ICU or ED?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    at at quite a fork in the road with my career, and was hoping to speak quite frankly and wonder what you guys think!

    I'm a UK based nurse in the NHS, just recently hit my three year anniversary and revalidated!

    hx as follows..
    9 months dialysis (day clinic and acute outreach)
    1yr 2 mths emergency department
    1yr 1 mth intensive care

    I am passionate about trauma and have a great interest in prehospital care!

    I originally left my post in the emergency department as I felt I needed exposure to more acute/critical patients, which I've gotten! I'm also in the
    run up to start my intensive care nursing modules with the local uni next year - but that's also a commitment of ~1yr too!

    I miss is working in A&E, and critical care is leaving me rather down lately.
    - Is this what appears to be my own traditional one year itch?
    - Should I stick it out in ICU to obtain my qualification in preference to further ED experience?
    - Are there any "extracurricular" opportunities or roles that anyone recommends in my pursuit of further trauma and prehospital experience?


    Dear Should I Stick It Out In ICU?,

    You have gained really great experience in your three years out.

    You sound like more of an ED nurse to me! In my experience, ED and ICU nurses both deal with acute patients, but take a distinctively different approach. I understand how ICU can get you down if you are "hard wired" more for ED. Much as I loved ICU, long term, very ill patients and futile resuscitative efforts do take their toll.

    Are there emergency air transport positions available in your area? This because you love trauma and pre-hospital care.

    As far as extracurricular roles, I do not know how volunteer, such as Search and Rescue units, work in the U.K., but am hoping some U.K. friends will chime in.

    Best wishes in your choice,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Nov 28, '17
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,382; Likes: 4,124