New ICU RN....former ER Nurse...Loving it!!...LONG


i'm new to the icu.. i had worked in the ed for about two years and i felt utterly miserable. i absolutely hated going to work. i felt like i was working really hard but i wast learning anything new. we didn't do cvp's , a-lines, and i never hung any vasopressors in the ed.( maybe nitro, tpa, heparin etc)

i believe the eye opener was when i had a patient s/p cardiac arrest and i had to hang 3 vasopresors and anti arrhythmic, bicarb drip and other iv meds and the cardiologist was planning to put in an aline. i had no clue and and i felt very stupid. :banghead:( i hate feeling stupid and incompetent) most on the nurses working that day had no clue either ( the 4 older and more experienced nurses were not working). i managed to do the best i could utilizing hospital policy ,my manager (former icu nurse) who was alo extremely busy and the internet access and i survived. the patient was transferred to a major hospital for better care. it was a very unsafe environment for me and i was not going to learn anything more.

i especially hated my work environment and the politics on the unit. the staff were sooo negative and they had major cliques. there were nurses there who didnt know anything but because they were in the "cool gang" everybody else was stupid. there was no room to grow. i always thought i wanted to work in the ed, and ever since i was in nursing school people told me that i would be a good fit for the ed. well two years later.. i hated it and wanted out.

i felt like a failure leaving the i had failed myself. i have been orienting in the icu/ccu and i absolutely love it. my preceptor is soo positive and i am picking up new skills ( ive aways been fascinated with a-lines, cvp, crrt, swanns etc) i'm learning all these new stuff and im loving it.i love hanging drips and titrating it... i admit i do miss the ed, the adrenaline pumping in code situations but i get a little bit of that adrenaline when we have the codes in the icu ( quite a

i constantly busy but i dont run around the icu like im crazy (vs. in the ed)..i'm more calm and confident. i love the icu. i'm getting adjusted to baths, cleaning up etc ( benefits of the ed) but its not soo bad. i do love my job , and my preceptor is very impressed with me. its only been four weeks. i'm still on the move but i feel a little bit in control. politics is everywhere i know but im glad i left there......who knows ..i might go back to another ed someday but right now...i'm loving the icu!!!! it rocks!!! :loveya:the icu is not easier , its just a different kind of busy environment.

see old post:


261 Posts

Specializes in Med onc, med, surg, now in ICU!.

:yeah:Awesome! I read your other thread and I am so glad you've found something that suits. I am a little biased, but I love ICU too! I think ICU is 'think deep' vs ED, which seems to be 'think fast' (absolutey not my intent to offend anyone, and I have only worked a couple of shifts in ED when they were short).

I'm so happy you're happy!

sister s

34 Posts

Yes, I hear you! I've just left ICU to work in ED for some extra experience - to see the other shoe type of thing. I've been here a month now and I'm finding it very hard to appreciate. There's a definite clique, almost verging on outright rudeness to anyone new or unfamiliar. Looking at blood results or EKGs is almost frowned upon "just give it to the big boys (meaning the doctors) and get on with your job" was one remark I got from a senior nurse last week when I was looking at a patient's EKG. One nurse in triage admitted a patient under category 2, declaring that he had "EKG changes". "What sort of changes?" I asked. "Inverted T waves" she said. Turns out the leads were on the wrong way!

Yesterday I got into trouble for not keeping the patients moving in and out fast enough. I'm finding it very depressing. I'm going to give it until Christmas, then reapply for a job back in ICU if things don't get better.

It's true about the different kind of busy. In ICU I was often stressed and busy, but my focus was on the patient, not on their bed, and I felt like I had a lot more responsiblity and respect. :specs:


37 Posts

Specializes in All ICU, TBI, trauma, etc.. Has 10 years experience.

Yeah, I worked in ER for a very short time. I was told get them in and out, fast. I had a pt who was a frequent flier and he and his wife had never had his heart condition really explained to them. I took maybe 3 or 4 minutes to give them some important facts and they were very happy with an explanation that finally answered their long lingering questions. I was pulled aside and told that there wasn't time for that. Well we didn't have any other pt's coming in at the time so there was time because I would have been sitting on my butt otherwise but they wanted to make sure I didn't get in the habit of giving explanations. I am in ICU now.

sister s

34 Posts

Unreal! Must be the same the whole world over. In a way I'm glad it's not just here in Australia :nurse:

Indy, LPN, LVN

1,444 Posts

Specializes in ICU, telemetry, LTAC. Has 5 years experience.

A poster on here a while ago stated that while it's possible to do both ICU and ER, most nurses that try that have more of one in them than the other. I believe he's right, and I'm squarely in the ICU category. Half a shift in ER is about all I can take for months on end. And nobody gets to work half a shift there.

We do have a nurse we got from ER who's still having problems doing a slightly more organized work routine. I used to be afraid to offer suggestions to her 'cause I didn't want to be seen as nitpicky, but she's coming around nicely and always tries out suggestions to see what works.

What I love about ICU is that I can be OCD about many, many things and it winds up providing me with a steady routine of what to do and when to do it, and I like being the type who takes the step by step thought process with problems. And throw in the occasional dash of adrenaline when we get to run around like crazy during a real emergency. So for me the ED is just constant crazy, and that wears me out.

sister s

34 Posts

Absolutely. I know exactly what you mean!

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