ICU Nurses with OCD!!! - page 5

Do all ICU nurses have OCD or something??! Cuz it sure seems like it! The people i work with in the SICU are so anal retentive and obsessive compulsive, i hate it. They are not friendly at all,... Read More

  1. by   burn out
    Quote from nursern20
    i see what u are saying. i know work isnt really a place for socialization, but I'm trying to see the humanity in the ICU. Like helping out another nurse with their pt if they need it. Also whatever happened to the "holistic" care?? I dont see any signs of "caring". The nurses are so rough with the pts. I dont think its healthy for us as caregivers to be like this all the time. It's definitly a source of unhappiness and job unsatisfaction. Granted that maybe if i was a more seasoned, experienced nurse, i wouldnt have a such a problem with this. But since im totally fresh, a little kindness could go a long way from my fellow co-workers.
    The nurses are rough on the patients because most of the patients are fighting for their lives..this is no time to be passive, if they are going to get better we have to work harder and the patient has to work even harder. You can not just let them lay there and be passive...sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, other wise you do them no favor. You can use a holistic approach just not all at the same time..while they are critically and acutely ill you can address the spiritual needs and poss DNR or funeral arrangements, as they get better you can plan for needs such as rehab facilities etc. Don't wear your heart on your sleeve or it will get knocked off and broken, that happens enough with it in your chest. ICU is not for the tender hearted, you need to get a tough skin or leave it , you survive ICU you don't just work it.
  2. by   ghmccart
    Nurses in any critical care environment do not have room for error in my eyes. this being the case, one must do what ever it takes to take good care of their PT's. really, you should be concerned with YOUR pt care and not how the other nurses make you feel. Why are you a nurse, to be treated well, and have good buddies, or to help sick folks. It is nice to have a person or two that you can share how you feel about stuff.
  3. by   nyforlove
    Wow!! You put it nicely...I'm excited to be starting my ICU Training next month!

    Quote from stressgal
    Well, I'm a "new" RN in the ICU. Been off orientation for 30 days and yes, I am hypervigilent. The first thing I do is my initial assessment of the patient, then of the room. I cannot stand clutter in the patient's room. Full trash cans, excess or used supplies and items found in the patient's bedsheets send me over the edge. These patient's are sick, I need to be able to find the supplies I need without digging for them. You cannot have numerous chairs surrounding the patient's bed, what happens if the patient codes? Do you want to have to move everything out of the way during a code? If a patient goes bad I also do not need to search through unmarked, discontinued IV bags on a pole to find the correct line to use. Accurate I&O's are very important to many of our patients. I have floated to medical floors where RN's don't clear pumps at the end of their shift, monitor subtle changes in their patients and so on. During orientation I was given the most difficult patients, with the thought that I will then be able to handle anything when it comes around. It has been a great experience and I love it. It is a different mind set and not every one is made for the ICU. Find your bliss.
  4. by   gshe
  5. by   pebbles
    Oooh, I felt this keenly today.

    Neuro pt (closed head injury), slow to wake up but wriggles in the bed. You boost him up, get him looking nice, and five minutes later he is wriggling down. Restrained to keep him from pulling foley (again). Trach, PEG, waiting a bed in neuro ward.

    He weighs 100 kg (220lbs). People have been heaving him, turning, him, etc, just so he looks straight in the bed. We have mechanical lifts, but they are not suitable for someone with lots of poo, or who wriggles THIS much. And people have been going home with sore backs.

    I refused to play the ICU game, and let him be a not-so-pretty patient wriggling down the bed. He was clean, he was turned, cared for. But he didn't LOOK pretty.

    Some days, I get what all the fuss is about. Some days, I don't.
  6. by   criticalHP
    I have been an ICU nurse for a while now and have precepted experienced ICU and new grads as well. Let me first say I feel its very unfortunate your co-workers, and especially your preceptor, belittle you and make you feel unwelcome.
    ICU nurses are mostly type A personality people. We are anal-retentive because we need to be hypervigilant in caring for our very ill patients. The "little things" that are focused on, such as an untidy room, reflects in a persons care given to the patient, in my opinion. A basin full of misc. supplies on a window ledge is disorganized and unsightly. Patients and families see clutter and may interpret that into substandard care or lack of caring. As a new grad you are still (and will be for many months yet) focused on tasks to be perfomed on the patient. There is little forward thinking so far, and that is a natural progression in becoming a professiopnal nurse. Your co-workers have no doubt moved beyond the novice stage in many areas and as a result may have forgotten what it felt like to be raw. That's their problem and that's too bad for them! But keep this in mind: Every RN in the world is a novice at something. The novice to expert transition is a continuum, not a final destination. Maybe one day you're co-workers will realize that all 'newbies' need nurturing. Keep your chin up!
  7. by   oldiebutgoodie
    Quote from pebbles
    I refused to play the ICU game, and let him be a not-so-pretty patient wriggling down the bed. He was clean, he was turned, cared for. But he didn't LOOK pretty.

    Some days, I get what all the fuss is about. Some days, I don't.
    Good for you! I spent a year working in an ICU, and sometimes it seemed the nurses were more interested that the patient looked pretty than the patient get some rest. For many patients, we could be boosting them every 10 minutes. (OK, I know I'm going to get flack for this).

    One time a nurse spent 5 hours messing with the patient, culminating in her deciding (at 4 AM) that the patient (who weighed about 300 lbs) needed a larger bed. The poor patient got no sleep that night as we wrestled him to a different bed.

    I decided I wasn't OCD enough. A wrinkled sheet did not put me over the edge. I now work in a nice pleasant med-surg unit where people actually talk to each other, and still the patients get excellent care.

