts; 588 Profile Views

2ndchance - Why do you consider your decison a mistake?

NeuroICURN - Why do not many people like the Neuro ICU?

This discussion is very interesting to me becasue I have been considering going back to school for a nursing degree. Psych and Neuro ICU are the two areas that really interest me.

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NeuroICURN specializes in Neurology, Neurosurgerical & Trauma ICU.

377 Posts; 4,854 Profile Views

ConsideringRN....

Many people don't like neuro because 1. You can't necessarily just look at a monitor screen with vitals and know what's wrong, you have to have strong neuro assessment skills, or you're gonna miss something. 2. The typical clientele are not "right"....in fact, they border on nuts, but they can't help it and you have to keep that in mind. 3. Many of the outcomes, sadly, are less than optimal. For example, many people can recover fully from an MI and eventually go back to work and lead a normal life....but many/most people, after they have a brain injury, can't. If you let this kind of work get to you, you'd go nuts yourself.

Seriously, read the "you might be a neuro nurse if....". It sheds some light, in a humorous way, on neuro nursing.

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7 Posts; 588 Profile Views

Thanks for your response.

The reason why this area interests me is because when I was 16, I was in a bad car accident and suffered from severe head trauma. I had an amazing recovery and my life is quite normal now. I did experience some really bad short-term memory problems at first. But that got better after about 6 months. The really scary thing was, I was told that there was no gaurantee that my condition would improve, or how much. I think that with my personal experience, that I would be particularly understanding of this situation.

What is the "game plan" for someone that wants to be a Neuro ICU nurse? Do you need to work a Neuro Med/Surg or a general ICU unit first? Is a Bachelor's degree required? I already have a BA in Soc so, my plan was to get my ADN becasue it wouldn't even take me 2 years to be a nurse.

Thank you again!

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NeuroICURN specializes in Neurology, Neurosurgerical & Trauma ICU.

377 Posts; 4,854 Profile Views

No special requirements needed. I started working there straight out of nursing school. The orientation is longer than a med/surg floor, but trust me, you'll need that.

I think your personal experience would help you to be a good neuro nurse. Good luck!

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4,516 Posts; 13,143 Profile Views

One of my contracting hospitals with an excellent education program PREFERS new grads in their Neuro ICU...they have such a wonderful CNS to support them and she craves getting 'new blood' and a chance to train from scratch, she says.

I would tell them exactly what you told us here and see where that leads...best wishes!

PS...as an floating ICU nurse 'generalist', I must admit, neuro is my LEAST favorite area...LOL...so kudos to those of you do it on a regular basis.

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258 Posts; 3,598 Profile Views

One of my contracting hospitals with an excellent education program PREFERS new grads in their Neuro ICU...they have such a wonderful CNS to support them and she craves getting 'new blood' and a chance to train from scratch, she says.

I would tell them exactly what you told us here and see where that leads...best wishes!

PS...as an floating ICU nurse 'generalist', I must admit, neuro is my LEAST favorite area...LOL...so kudos to those of you do it on a regular basis.

MattsMom,

Would you mind telling me why neuro is your least favorite? I'm asking because I've been working MICU for several years and was offered a position in another hospital.....neuro ICU.

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