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New grad...which ICU to choose?

s.wheeler s.wheeler (New) New

I will be a new grad in May and am interested in the ICU. The hospitals I have applied to have a bunch of different specialty ICUs and I'm not sure where I would fit in best. My senior practicum is in the ICU and ED but the hospital I am at is pretty small and because of this there are limitations in how they are able treat patients. While I feel like I haven't had the most well-rounded ICU experience I am a really hard worker and still want to pursue a career in the ICU. Based on my experience is there an area you think I would be best suited for?

My options are:

Surgical/Trauma ICU

Cardiothoracic ICU

Cardiac ICU

Neuro ICU

Medical ICU

It's hard to know where you would best fit in based on this post. Which area sounds the most interesting to you?

Also, I'm not sure if this would be a good indicator or not, but which units in school did you do the best in? In other words, what topics did you seem to grasp the most? I would think the unit with the types of patients/diseases you understood best may be the best fit. At the same time, there are other factors that make a job a good fit or not, including the work environment such as other staff members. Interview for multiple floors and see if there are some managers you connect with more than others. Also, interviews don't always indicate how successful someone may be, but I have noticed that I have performed better in jobs that I interviewed well for versus those that I did not. If you're initial impression of the unit is anything but "I absolutely have to work here," consider looking elsewhere. Good luck!

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

More important question: which of those units do you have active offers from right now? It's all good and well to talk about what types of units there are, but until you have an offer in your hand from all of them, it's a somewhat moot point.

Apply for all of them, and narrow down your choices depending on who's interested in you. :)

I can tell you after working in pretty much all of them that it depends on the type of activity / patients and cases you like working with / way your brain kind of functions and if you want to go back to school for NP or CRNA.

As a new grad I would say go surgical / trauma in a level 1 trauma hospital. You get a bit of everything and you get trauma experience. A heavy trauma can affect every organ in the body from what was minutes ago a healthy person.

If you want a more controlled chaos controlling drips and focusing on one area of the body go CT or CCU. Very invaluable experience also.

A MICU is too general and a nero ICU is too specific IMO.

There's no wrong choice, but those are just my opinions.