New grad decision: PACU or Telemetry

  1. Greetings!

    Blessed to have two offers, PACU or Telemetry.

    PACU sounds amazing (and includes some critical care training) but the hospital has 8/10/12 hr shifts and I really like 12s but it's not guaranteed. Plus it's a contract, $20k for 16 weeks of training then work an additional 24 months.

    The telemetry job has no contract and it's more of a formal new grad program.

    Need to decide asap! Please help!
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    About gratefulnewRN

    Joined: Aug '18; Posts: 3


  3. by   MissMeggles
    Having been a new grad in the PACU, I can say it's not impossible but it was wildly overwhelming and A LOT of the time that first year until I really started to get my feet under me I felt like I was always behind, missing something, over (or worse, under) reacting to something I felt I should have seen, etc. And despite the fact that I did take the critical care classes and do an orientation for 2 weeks in the SICU, I still wished I had spent more formal time in a regular patient care floor before coming to such a specialized area. In many hospitals as well, the PACU has a reputation for being where grumpier, older nurses go to ride out the days until their retirement which may not make for the most pleasant work environment, and I can certainly attest to experiencing a number of occasions of lateral violence that led me to seek a new job once I had gotten my first year as in. I hope for you that you would not have that same experience of an unpleasant work environment, but if that were the case, would it be worth that $20k and the maybe getting the shifts you want and getting to dabble in some critical care to ultimately be trapped in a contract in a department you don't like? 24 months is a very long time to be unhappy.

    I loved the work and still do, even though the PACU isn't my home anymore I still pick up extra shifts from time to time. I ended up going into critical care and loved it, but even though I was a "nurse with 1.5 years of experience" I came into the ICU still requiring basically a total new grad orientation because I hadn't had the opportunity to learn proper prioritization and my experiences and skills were limited to such a specialized area.

    My bottom line advice would be to go with the telemetry position. (Especially just because you mentioned critical care, if ICU is your ultimate goal, it makes you a better candidate for that position than a nurse with only PACU experience).

    Best of luck!