Nursing Student Wondering About ICU...


Hello ICU nurses!

I am a third year nursing student with a large interest in ER or ICU. I just finished a placement in ER and absolutely loved it. However, I have never worked in an ICU setting and I am wondering what a typical day is like in ICU, as well as any tips or pointers should I choose ICU as a fourth year precepting placement.


Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

patient ratio 2-3

high acuity weather surgical or medical, or Ccu

intravascular monitoring, unstable patients may require major change in intervention, frequent assessments and changes in plan of care, often dealing with changes in multiple systems respiratort, endocrin, hemodynamics, electrolytes, blood gases

Lots of drips AND LINES, multiple doctors on each case

generally more teamwork....i loved it

sometimes a rollercoaster, more accountability

hope that helps , best wishes to you

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

And terrified/devastated families...closer working relationship w/ other disciplines e.g. respiratory therapy, chaplaincy vs. the floors. This is just speaking for ICU; I've never worked ED


14 Posts

Specializes in Emergency, cardiac, ICU, CCU, neuro.

Thank you both for your replies!


64 Posts

A lot depends on the facility and the specific critical care unit. a community hospital may see less acute patients where the more serious are turf'd to larger facilities. Trauma/Sicu much more fast paced. MICU more chronic patients. CVICU cardiac surgeries maybe transplants depending on where you work. Much of how you learn and enjoy comes from the team you work with. I have worked in units where everyone worked together and some where it was lacking of any teamwork. It is best to know someone from inside the unit where you want to work to get the skinny on how things run. Good Luck!