New grad hired onto MICU, I need advice!!

  1. Hey everyone!
    I just passed my boards 3 short weeks ago and was offered my ideal position on the medical intensive care unit. I had precepted there for my critical care rotation. I had met the manager while there. After I graduated and passed my boards I called HR quite a lot and got through to them and the unit manager. The unit manager offered to interview me. 6 days later I was offered the position!! I am absolutely elated I can't believe it!!! But, behind all my excitement, relief, and pure happiness, I am pretty nervous. I know this is going to be hard. I mean, that is all anyone will tell you if you leap straight to ICU nursing out of school - is that it will be hard, REALLY HARD, for at least 2 years. It is as if nobody has anything positive or encouraging to say. And, while I do not want people to sugar coat things, it would be nice to hear that it is not all depressing and horrible. I am kind of quiet sometimes and I don't want that to get in the way. I do not want to choke in an emergent situation. I don't really want to drive to work with knots in my stomach and drive home crying. I know that I will go through those things, though. I know it is part of the territory. I guess what I want to know is; will it always fell like doom and gloom? How soon until those feelings diminish? Any tips for a newbie on how to gather a great support team around her in the MICU? I have a million and one fears in my head about being adequate enough to fill the shoes of this position. I know I will be a good nurse..deep down, I know it. I just don't want to let myself down. I need to succeed at this and prove to myself that I am worth a starting position in the MICU. I appreciate all your support, everyone. This site is a wonderful resource for when you need a little pep talk!
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    About LillyBud

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 43; Likes: 12
    from US


  3. by   triciamatsuda
    All I can say is that you are very lucky!!!! Id kill for a job at the MICU!
  4. by   Biffbradford
    Congratulations. I went in to a large CVICU right out of school and I lasted 12 years, so it can be done!

    - ask questions, be a sponge.
    - you're never alone, so if you need a second opinion on something, ask for it.
    - you're not going to learn everything overnight, so don't expect to.

    If you don't try to be a super hero you'll be fine. These places can chew you up and spit you out in no time flat, so just take it day by day. Take time out for yourself to clear your head after a hard day. Go for a walk after work, or stop at the store on the way home. Anything to help you unwind a bit.

    Good luck!
  5. by   KquinnICU
    I went into SICU right after graduation. I'm on year 3 now. It isn't all doom and gloom! What was said about being a sponge is true. Seek out opportunities, be in on as much as you can. In a crisis, stick with the code document writer and you'll learn fast what is going on. Work hard. If you can take the AACN Essentials of Critical Care Orientation online classes they are a great resource. Find the nurses that will support you and count on them. You'll be fine!
  6. by   JeanOfAllTraits
    I'm feeling the same way. I graduated last May and started a BSN completion program right away. I've been working part time this past year as a Med/Surg float with limited ICU experience. I start in an ICU float position right in May when I finish my BSN, as in three days after graduation. I don't really have time to study a whole lot before I start, but they're known for their orientation program. I'm super excited, but yes, also a small bit terrified. But hey, what can we do but jump right on in, ask questions and and put our all into being the best nurses we can be?
  7. by   LillyBud
    I am ready!!! I really do love learning...I just want this to work so badly. I am already in love with saying it to people ... "Oh I am a MICU nurse!" It just feels good Thanks for your input guys! It is good to hear that it can be done
  8. by   KquinnICU
    That is the enthusiasm that you'll need! Welcome to the family of critical care!
  9. by   LillyBud
    Quote from KquinnICU
    That is the enthusiasm that you'll need! Welcome to the family of critical care!

    Thank you!!
  10. by   Abranna
    I also got a job in MICU right out of school. I started last August and I can tell u while it is terrifying because these patients are so sick you are going to love your job! I was off orientation in December and scared out of my mind but even in just 4 months things are much better I'm confident enough in the things we do all the time and generally all the nurses are very supportive and willing to answer my questions with things that are still new to be or that I just need to reinforce. I can also tell u that I too am quiet and not very outspoken but you get over that quick when a doctor is telling you to do something against policy/ that could harm ur patient unnecessarily ... I had a situation like this a few months ago and I shocked myself bc I flat told the doctor and said no... The patient was very critically and the other two nurses in the room were like now ur a true micu nurse! After the dr had left the room.
    You're going to be amazed by how many things you learn. I personally am excited to go to work everyday bc I never know what new thing I'm gonna see or learn. Definitely get the fast facts for critical care book it's a great resource and its a little binder so I add things to it tgat are specific to my unit/facility.
  11. by   ChadlyRN
    Congrats on your new job! I too was a new grad RN straight to an MSICU. The first year you are going to be stressed. But be a sponge. Ask lots of questions. If you don't know what something is, ask. It's ok not to know. Enjoy this time.
  12. by   SICU XYRN
    Congrats on getting into your desired unit! Just having the "stick-to-it-iveness" or assertiveness to do that probably means that you'll be assertive when you need to on the job too! I came out of an accelerated BSN program into a SICU at a Level I Trauma hospital and felt COMPLETELY overwhelmed. I did not have the greatest schooling and was certainly lacking in ICU knowledge. I felt "in over my head" all the time initially. I definitely had knots in my stomach and a few breakdowns. I wondered frequently, "did I bite off more than I can chew?" Those feelings, in all honesty, lasted a while. For at least my first 6, maybe 9 months I worried that my patients would die during my lunch break. (they didn't) HOWEVER --- don't despair!! Eventually I started to feel more and more comfortable. You'll begin to have the same general scenarios occur, and this time you know what to do. You'll already be watching for certain complications of this or that type of patient. Long story short, it ends up being great!
    I've been in my unit for 3 years now, and have just been accepted to CRNA school. The exposure you'll get in a MICU will pave the way for your nursing career for the rest of your life! After just one year, you'll have the ability to go pretty much wherever you want to go. So stick with it, and be prepared for it to be rough, and sometimes scary. It's the best decision you can make to hang in there!

    Best of luck!
  13. by   katicurn84
    I too got my dream job in the medical icu a little over a year ago as a new grad. I was scared out of my mind but my unit is amazing. There are always politics but just stay away from it. One thing about the icu is that you are never alone. There is always someone to help you as teamwork is a must. Just make the best of it. Enjoy it! Its a roller coaster but I wouldn't change my choice for anything in the world.
  14. by   ObtundedRN
    ICU nursing is very physical as well. So be prepared to go home feeling like you've been physically beaten. Buy critical care nursing books and read them. There is so much to learn in the realm of critical care. Rapid Interpretation of EKGs by Dale Dubin is great for learning EKGs. Hopefully you're in an area with a strong AACN local chapter. If so, join! At the least join the national membership and read the monthly magazines, but the monthly local meetings can be really great too. AACN also has their Essentials of Critical Care nursing, its a decent resource. Kathy White's Fast Facts for Critical Care (or something like that) is a decent reference to keep with you on the unit.

    There will always be things you don't know. Always ask! Its when you don't ask that you'll **** people off. And always keep your charge nurse aware of things. If your patient is turning bad, having procedures, is super busy, etc.