Med-surg ICU?


  • Specializes in CICu, ICU, med-surg.

Quick question:

I have an interview this week for a position in a medical surgical ICU. Is there a difference between a med-surg ICU and any other ICU? Also, any ideas about what sorts of patients would be in a unit like that? (Just finished my first semester of nursing school, so you'll have to excuse my ignorance!)


Specializes in CCU (Coronary Care); Clinical Research.

Med/Surg ICU is the same stuff that is on "normal" m/s just sicker/more hemdynamically unstable (though probably not always :) ). Stuff like sepsis, GI bleeds, ETOH/OD, pancreatitis, liver stuff, renal stuff, etc. These patients will require more intense supervision, will be moniored, may have vasoactive gtts, ventilators, CRRT, lots of blood products, leather restraints (depending on patient...)

M/S ICU as opposed to a strictly post-surgical, cardiovascular, neuro, trauma, etc (I'm sure you can figure what goes there...)

You will get the feel for it the more you see it.;)


573 Posts

Specializes in CICu, ICU, med-surg.

Thanks for the information, zambezi!:)


131 Posts

Med/Surg ICU has quite a mix of patients, GI bleeds, CVA's, Sepsis, DT's, unstable orthopedic post ops, MI's, CABG's with sternal infections, sickle cell crisis, hypertensive crisis, diabetic crisis, endocarditis(CCU won't take em cuz of the fresh open hearts), Cardiogenic shock, this is the unit where a lot of procedures are done at bedside...

Balloon pump insertion, Swan insertion, Blakemore tube for GI bleed, arterial lines, triple lumen catheters, oral intubation, paralytic drips, always insulin drips, spinal taps, bone marrow biopsys, many ICUs also handle the neuro patients so occasional induced barbituate coma, plus this is the end stage for many diseases so expect occasional terminal weanings.

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