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Why do Critical Care nurses look down their noses at Med-Surg nurses?

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by marisatheresa marisatheresa (New Member) New Member

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240 Visitors; 6 Posts

Ugh my heartfelt long response didn't make it through :(

abbreviated version I guess...

the longer I'm in the ICU, the more OCD/control freak I have become. I HAVE to know EVERYTHING about my patient; assessment wise and physio wise. It's easy to hurt/kill a patient if you don't.. and any little deviation can mean something critical to me when someone is that sick. The doctor will also look to you to know everything. Besides the doc rounding once or twice, the nurse is in total control of their patients. It makes it more interesting if you are in a pod with one or two other nurses and don't have a cna, secretary, or tele tech :) and when one patient starts crashing it effects the whole pod.

(as a side note, I honestly can't remember the last time I sat and just watched my patients! Just recently I clocked 7 miles in my pod without even going on a road trip!)

Perhaps the nurse you spoke with was trying to see a trend in the K? When getting a rapid transfer we need to know as much as possible to figure out what's coming to us (i.e. Like When you're trying to get report from ER/PACU/etc). As soon as we hang up the phone we're running to prep the room, and that includes setting things up for your patient based on the report we get. They are crashing and we have to figure out why, and you can bet the doc will be looking to you for all info once they get there! Besides this, we have to ensure our other patient is stabilized before the cluster begins within minutes. I almost never have time to look at the chart when they're coming in that fast, so I want to know everything from the nurse. This will be key in giving me answers about what's about to happen, since most patients crash or code upon arrival. Plus, I trust that nurse and what they say/think because they will know them the best.

Maybe she was burned that day and took it out on you, which she shouldn't have. I've gotten flack from every department though lol. knowing all departments, I understand the flow better and why people act/say what they do in certain situations. I always keep in the back of mind that we're all here for the patient, and are dealing with our own personal issues on top of dealing with internal unit issues and requirements. People have bad days and you may never even know the extent of the crapiness they're dealing with on their end. But on the flip side, if someone is being condescending and unnecessarily nitpicky, refer them to the chart. If they cross that line of unprofessionalism, it's ok to say "I'm just doing my job, you understand". Sometimes people get caught up in what's happening and forget how they come off. You can also talk with your manager about it. Because ultimately, no one deserves to be made to feel inferior. We're all nurses, and we are all saving lives. One department is not better than another. We are like a machine, where every part is vital to saving a patient. ICU nurses are not all like what you have encountered! And all that matters is that you did the best you could do, and you hand the patient over from there :)

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