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Leaving PICU to go to the floor

Posted

Hey everyone! I work at one of the best pediatric hospitals in the country, and I've recently made the decision to switch from the PICU to the hem/onc unit in my hospital. I'm not regretting my decision, but I am quite nervous. I love working in the PICU. I see so many complex patients and I learn something new every single day. My fellow nurses are wonderful and supportive, my PCAs are amazing and helpful, and I've developed an amazing respectful relationship with my doctors. I feel like the development of the plan of care is a team effort between all of us; we listen to each other and it feels as though we are all on the same level. I know I'm going to really miss it.

I'm anxious about several different things about going to the floor. First off, I'm going to have more than 2 patients. I started in the PICU directly after graduation, so all of my time management skills have been developed with a small patient load. Even worse, I usually get the very ill 1:1 patients, so I don't know how I'll handle having 3 or 4! (I know that kind of sounds pathetic being that a lot of hospitals have staffing issues and the nurses have to take 5-10 patients. I'm probably just being a big ol' baby). My other fear is leaving my doctors. I know that I can develop similar respectful relationships on my new unit, but I also know it will be difficult to be back at the bottom of the totem pole. Finally, I'm nervous about specializing. My current position allows me to see tons of different disease processes spanning all of the different body systems. A lot of times it is like solving a complex puzzle, and I love that. I'm really going to miss it.

I'm making the switch because pediatric oncology is a passion of mine. I know this is what I want to do with my career, but what if I'm wrong? Has anyone else made the jump from the PICU to the floor? Do you guys have any suggestions on how to make the transition easier? Thanks in advance!

dianah, ADN

Specializes in Cath Lab/Radiology. Has 45 years experience.

I hope there is an adequate orientation period scheduled, with a strong preceptor.

There will certainly be a transition time: new patients (not little ones!), new unit sub-culture, new ways of doing things, new disease processes.

Give yourself time to absorb what you are learning -- and be patient with yourself.

Perhaps your colleagues or your preceptor will have suggestions for reading/study materials?

Congrats on this new challenge!

OldDude

Specializes in Pediatrics.

Congratulations...understanding from your post you will NOT be the PICU nurse blasting into the department to "save the day for everyone!" I believe you'll fit right in and be the best asset the department can get. When I used to take patients from the ER to the PICU my eyes would glaze over, when I pushed them through the door, from all the equipment, tubes, beeps, lights, and stuff...you guys are amazing.

You're gonna be just fine.

OldDude, I am most definitely NOT going in there with a big head :) I know what I do is difficult and not for everyone, but isn't that the case in any unit for any nurse? Everyone has their niche, and I'm hoping to find a new one in hem/onc.

Thank you so much for your vote of confidence! I'm hoping this transition goes smoothly!

Edited by BAMF, BSN, RN

I hope there is an adequate orientation period scheduled, with a strong preceptor.

There will certainly be a transition time: new patients (not little ones!), new unit sub-culture, new ways of doing things, new disease processes.

Give yourself time to absorb what you are learning -- and be patient with yourself.

Perhaps your colleagues or your preceptor will have suggestions for reading/study materials?

Congrats on this new challenge!

Luckily I'm staying in the same hospital, so I will still have pediatric patients. I asked about the training time during my interview, and they said it is dependent on me but usually lasts between 12-16 weeks for an internal transfer. I'm really glad it's so long because chemo is a huge beast to tackle! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I'm really looking forward to this challenge as well!

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 14 years experience.

I was in your exact same boat over 13 years ago! Started in the PICU as a brand new grad at one of the top three best pediatric hospitals in the country, then transitioned to the floor and had allllll the same concerns as you do - that's completely natural. Just be prepared to feel out of your element for a while, much like you did when you started the PICU, but understand you have the necessary critical thinking skills. Now it's just adjusting your time management to more patients. Feel free to PM me if you'd like!