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240zRN 4,088 Views

Joined: Apr 23, '12; Posts: 100 (21% Liked) ; Likes: 66

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  • Apr 13

    Not sure if I picked up the mentality from school or what, but the mentality that ICU/ED nurses surpass med/surg in competency is pervasive-- and impressionable new nurses like myself tend to absorb such attitudes. It's funny how many people internalize this feeling though. Many (even seasoned/veteran) nurses I've worked with in the ICU snub their noses at floor nurses for being (clueless/incompetent/empty-headed) inferior to them in skill and/or importance. That is BS. Total and complete BS. I ate a huge piece of humble pie when I saw first hand what they do up their. They may task more than other nurses, but it is because they don't always have the time to "play doctor" like many ICU nurses. It is a lot of hard backbreaking work being a medsurg nurse, and my hats go off to them. To assume they can't wrap their head around patho the way ICU nurses can is also complete BS-many of them understand patho to a level that is acceptable for their required level of responsiveness. So what if they don't know the in depth pathways of hypotensive crisis and levophed; why should they? They don't use that stuff. I'll tell you what though, they are experts in their own ways--their expertize are simply not appreciated by ICU nurses because they can't relate to them.

    *NOT ALL*, but many ICU nurses I've come across believe that the sun rises and sets on their ***. If report isn't given isn't an ICU report, it is "unsatisfactory,"--not all departments of nursing involve being familiar with every inch and crevice of a patient. ICU nurses are only fortunate in that they function in a society that tends to favor physical science over many other perspectives of practice. Technology and medical science gets respect FIRST, feelings and accessory matters of the human experience tend to get residual thanks in our society. Medsurg/LTC/Home Care/etc nurses are the unthanked bunch. It is a lot easier doing a job when you have the constant reinforcement of praise. "Oh you're an ICU nurse, WOW you TRULY SAVE LIVES." vs "Oh you're a med-surg nurse? Don't worry, put in your time and maybe you can be an ICU/ED nurse and REALLY save lives"


    By the way, I'm an ICU nurse who was lucky enough to find work in a Prevention/Public Health clinic PRN that taught me that PREVENTION/REHAB nurses are the REAL life savers in health care.