I have an interview comming up Tuesday for a ICU position. I have worked med/surg 3 yrs and L&D for 3 years. I have recently taken a job that I am doing pretty much everything.
Personally, I like having one or two area's of expertise. I know some people really enjoy having that broad knowlege base doing everything, but I like the focus.
Anyway, this ICU position is available and I am considering the job. My question to you nurses in the ICU is, what is the draw for you to ICU? What keeps you there? DO you get bored being in the same room/rooms for 12 hrs watching the same 1-3 pts?.
I really like the level of knowlege that you need to have to work in ICU. I like that you have to be constantly "on top" of what is happening and figuring out what is happening and why and making adjustments. I just don't know how I'll do bieng limited to the few patients/area.
If you have any thoughts for me to consider in looking at this position-I would certainly appreciate it.
Have a good day!
May 3, '04
The biggest difference between ICU and all other areas you can work is that in the ICU you're ALWAYS dealing with families in crisis. Thats not to say that other units don't have this to deal with, only that in ICU the patient is ALWAYS critically ill(or can go bad quickly). Sure, other areas deal with freaked-out families, but in ICU, you see these issues every day, all day long. This is true even more so than in the ER because the majority of ER patient's are of the more mundane variety (despite all the cool tv-shows)...and if the critical variety of patients survive the ER they come right over to the ICU (usually at shift-change...but thats a different story..
That being said, it's my opinion that in order to be an effective ICU nurse, you've got to be prepared to deal with families/friends who are angry, in mourning, in shock, etc. YOu've got to be able to deal with them, sooth them, teach and inform them....it can be VERY exhausting.
A few ICU nurses will wrap themselves up in the 'hippa cacoon' and give/teach the family very little...and this usually has a detrimental effect on the nurse-family relationship...and can make the nurse look like she is using the 'rules' to hide her lack of info/understanding of the patient's condition(and usually hightens the family's anxieties!). It's usually best to be frank and up-front with families...but do it intelligently....(and without breaking any rules,..)
(as an aside, when was the last time a family-member said "..AH HA! YOu just told me her labs! NOW I can sue according to HIPPA!!"...that crap just doesnt happen )
And thats only half of your job. You'll have to to know your stuff inside and out...(it will be expected). You'll do stuff(technical and otherwise) that isnt done in any other department. You are where the buck stops.The patients will get better...or die.
Last edit by Dinith88 on May 3, '04