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Is the grass greener in ICU?

Nurses   (599 Views | 8 Replies)
by connecticut23 connecticut23 (New) New

707 Profile Views; 11 Posts

Hello everyone!

Long story short: I am not happy in med surg anymore but I don't know if I can make it on the ICU yet or if things would even be any better in the ICU.

On my med surg department, I have cared for patients on heparin drips and amiodarone drips. I have cared for very sick patients who I have to rush to get out to the ICU since my patient ratio is always of at least 6 patients. More than twice I have started Levophed for ICU transfers. My work load is usually a mix of lap appy, heparin drip, diabetic ulcer/toe amputation, bowel obstruction, AMS, MDR UTI, and I always seem to have a septic patient.

I am not happy anymore because caring for 7+ very sick patients is very draining. I give my all to the patients and I still feel like I could do more in a different environment. I always thought I would work in a medical surgical floor for at least four years and then specialize/move but maybe I should just go for it now?

I would like to hear your thoughts. I have a lot of doubt especially because the ICU nurses that I know can get any IV, know all the skills, protocols, help med surg nurses like myself and respond to the codes. If I'm being completely honest I am NOT very good at IVs and have never put in an NG tube.  

Do you think the grass greener in ICU? Should I try ICU now or get more experience first?

Any advice or thoughts welcomed

Thank you

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DextersDisciple has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN.

330 Posts; 4,123 Profile Views

Question: how long have you been on your current floor? If it’s less than a year I’d say grin and bear it but it’s a year or more I’d say make the switch!

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11 Posts; 707 Profile Views

Thank you for the reply! Almost two years

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530 Posts; 2,402 Profile Views

One thing I like about the NICU is the number of patients I have, usually just 2, very very occasionally 3 if one is stable or if census is high/staffing low.  I think it's easier to take care of fewer sicker patients than more who allegedly aren't as sick.  You'll learn how to do NGTs and you'll get better at IVs.

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yournurse has 2 years experience.

139 Posts; 3,102 Profile Views

Hm. I started in Med/surg. Very task oriented. Move to ICU. You’ll grow. 1 or 2 patients. Get out now if you can. No need for more experience. If there are openings in the ICU. Take it, you’ll never feel ready. Just trust it.

Edited by yournurse

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

2 Followers; 6,714 Posts; 49,834 Profile Views

IMO you have ICU patients on a med surg unit. You may as well make the switch to ICU where you'll have more resources available.

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LibraNurse27 has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown.

1 Follower; 324 Posts; 3,516 Profile Views

Yes, Med/Surg is the most stressful job I've ever had. Staffing looks great on paper, until one or more of your pts turns into an ICU pt and while you're treating them, RRT and transfer your other however many pts are unattended and you come back to late meds, angry pts, incontinence and maybe even a fall if everyone was too busy with their million pts to check on yours. Not fair but it's the reality

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ljo28 has 24 years experience as a BSN.

1 Article; 28 Posts; 315 Profile Views

Moving from a Med-surg floor to an ICU is a normal progression. Very few people can work in med-surg for an extended period of time. If you feel ready to make that move then I'd advice to go ahead and do it. Don't worry about what you know or don't or what you can or can't do. Think about what you know when you started in nursing and where you are now. You will learn along the way as long as you are willing to learn. 

ICU isn't any less stressful. There are times when you'd be busy all day with only one patient. But it is more controlled and you can do way more than what you can do on the floor. So if you are ready for the move then go for it!!

Good luck

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11 Posts; 707 Profile Views

Thank you everyone for the replies! I appreciate it. I got the courage I needed

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