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New to the SICU...

by pompomlady pompomlady (New) New

Specializes in ICU, SICU. Has 2 years experience.

SO.... I just got a new job in the SICU that starts in about two weeks.... I did work on a CCU for about 8 months... but my old hospital was trying to compete with another hospital and lots of major shifts started happening after i was done a long orientation (which was a lot of classes)....my hospital started sending all of its sickest patients to another hospital in the system close by.... they even downsized the beds we used on our unit and started asking me where I would like to go if transferred to the other hospital.... i felt like my position was in jeoporady and my unit was becoming a glorified telemetry unit without me even getting my feet wet....

anyways thats why I started applying elsewhere....

then i landed this position in the SICU at an AMAZING hospital, which I'm extremely excited about but I'm nervous because I do have some "experience"... which the nurse manager said she wanted as she "doesn't hire new grads" .... I did tell them about the downsizing stuff which is why i was looking but didn't DELVE into all the issues above.... but I was a brand new nurse when I was hired onto the CCU.... and still honestly feel pretty brand new with SO SO much to learn ....

What recommendations do you guys have about starting over again into a brand new SICU...

PS: I will get a 6-8 week orientation I was told that would be tailored to my needs (aka extended if needed).

Sugarcoma, RN

Specializes in Trauma/Tele/Surgery/SICU. Has 2 years experience.

Correct me if I am wrong but what I took from your post is that maybe you are a little concerned that your new manager doesn't realize exactly how new you are? You were honest about your experience. Your manager knows your experience. If she expects a fully functioning ICU RN who just maybe needs to learn the charting and where everything is then shame on her for hiring you.

Please know that sometimes when a manager says they do not want to hire new grads that does not necessarily mean they are looking for an experienced ICU RN so much as they are looking for someone who knows the very basics of nursing such as how to talk to a doctor, how to hang a tube feed, how to start an IV or draw blood etc. And they are looking for someone who knows they will be comfortable in an ICU, someone who is not freaked out by vents and realizes the ICU is a serious place. In the case of my manager this is what she means. She hired two relatively new nurses, one with only 6 mos experience as a nurse and she always says she will not hire new grads. She was aware of what these really new nurses would need to succeed. I hope this is what you find with your new manager as well.

My recommendation would be to be brutally honest about your abilities and experience with your preceptor/s and educators. If you have to, remind them that even though you come from an ICU it had much lower acuity. Tell them that is why you changed jobs because you felt you were taking care of glorified floor patients. Make sure your preceptor/s know that you are up for the sickest of the sick while on orientation. Use the next 6-8 weeks while you have a preceptor to soak up as much as you can.

Honestly I think that showing up with a good attitude, showing a willingness to take hard assignments and showing enthusiasm to learn new things is most of the battle. Hopefully they will give you a little more time. 6 weeks orientation in an ICU seems short to me even for an experienced ICU RN.


Specializes in ICU, SICU. Has 2 years experience.

Thanks for your all of your input! This made me feel a lot better about the situation! I appreciate your response!