  8. by   markm739
    Here's a good one I observed on my unit today regarding OCD behavior. I had to give report to a nurse who is particularly unpleasant ALL the time; I have had patients complain about her, and have been told by other nurses that she has been written up numerous times.....she is still here, so evidently all the writing up in the world won't get rid of this gal (henceforth referred to as G.)

    After I gave report, I was waiting for my night shift cohorts to finish so we could leave to go to a meeting together, and I happened to notice that G.
    had obtained a couple of our antiseptic wipes, and was wiping down the telephone in a very detailed fashion. I thought to myself, "Probably not a bad idea." She then began to wipe down the counter space where she would be camping out during her shift....again, a good idea.

    She then, after finishing with the counter, started cleaning the telephone
    AGAIN!!! Uh, hmm.......didn't you just do this, G.? My word, is this actual OCD behavior I am observing, characterized by the ritualism and repetitive task stuff? We cannot assess our patient until we have cleaned the telephone multiple times?

  9. by   oneillk1
    Quote from nursern20
    Do all ICU nurses have OCD or something??! Cuz it sure seems like it! The people i work with in the SICU are so anal retentive and obsessive compulsive, i hate it. They are not friendly at all, they are a good example of nurses eating their young thing. As a new nurse i am finding it hard to live up to their expectations. Can anybody give me any type of advice/comments/anything about this pleaaasee???
    yes and no... on one hand it is intensive care, I personally get very wound up and annoyed if the things that I need to do my job are not there. Such as the duck bill masks... my patient has Influenza... there are no masks in the hospital (I know I phoned everywhere!).... that pisses me off. Also, the consequences for the patient can be pretty extreme if things don't go right. I probably get a bit more short with people, supply, nurses who ring from other units with stupid questions (what are we, the help library, get off your a** and look it up) than I need to.

    On the other hand I think I actually work with some people who have genuine OCD. Such as, if you fill in their obs while they are on a break, they will redo the entire chart. For the whole day!!!! I think that saying you are at work to do your job and not to make friends is a bit short sighted though. If we get into trouble who is going to help us. Are you going to help the person who chats to you (at clinically appropriate times, before anyone gets on my case!) or the person who will not crack their face into a tiny smile. Why make life harder than it needs to be!

    There needs to be balance. Patient care CAN be balanced with a good working relationship with colleagues!
  10. by   CarVsTree
    I work trauma step down and will be moving to CC in the fall. I'll take a XFR from an "OCD" ICU nurse anytime. The lax ones make me shudder here's an example.

    Report from lousy ICU nurse (was a lousy tech on our floor previously)

    Lungs Clear
    RR 40's (but docs are aware) Why? Oh he is just anxious.

    Pt. arrives A&Ox3 (still restrained)
    Wheezing (didn't even need a stethoscope to hear him wheezing), productive cough.
    Foley swinging in the breeze and pulling (that is also nasty and dirty).

    I went home shortly after patient's arrival.

    I got back and he kept remarking how much better he feels since coming to our unit. (A 4 bed room with no privacy). He said he felt abandoned in ICU.

    The nurse that sent this patient ALWAYS sends us train wrecks. Assessment reported and actual assessment never match. He only knows how to read labs and follow protocols. He seems to have no interest in actual hands on nursing. I can only imagine what his rooms look like. Well, I'm sure I'll get an opportunity in a few months.

    BTW, we got an XR of above pt. and he had pneumonia. Maybe that was the source of that high resp rate.

    Bottom line, a neat room and a well cared for patient are obvious and often go hand in hand. I can tell what kind of nurse a pt. had within 2 minutes of that patient's arrival on my unit. The only names I know in my sister unit Trauma ICU are the ones that make me cringe. I have to pull every detail out of them and then I'm not sure how accurate their answers are. It's like being blind sided.
    Last edit by CarVsTree on Aug 21, '07
  11. by   a21chdchic
    I agree with most of the nurses here on the reasons to be 'OCD' and they are actually needed things to be, just because it is ICU. However, I can also see the point of NurseRN20, it is a very difficult transition to go in to the ICU to train and work, especially if you are a new RN. It will take a very long time for you to feel like you fit in, ICU nurses IMHO, are very 'clicky'. And this does make for a very unpleasant experience. I totally agree. I have worked in an ICU in 2 different hospitals and experienced the same things in both of them. I can't offer much advice, just do your job and try to leave things the way you want to find them (the golden rule). It is truly aggravating to come on shift to you patient that codes right after you receive repot to find a room in shambles. It is bad enough after the code, rather the results are good or bad. Another thing, if you find your patient's are stable and have extra time, remember team work, help out the nurse who needs help (not as a result of poor organization or the one who waits till the last minute to do any charting), I'm talking about the nurse who has had a rough night. Help out with patient care, so he/she can chart, etc. (Help with bathing, you get the idea.) You do your best and keep learning, but some people will always be uptight. Too bad for them. Life is too short, no need to make it unpleasant. :smiletea2:Good luck to you.
  12. by   PiPhi2004
    Personally, that makes me so happy to hear that thats the personalities that ICU nurses have. I start my first day on the unit in a MICU and I'm fresh out of grad school and I'm big on doing my work and not socializing, but I am friendly with patients and families. I hope its a lot less "high school" than most other med surg floors I've worked on during my school years. Am I right in this assumption? I sure hope so! Thanks for all the good postings
  13. by   steelcityrn
    I have noticed this also, and Im sure it comes from the fear of making a mistake, as one in this department can be deadly. I would much rather have a nurse like that anyways, than one who is not. Only problem is sooner or later you tend to burn out from the stress.