Need Your Advice: OR or ICU Ltac

Nurses General Nursing

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New grad with 2 opportunities... ICU in ltac paying pretty well or new grad residency acute care in OR paying $29. Which is a better choice?

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development.

Where do your interests lie? Money is important, but it's not the be all.

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC.

I agree it depends on your future goals. If you are planning for OR, not going to get much better than a residency in the OR. However, OR experience is very specific and may not translate to as broad a field of opportunities in the future as the ltac experience. at least it sounds like you've got two pretty good options whatever you decide. GOod luck.

LTAC ICU is very heavy. You will be taking care of long term patients who have worsened. Most likely with a higher patient load than the 2:1 in acute care hospitals. 

What will your orientation consist of for these positions? You need to shadow for at least one day, more if you can get, to get a feel for what is expected of you.

Good luck.

I don't know what type of nurse I want to be.  I am a single mother so money is important. I want a feild that will offer money, satisfaction in actually saving lives, something that I can move anywhere and be in demand. im not sure what I want because I don't have any experience  to go off of

the orientation for ICU is 6 weeks. OR is 8 weeks class work and 13 weeks with a preceptor and then im on my on unless I don't feel comfortable. 

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC.

If those are the options, the OR job sounds like a much better orientation. Six weeks for a new grad in the ICU ltac is NOT enough time. 

It's hard to know what will give you the best options in the future, but setting you up for success in your initial position is important. Good luck!

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care.

Of those, I would go for OR.  OR can give you way better work/life balance. You can get M-F jobs (perhaps with some on call).  LTAC will not really be "saving" lives, but caring for people that have had terrible injuries like anoxic brain injuries and end up with trachs and ventilators, chronically ill often with terrible wounds, and a family that thinks letting them suffer until we literally cannot keep their heart beating is "doing everything". 

My personal opinion is that LTAC is more likely to be a burnout job. I worked a year of med-surg and dreamed of OR - a place with no call bells or constant stream of demanding visitors. 

That said, OR is difficult to get into, so a place for a new grad is a great opportunity. 

If you can't decide, look at what kind of schedule you will be working. If you are a single mother, what kind of childcare do you have available? As a nurse, you will need regular childcare, backup childcare and backup backup childcare. Will any of these jobs offer a set schedule or any regular hours? Will you have to be on-call and ready to go to work with little notice? If money is important, are there any opportunities for working overtime?

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development.
2 hours ago, RNperdiem said:

That said, OR is difficult to get into, so a place for a new grad is a great opportunity. 

These days, not so difficult, at least in my area!

Specializes in Cardiology.

You will get a much longer orientation (more like a residency) in the OR as well as a much better work/life balance. LTAC....there is a reason why the money is better. Much higher workload/stress. 

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