How to prepare on working on ICU?

  1. If one likes to work in Surgical ICU or MICU, what area in Nursing would a new grad start working? Med/Surg, Telemetry, etc? I was thinking of gaining some experiences first before joining the SICU or MICU. Would working in Telemetry be a good foundation to prepare me for MICU or SICU.

    Thanks for any input.
  2. Visit chicagoboy profile page

    About chicagoboy, ADN

    Joined: Jul '11; Posts: 142; Likes: 25
    from US


  3. by   Mully
    Short answer - Yes.

    I worked in a highly acute stepdown/progressive care unit as a new grad. This is one step down from the ICU and we floated to CCU when they needed. Now I'm transitioning into a Surgical/Trauma ICU at a level 1 trauma center. I feel quite adequately prepared.

    Med surg will give you the basics, telemetry is better, stepdown is even better.
  4. by   chicagoboy
    Hi Mully, thanks for your reply. Isn't Stepdown same as Telemetry? In the hospital where i work, we have Medical and Surgical Telemetry unit. Both are separate from each other. We usually get patient from MICU whereas Surgical Telemetry gets SICU pt.

    Wow, Surgical/Trauma ICU! Sounds like a complex unit to work to. But i'm sure with your background you will manage smoothly.
  5. by   Filly
    I started in ICU as a new grad. If I had the opportunity to start anywhere else, I think tele would have been the most useful.
  6. by   Mully
    Tele just means they have tele on. My guess is that this is probably a pretty small hospital you're talking about? Where I got my first job, there were plenty of med/surg with tele floors, but I worked on stepdown, and a highly acute one at that. On the unit where I worked, the nurses titrated cardiac drips like Cardizem, Nitro, Cardene etc. and others like insulin, ativan etc. all based on parameters, without calling docs.

    We got active chest pains, active GI bleeds, DKA, Sepsis, ARDS, Bipaps up to 100%, etc. Basically any patient not on a ventilator, we would take. It sounds like your hospital doesn't have a transitional unit like this, which means the ICU probably keeps these types of patients. I would either try to get into a bigger hospital, or do a year on your med/surg tele and then try to transition to the ICU. Either would be fine.
  7. by   breichart
    It won't let me reply to your private message, so I'm posting here. Are you also from Illinois then? I'm from Illinois, so could I just drive to another state (like New York, after taking their classes), and then transfer the NCLEX to Illinois like you said? I wasn't sure if you had to live in the state of New York to do that.