Worked at a Level 1 Trauma Center, great learning experience. Floor orientation lasted 11 weeks total. 7 weeks working 2 twelve hour shifts/week on the floor and the rest of the 80 hour pay period being in the classroom. After finishing the class work, I worked 4 weeks on the floor working 3 12's/week.
My whole goal going in was to try to soak up as much as I could from my experience as possible, when on the floor I used a notebook to write down important notes about the unit. Always studied at home after work as I am single and had the time to do it so I would know the pathophysiology and fill the gaps of when I had questions medications, procedures, or conditions. I had it down so well I was able to draw the circulation of blood from the aortic arch to all the cerebral arteries where strokes were common (not too hard). Got to know and continued learning the different types of aneurysms, procedures, how they were done, I learned so much everyday... I always tried to help other people when asked.
However, I didn't get along with and tried to get along with my preceptor but personality wise we were just different. I asked a lot of questions as I am new, but with every question my preceptor always asked "why/what do think is going on?" so I would be in the middle of trying to figure out multiple drips for a patient and ask for tips on how to hook them up and get the "how do think they should be hooked up?" question back for example. I wouldn't know and eventually my preceptor would help me after trying to figure out how while family members of the patient in the room watched me struggle to figure it out. Looking back I should have asked for a different preceptor. Anyways, towards the end of my probationary period, I asked my preceptor how I was doing, and got the answer that I would be on my own in a couple of weeks. Then come to find out, my last day of my probation period, my preceptor didn't show up, called in "sick". Later in the day, I was called to the unit managers office to be notified that I wasn't a good fit for the unit. Much to my bewilderment, the main reason cited is that I didn't understand the pathophysiology and conditions well enough. I was so shocked at the moment and was basically speechless and didn't see any use in arguing with my manager about it considering that whose word would my manager take someone who has worked for 8 plus years or someone who worked for 11 weeks? However, I was referred to another unit within the hospital, but I still want to be in an icu and my manager said that I couldn't use them as a reference to get in another icu. Long rant, but would I be crazy to apply to an icu at another hospital and how do I sell my story?