Request wisdom from fellow RN's in ICU

  1. I am contemplating a move to our SICU on the pm shift. I have been a clinic nurse for the last 2 years and am bored out of my skull.
    I have worked the step down unit but, never went to the ICU due to a fear factor. I was afraid that the stress would do me in and that I couldn't handle codes. I want to get past this and want to know what I could expect from an average shift. It is a real shame that I don't feel comfortable expressing these fears to any of the nursing managers. I just don't find many nurses willing to really help others in our field.
    I have high standards for myself and expect the same from those that work with me. Do you find that those in the ICU's generally help one another?
    I am 40 years old. How old are some of you that work in the ICU's and how long have you been doing it?
    I am really counting on your honesty and am looking forward to reading the replies so please, share your experiences with me.
    Thank you,
  2. Visit cacatrn profile page

    About cacatrn

    Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 5
    Staff RN by day, Forensic nurse examiner by night


  3. by   BadBird
    Hi There,

    I work in an ICU and prior to that on a telemetry floor. I can say the first difference I noticed was that the Doc's that talked down to you on the floor actually listened to what you had to say in the ICU. I worked full time and then went agency in a few different places and in all but one unit the nurses were very helpful. I also work night shift only so we have to rely on each other as there is no ancillary staff. Usually when a new admission arrives in the unit everyone is in there transferring the patient onto the bed, setting up suction if needed, putting on the monitor, getting the correct iv's ready or started, vital signs, assessment, and of course the bath that the ER never does even if they lay in **** for 5 hours,and anything else needed. Anyway, yes ICU is a different breed, we are helpful, strong willed, and smart. As far as your fear factor, ask a lot of questions from doc's and nurses, don't be afraid to ask as many as you need to, you would be suprised at the experienced staff that forget things too., and remember in a code situation you are never alone. Mabey you could do one task at a time until you are comfortable, ex. ambu bag, chest compressions, recording the code, pushing meds, etc...

    Good luck
  4. by   cacatrn
    Badbird, thank you for the feed back. I am hoping to hear from others that work in the units and their experiences. I would like to hear the pros as well as the con.
  5. by   Linzi
    I work in ICU in England, i'm sure things here are similar if not behind the times! to our US counterparts. I eventually had the guts to go to ICU two and a half years ago, following acute Cardiology for three and a half years, but i won't bore you to death with the minor details of my career!!! I'm sure I had the same trepidations as you did, but with an experienced team around you, you will be supported as much as you need. Never, ever be afraid to ask questions of doctors or nurses, tip- don't ask questions on the unit round wait until you get a doctor alone, (when asked q's in front of other doctors they do have a tendancy to puff out there chests and act like they know everything, no-one knows that much! Remeber your team will know that you don't have the same experience, but will be aware that you have a different experience and skills to draw from, just be honest really, if you don't know something, admit it, it is a strength, not a weekness. As for codes - you will never be alone, the whole of icu works as a team. Good luck, mind you, it's December now, and i'm sure you're doing fine. - as for the stress of the job, it does exist obviousley, but becoming part of the team and de-briefing after events helps - as does the time honoured English tradition of after work nights out to blow off steam, and gel as a team in and out of work. Hope this helps!
  6. by   kewlnurse
    I just started in out CMICU 6 weeks ago and it's very differnt, Most of the staff is pretty cool, most are extremely anal, even about trite stuff, gets annoying somtimes. i'm 33 and by far the yourest in the unit, but in this area it's extremely hard to get into the units, er, or... anything special, it's not like the rest of the country where they can't get people into the units (from what i gather ) i lucked out, long story, and not relevant, we had 3 codes with 3 differnt patiens in one day, it's very busy, stress is what ya make of it.
  7. by   tiedandsedated
    Don't let your fear hold you back.
    I have been precepting in the SICU for the last 3 years-new grads and old grads-its a matter of what you want. The ones who do not ask queations are the nurses that we worry the most about.
    Good luck.
  8. by   mtnzhigh
    I am 32 and have been a nurse for 3 1/2 years, after spending the last two on a Telemetry unit I have just switched to our SICU. I am excited by all the depth and the level of care I will be giving. I agree that the MDs actually talk to you, not through you or down to you. So I think that if the prospect of learning more excites you then do it.
  9. by   McCoyRN
    in the icu on my floor (only a 6 bed unit), all the nurses work together like an orchestra. no one talks, they just know what to do. it's great. each has 2 patients but is aware of everything else going on. i know your fear about "the code" but codes can happen anywhere, and they usually aren't a surprise. you can see the signs coming, and maybe even prevent a code by being astute in your assessments and critically think your butt off! of coarse in life there are always surprises, they are never easy, never run smooth (i shouldn't say never) but the more experience you have, the better. no time to start getting that experience like the present! good luck

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