Making the switch from Med/Surg to ICU

Nurses General Nursing


Hi all, I faced with a dilema right now??? I have worked on Med/Surg (in our fairly rural hospital) for over 5 years now. I feel fairly comfortable on Med/Surg and do enjoy my job for the most part. Well...our ICU is experiencing a shortage and I have been approached by the nurse manager and DON about maybe switching to ICU or at least doing it part time. They said that many staff have come to them and recommended me for the job. I guess I consider that a huge honor....and those comments give me confidence..but..I just don't know if I want to make the switch away from my comfort zone. I would really like a new challenge but yet am scared to death!! I'm already worrying about the little things like" what if someone codes on me, what if I get an extremely unstable patient and the doc is shouting orders at me, what if someone needs a med immediately and I can't get a line in...etc..etc. Granted our CCU is small and the "major things" are shipped to a nearby larger hospital..but's still scary. I guess I really have a lack of confidence and that's what holds me back. I also love my night shifts and two of the other CCU nurses have claimed most of those shifts. Gosh..I just don't know what to do?? current M/S sup. is very supportive about my "endometriosis cramp days'..she helps me switch around my schedule to help me around my "cramp days" and she doesn't bat an eye when I need a surgery,etc. The CCU sup. has been labeled as not being as accomidating (sp?). hubby and I are trying to conceive and I just don't know about the added stress right now. I do, however, feel somewhat burnt out and bored with my current position..mixing it up with part time hours in CCU may actually be a stress release? Plus..I have floated in there many, many times as a second nurse and they do have a fairly long (3 month) orientation period. I do have ACLS..but it would have to be renewed by July....even the thoughts of doing that again freak me out. Plus..I haven't used any of my ACLS knowledge or hardly looked at a rhythm strip since that I feel really dumb. The thought of a nitro drip scares me..yet also excites me.... As you can see..I truly am between a rock and hard place. BTW....CCU nurses make no more than med/surg nurses...our pay scale is based on experience and years of service. Can anyone help me with this...I'm soooo confused and my mind is going a mile a minute. Ok..I best go..thanks for any advice...

As always...



Hard call. I switched and would never go back. But I didn't have as much going on as you do! The pregnancy part would give me pause. You just won't need the added stress. And as far as the endometriosis, your new boss with have to accomodate somewhat by law. I think you really have to weigh the choices yourself, and with your husband. As far as fear - don't let it get you. We're ALL terrified in the beginning. Now in an emergency I usually know what to do, so no one is shouting orders (our docs don't usually shout anyway) and the charge nurse as well as anyone else available is in there with me. And pretty soon you'll be able to handle a vent as easily as you do an IV pump. It's just exposure.


4,516 Posts

You're trying to conceive, have some health problems (endometriosis) AND you have a supportive manager. Why go into more stress during this time of your life (new unit, specialty expectations with lots to master, have to work a shift that is NOT your shift of choice) AND have to deal with a less accomodating manager? Just my thoughts.

But talk to your hubby and do whats best for you and good luck. Most strong med surg nurses do very well making the transition to ICU (I did) but it does take some energy. Only you know if its the right time.

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X