Need Advice Please

  1. I have read many suggestions on the site regarding pedi nursing. I will be graduating in December and I have been offered a position in a pediatric ICU at Texas Children's Hospital. The only thing that concerns me is they require a two year contract - while I understand it cost a lot to train and my plans are not to jump around I can't help but wonder why the PICU is the ONLY unit in the hospital that requires this contract. My exposure to sick children has been limited to ortho so naturally I am also concerned about what types of situations are seen usually. Any detail, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated!! Also, how do the children affect you on a day to day basis after you have gone home??

    Thank you very much!!
  2. Visit Daehne profile page

    About Daehne

    Joined: Nov '01; Posts: 3
    Graduating nursing student


  3. by   canoehead
    For some people ICU just isn't their bag, I loved peds but would have nightmares about kids laying out paralyzed once I tried PICU. What if it just isn't for you? What if the staffing sucks? What if...?

    Ask them these questions. I am also wary of any contract that obligates you to be there, but doesn't guarantee anything on their part. Will they promise that you can go to tasks instead of an assignment if you feel that your license is on the line for any reason? Will they guaruntee a pt nurse ratio? Will you get a bonus after you complete the contract? What about your schedule, will you be stuck there every holiday just because you can't quit on them?

    There's got to be a better deal somewhere.
  4. by   Daehne
    Thank you canoehead, all very good points, I might just ask if I can shadow a nurse for a day and see how it goes as well as ask the questions you brought up - the hospital was listed as one of the top five places to work in the Houston area but it is the unit I am concerned about, maybe L&D or Neuro ICU would be better????
  5. by   Jolie
    I share your concerns regarding this contract. What happens if you find the unit to be completely unsatisfactory? Will they allow you to "serve out your time" on another unit within the hospital system? What protections are there for you? Are you guaranteed employment for the 2-year term of the contract even if census changes or lay-offs are made elsewhere in the hospital?

    With most contracts, employers can not compel an employee to continue working against her will. But they can, and do, make it difficult or impossible for that employee to work elsewhere during the term of the contract. So, you could probably quit if you wanted to, but chances are you would be unable to work anywhere else.

    Be upfront, and ask the recruiter to address these concerns. Why are contracts required only on this unit? What options are available to PICU nurses who find the unit to be unsuitable to them? And, most importantly, ask a lawyer to review the contract before you sign it.

    Good luck. Take your time making this decision. It's a biggie!
  6. by   bergren
    You could look at it another way. The place may be so good and in such high demand that they can make these types of restrictions and get really good people to agree to them. One new grad I know who started in a prestigious Peds ICU out east has been in orientation since her first day on the job in August - they have spent only 5 days on the floor so far!!!!!! A huge investment in training if she would not stay.

    I agree - interview some of the staff. Find out what the length of employment was prior to this policy - what the turnover is now - do they leave right at the 2 year mark? Other corporations in other industries have similar policies that you have to reimburse the organization for the costs of training you and relocating you for every month under the contract you sign.

    Honestly, it takes a long time to be an expert in this area and they don't want to lose you right when you will be paying them back with expertise.

    Personally, if after the interviews you are comfortable, I'd go for it. I think the kind of nurse you end up to be has a lot more to do with the professionalism, standards and committment to excellence you are exposed to on your first job rather than the program you attended. Sounds like an elite group and you'll want to be a part of it. Kudos to you for getting the offer.
  7. by   nurs4kids
    There is no way I'd sign a contract for a job I don't even know if I will like, let alone a field I've not experienced. Peds is wonderful to me, but for some it's a nightmare. There IS a nursing shortage and Texas, I hear, has been hit hard. It's my guess that it's a high stress area and they turn alot of staff over to the rest of the hospital. This is probably why they are the ONLY unit in the hospital to require contracts. Shadowing for one day, or even for one month, is not going to give you a true indication of your desire to stay there two years or not.

    I'd just be honest with them and tell them how you feel. Tell them you have no plan on leaving in less than two years, but you're just not comfortable signing a contract. If it's only a unit policy, they very well may "overlook" the contract issue.

    Should you decide to proceed with the contract, again I advise against it, you should consult a lawyer to review the contract before signing it.