You sound like an ideal candidate for an ICU hire IMO. The fact you are excited to learn about new drugs and monitoring modalities is fantastic. PCU is where we preferentially hired our non-ICU nurses. I guess it's the area you live in. I'm sorry, that's unfortunate. It sounds like the ICU is missing out on a great nurse.
So I may be criticized or flamed for some of what I am about to post, but it is just something that I have been feeling and thought I'd put it out there for some feedback and perhaps help my outlook.
I currently work in a PCU and bored to tears because I am no longer learning anything new. In fact, I am working on a unit that does not allow us to do certain things that in prior facilities as either a traveler or staff I have been able to do independently (for instance, PICC dressing changes at my facility are only done by IV team and not floor nurses). Also, my unit does not allow titration of drips like cardizem, whereas in other places I have done this with no issues.
But specifically, because I feel tapped out on PCU, I am yearning to learn to work with more critical patients as those in the ICU. I would love to transition to the ICU but all the ICUs near me only want nurses with ICU experience. It is frustrating because I ask then, well HOW do I get the experience if you wont take me? I have tried to look for critical care courses to take to make myself more marketable. I have even looked into taking an ECCO course, but these are not available to people who do not work in ICU currently. I am a member of AACN as well which I think is important for my goals.
I seem to perceive ICU nurses as more prestigious and important in the hospital setting, and I know that is wrong to say but that is how I feel. When I have to call a rapid response on my patient and an ICU nurse comes to the bedside, I feel inferior because his/her presence makes me feel "inadequate" as if the nurse is here to say "you are not capable of taking care of this patient on your own anymore, you need to step aside and let me with more superior skills take over." So, I ask myself, why can't I be that kind of nurse too? I am tired of feeling deficient, I want to be that kind of nurse that takes care of patients when they get sicker and doesnt need that higher level nurse to come save the day.
I am even having issue with certification. I am clearly qualified to sit for the PCCN but I have this fear that earning that certification will peghole me as a PCU nurse forever which is something I do not want. I would much prefer to have CCRN behind my name. I perceive nurses with CCRN to be higher regarded and I am inclined to not progress further in my career until I achieve CCRN. There are varied schools of thought as to who can sit for a CCRN. Some say the rules are vague and that I in fact can sit for that certification exam. But others say it must be ICU experience. Granted, I have never touched a vent long enough to understand its settings but believe me I want to. I want to learn about A-lines and vents and transducers and all that critical care stuff, and I want to learn to work with medications that are not part of my world. I hear names like esmolol and norepinephrine and I get excited to learn about them and want to work with them. I am also tired of remembering details on more than 2 patients. I much rather know well 2 patients than remember details on 4.
For the past 7 years, all I know is tele and PCU and I feel like I need a nursing change but life is not allowing me to ... despite it all, I love nursing and proud of being one!
At this point I am probably babbling, but I gave enough information to start dialogue I guess.
Thanks for commenting. I couldn't help but laugh when you said "by George it was still running at 7am". You're right. Hopefully I will look back and laugh on all of this. Maybe I'll make a post in a couple years about how unrealistic I was as a new grad. Haha. I think the delegation thing for me stemmed from when I was orienting, my preceptor would have me do everything so I knew how to do it. She had me shaving patients, lab draws, ADLS. Which is good but she never really showed me how to delegate. We would just do whatever came up. So in my mind, I'm like I'll just do whatever and not even look for an aid. I've gotten better. I don't call them for everything. But like a previous poster stated, it's not fair for me to hustle and for them to be sitting around. And right "magically appear. They knew what they were doing.
If it makes you feel any better, I was a train wreck as a new grad and used to fumble with many details as you are doing. To be honest, I read your post and I have to say I was worse than you 🙂 ... I remember ignoring an order to stop a heparin gtt at 10pm and by george it was still running at 7am when handoff occurred. Needless to say, the patient could not get surgery that day.
7 years later, I have gained much more confidence in my skills. The ONLY thing I still struggle with even so many years later is delegation, which stems from the fact that I worked in a facility as a new grad where CNAs where notorious for hiding out and as an RN you were forced to do certain things you would normally delegate because it was faster than searching out the CNA (but wouldnt you know, they magically appear the second you are completed). Because of that my time management was affected too.
That is my worst PTSD but it has gotten a tad better.
Wanted to share my story because I know how you feel. I could have written the same post years ago. It gets better and in a few years you will laugh like I Iaugh at my new grad days too. I only wish I had a YouTube video to post of me back then so you could see. I am proud of how far I have come, and you will too. Hang in there!
This is true poetry.
It's all about the moment... and reminds me of that sweet old John Denver song, "Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine, I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine."
How long have you worked in a hospital? Most of us who've worked in hospitals are likely MRSA positive anyway even if we are scrupulous on infection control.... I am also awaiting a @Davey Do special here.