Missing the PICU, probably for the wrong reasons

  1. For 10 years I worked the PICU and loved it. Then my son was born. Every coping skill I had failed me. I could no longer remove myself from the patient. Finally last december, after losing 3 pts in 2 weeks, I had to give it up. Now I work in a state facility working rehab on mostly CP kids and I love it. The kids are great. They teach me something everyday, but lately I've been missing the good old days. I work 7p to 7a here and by 9p everyone is asleep, and they stay that way. I check them every hour and they never need anything. The night drags on.
    And so I find myself missing that constant rush of sitting on the edge of your seat. Waiting for the next code or the next trauma admit. I always told my trainees, "If you can do this, you should so this." You folks know, not everyone can. Am I being a coward by hiding here at this cushy job? And I miss the respect I recieved as a PICU nurse. There's no respect here, more indifference than anything else. Such is life I suppose.
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    About Okiecruffler

    Joined: Nov '02; Posts: 38; Likes: 14


  3. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    It sounds like you're really soul-searching. Do you think your coping abilities have returned to where they were before you had your son? Is there something specific that caused you to have this crisis of spirit, or is it just being a mom in general? Are you considering returning to the PICU, or just thinking out loud?

    I've worked in PICU, acute peds and peds extended care. I KNOW I'm built for PICU and am miserable anywhere else once the novelty has worn off. You've been out almost a year, more than enough time for you to miss the epi rush. And, as you mentioned, the respect. I know where that's coming from; the nurses who care for chronically dependent kids are held in a certain degree of contempt by the families, and even to an extent by the other health care disciplines. In PICU, parents look to the nurse for so much more than good care for their children.

    Are you a coward? No. Are you hiding your light under a bush? Perhaps. Are you ready to return to that place you fled? Only you can answer that. When you've thought it through, I'd like to know what you've decided...
  4. by   Okiecruffler
    Actually, it was mostly being a dad in general. No, you know once you've been in the game awhile, become one of the senior nurses, gotten you certs, then you become the go-to when something bad hits. And over my last year in the PICU I lost some chronic kids that I had known from birth, a couple from just stupid mistakes in the field. (No offense to my EMT brothers, you guys are like knights of old.) And now I've gone from someone who was treated like a pillar of strength by the famiies, to being treated as an interloper, not only by th families, but by the rehab team as well. Nurses are seen as a neccessary evil, but certainly not part of the process. But I worry that what's pulling me back into the PICU is pride and an addiction to that rush, and not a love for the work itself. Time will tell, the soul searching continues.
  5. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    OOOPS!! My bad. So sorry for the unintended gender slip...

    I understand what you're saying totally. But as I said to one of our RTs today, I choose not to dwell on those kids I've worked myself to a frazzle for who then are gone. I remember the ones who were given virtually no chance who walk back into the unit a year later looking like a million bucks and living life as it was meant to be lived. Like my patient today... a toddler with adeno pneumonia who was airlifted on ECMO and not expected to survive the flight... decannulated yesterday, awake and appropriate today, shooting for extubation tomorrow.

    I honestly don't think you're only considering returning for the rush or the respect. I feel like you ARE missing the work, the struggle, the baby-step goals. Keep searching. The answer will come.