Why Critical Care?

  1. Hi,
    Hope everyone is doing well. I just wanted to do a poll to find out why nurses choose critical care. What are the specific ups/downs? In what do you find it rewarding vs. other areas of nursing?

    I am a soon to be new grad and some classmates and I were talking. I knew exactly where to come to ask.

    Thanks!!!
  2. Visit onesunniegal profile page

    About onesunniegal

    Joined: Dec '03; Posts: 95; Likes: 10
    Specialty: ICU, Geri, Education

    15 Comments

  3. by   redwolf
    I chose critical care after several years work experience on a heavy duty telemetry floor. Personally, I felt it to be the next step for me. Having said that I have to admit my lack of good med-surg experience did nothing for my self confidence in the beginning--despite the fact I was OLDER than the average bear,a fast learner and had a professional approach to things. I don't think new grads should go immediately into CC, altho I also realize the shortage we have might override what I personally think. Some new grads acclimate well- for others it's not what their self confidence needs at this point in their career.
  4. by   onesunniegal
    Redwolf,
    Thanks for your insight.
    -S
  5. by   cardiac.cure03
    I went into CCU as a new grad, and I just finished orientation last week. I feel I'm doing well so far...being I have tons of support on the unit I'm in.
    Some of the reasons I chose to do so:

    I wanted something challenging, and I felt ICU would be something I'd consider to be so.

    I am considering CRNA school someday.

    I love focusing on 2 pts, I, personally, feel I am able to provide better and more holistic care for 2 pts than for 5-7.

    I feel like I really make a difference when I can be there to support and help the pts and their families get through some (what could be) the most difficult time they've ever encountered.

    Those are just a few reasons coming to mind at the moment. Critical care is just something that is very interesting to me. Hence I love searching for info, asking questions, gaining any and all experiences when possible.
    I love it!
  6. by   meandragonbrett
    More autonomy and fast critical thinking.
  7. by   christymwinn
    I worked as a telemetry/icu tech while in nursing school and always knew that is where I wanted to end up. That being said, I still worked as an LPN on med/surg and in a dr's office before I finished with my RN and have now been in the ICU for almost 2 years. I like my ICU, but now am thinking about something a little more family friendly so I can spend more time with my kids. The stress is really starting to get to me.
  8. by   extraordinary067
    i am a new grad in icu and am about 2 mths into orientation. i chose icu bc i rotated in a sicu and ccu as a nursing student and liked it better than med/surg or tele. what i liked more about icu was that you can focus your care on 1 or 2 pts rather than 6-8. the work is NO LESS by any means but i personally like the focus of having less pts. also, medically speakng the pts are more intersting to me. the sicker you are the bigger the challenge and the more you get to see and do. the technology in the icu is also something i love...just fascinating. the icu is definitly not for everyone. i am in a group w 6 other new grads and almost 1/2 have decided it is not for them. it is a very stressful environment ESPECIALLY as a new grad. if you are considering icu i would recommend shadowning a couple of shifts at the least before jumping into it.
  9. by   onesunniegal
    Great insight guys, keep it coming. Thank you for letting me to get inside your awesome minds.
  10. by   Ophelia78
    I chose ICU as a new grad and did well (and am now back there after a couple brief sojourns in L & D and Home Health). I love focusing on 1 or 2 patients, all the high-tech equipment, and the thinking involved in critical care. I was a caseworker in a previous incarnation and enjoy working with the families as well. I love explaining every drip, beep, and machine. I love knowing that I really can keep a cool head when the stuff hits the fan or a patient crashes. Best of all, I love it when we nurse and fight for a patient who's hanging by a thread, and 6 months later they are walking into the unit, relatively healthy and unrecognizable, wanting to say Thank You.
  11. by   RNperdiem
    I ended up in SICU after applying for OR. They were only hiring internal candidates for OR, but offered me my choice of ICU. The recruiter said I could always work in ICU for a while and apply to OR later. I am still in ICU 7 years later.
    After the stress and madness of med-surg, anywhere was fine for me.
    ICU has fewer patients, more control over visitors, better rapport and access to doctors, and a chance to give a high level of care.
    The down side is a heavy burden of responsibility.
  12. by   I_am_Julia
    why critical care?

    a stepping stone.

    Quote from onesunniegal
    hi,
    hope everyone is doing well. i just wanted to do a poll to find out why nurses choose critical care. what are the specific ups/downs? in what do you find it rewarding vs. other areas of nursing?

    i am a soon to be new grad and some classmates and i were talking. i knew exactly where to come to ask.

    thanks!!!
  13. by   mrmike
    I am graduating next month a took a job in the Surgical Trauma ICU of a level 1 trauma center. I think this may be a hard assignment for a new grad, but I was a medic for 10 years and like the autonomy and the critical thinking.....
    GOOD LUCK!
    Last edit by mrmike on Apr 18, '07
  14. by   HHW2006
    I started in a med-surg icu right out of school and it was the best decision I could have made. I love the fast pace and the high degree of critical thinking that is involved. There is also a much greater degree of autonomy given to nurses in critical care (at least at my hospital) once you have proven yourself to be competent. I must admit to that I am a bit of an adrenaline junky - having spent 7 years as an EMT with my local volunteer fire department.

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