What are your duties when working in SICU?

Specialties MICU


Hi everyone, I want to become a CRNA and was told that I should spend a few yrs. in SICU. I was reading in the general discussion stories about poop, vomit, and mucous. I don't think I can deal with those kinds of substances, even if I tried. My question is do you have to deal directly with these substances? Or do you have assistants that take care of these substances? Some insight on this issue would be extremely helpful,thanks.

To answer your question quite frankly, No, there are not assistants to deal with this stuff. This "stuff" is often quite an important part of our assessment. Some units have an Aide to assist- but with all the tubes and lines in my patients, I would rather be the one responsible for accidently removing one. Yup, its all part of the job. And to be honest, I think its the same for all the other ICU's. You might want to tour an ICU- and spend a shift shadowing an RN just to see what is really involved.

Specializes in ED, MED-SERG, CCU, ICU, IPR.

Are you a nurse at all?

Your question hit me wrong. You want to work with patients but you don't want to get your hands dirty?

Did I misunderstand?


Critcal Care

Columbus, Ohio

You are definately in the wrong profession if you can't stomach poop, vomit, and mucus. I mean what do you honestly believe you will be doing? Looking for a doctor to marry? And no, the nursing assistants are not there to do your dirty work. They are there to assistant you. Believe me your work on any unit will be much better if you treat the assistants with respect. You need to really think seriously if this is what you want. I clean poop daily and have even went in search for poop manually removing it when it can't be expelled.

"Hi everyone, I want to become a CNA and wanted to know how do I become one? How long will it take? I have read that CNA's have to change bed pans alot. I have a very weak stomach and to me this sounds pretty bad and don't know if I can handle doing this. Was wondering if any CNA's wear a mask when cleaning stool?"

Hi, I notice that you posted this about a year ago. Have you been a CNA or nursing student yet? I think that you are possibly interested in the CRNA because it seems like CLEAN and RESPECTABLE work. It IS respectable for sure, but clean...not necessarily. Airways involve alot of mucus and bloody mouth secretions (tough intubations). Also, do you have the stomach for witnessing a human sliced open with guts hanging out etc..?

As for dealing with "these substances" as you called them: They are all a part of the human condition. If someone you loved dearly needed to be cleaned of these "substances", you would wish to god that they would have a compassionate nurse and nursing assistant to clean them up and preserve their dignity as much as possible. CRNA's have the same job description as anesthesiologists. They also have the same types of patients, and have a helluva high malpractice rate.

Good luck in your quest. Keep questioning until you find where you think you belong, ok?

Specializes in Critical Care.

What is an assistant? YES, we deal directly with it or who else would.


If you work for an Anesthesia group, which is the preferd method, they usually pay your malpractice. I've talked to CRNAs and they say it's not as bad as people think, but it's still high. *don't flame, please! :p*


I wouldn't flame you Brett!

I've only heard about the high malpractice rates through word of mouth. The rates must be pretty high though. Take care.

hey sharann,

They are high for new graduates, but after 2-3 years i've heard they drop a great deal. That's why everybody i've talked to has said to work for a Group b\c your malpractice in normally paid for by the group. One CRNA I know makes more doing group w\40 hrs.\week than working on his own at more than 40 hrs\week.



Where did you here that CRNAs have high malpractice rates? Frankly, that is not true. I would be cautious before I started disseminating information (In this case, incorrect information) of that nature. If you mean that CRNAs have high rates, you're right. Thats why they are compensated so well.

Personally, I was implying they have high rates. Sorry if you were so offended gotosleep, it was an error of omission on my part.

Specializes in ER.

Re the original blood and guts post, the rule is that if you find it you clean it. So if you can't deal with it nursing in any form is probably not for you.

Reminds me of the lady in my class as a student who quit after the first week of clinical because she didn't realize that nurses had to empty bedpans. Haha- it only got worse too- good thing she quit.

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