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Why wasn't I placed in the ED?

Emergency   (7,506 Views 70 Comments)
by shan_elle shan_elle (Member)

1,030 Visitors; 45 Posts

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1,030 Visitors; 45 Posts

Thanks for the encouragement Kooky Korky! I was going to ask the placement faculty about how they made the decision so I could improve my interview skills if I want to apply to the ED later. However, after learning more about the CVICU and gaining some valuable perspective from the members here, I've decided to stay with the placement. I think it may be a better fit for me and I'm really excited to start there in the fall!!

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13,139 Visitors; 489 Posts

From one straight A student to another, I totally get what you're saying. I didn't read you as a "special snowflake" or having a superiority complex over your classmates. You have obviously worked very hard to get to this point, and I agree with the other posters that being placed in the CVICU is a great honor. I'm sure you will do great and will have no problems getting hired into the ED or ICU when you graduate. Best of luck and keep up the good work!

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tacticool has 2 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

3,446 Visitors; 270 Posts

In the words of the Rolling Stones, "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need." During your interview, they were trying to put "the round peg in the round hole." So it appears, as Akulahawk said, they placed you where they felt was the best fit.They recognized your talents and placed you where they felt was best appropriate. Few get what you have gotten. If you still want the ED (as do I), work the

unit for awhile and then seek a transfer.

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tacticool has 2 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

3,446 Visitors; 270 Posts

Used to be a paramedic?

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1,798 Visitors; 104 Posts

I think you got placed in CV ICU for a reason and really do not worry about that classmate. If its not meant for her, then it will show very soon. Focus on your own skills and that you are in a good unit. This unit will give you really good experience and also opens up to other units you can transfer to eventually. Count your blessings and make the best of the opportunity you are being given right now. You never know where it will lead. This classmate is not your focus, and all will reveal itself in time.

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2,299 Visitors; 176 Posts

There is the saying that God's delays are not God's denials. Perhaps you are meant to be on this path to enhance your skill set as a nurse and really prepare you for life as an emergency nurse? My feeling is that you need to learn something that the ED wouldn't provide you and this will prepare you for circumstances that you haven't even thought about.

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Hi there!

I had a few thoughts as I read this thread, and while not all of them might apply to you or your specific situation (as I learned reading on), I feel like I should share them.

Before nursing school, I had a serious desire to work in the ED. It was the goal the entire time I was doing my pre-reqs, nursing school, capstone, etc. I was completely driven to be an ED nurse. I knew going into capstone placement time that there were 2 spots and 20 people trying for the ED. I did not get placed in the ED, and I remember being pretty upset for a bit. I did get placed in an ICU setting where I learned quite a lot and ended up loving it, but I kept driving on toward my goal of working in the ED. I feel like my story may be somewhat similar to yours. Spoiler: I did end up getting into the ED new grad residency program at my hospital!

I know you ended up explaining that you weren't trying to put down your classmate, and I definitely understand the feeling of someone else getting what you want (and have wanted for a while). Do just watch how you word things, even if you're upset. There is so much of "politics" in nursing, and in the ED there are many strong personalities that have no problem repeating something you said while upset and turning it into gossip. There is also a nurse in my residency class that came in with a 'chip on their shoulder/something to prove' and trash talked people (including myself) to try and big themself up..... and almost no one wants to work with them. The ED definitely requires teamwork to function.

I also saw that you decided not to talk to your school about your placement, and I definitely agree with your choice. Just like what I said about the ED, school is another place where even a misspoken, upset conversation can hurt your prospects. I don't know about your situation, but my hospital is a teaching hospital linked to the school I attended. All the professors and school officials work at the hospital, and word gets around. If you did try to raise an issue about your placement, I would not be surprised if the CVICU got wind of it. That is not the way you want your career to start, even if it's not a paid position and you're not an RN yet. Even worse, I wouldn't be surprised if the ED heard about you not getting the placement you want and "kicking up a fuss," and their first impression of you would not be a good one. A school classmate of mine managed to destroy any hope of a career in the area by literally crying to the Directors about everything she deemed an injustice (a.k.a. not what she wanted), even if it was a normal part of nursing school.

You also mentioned that you don't know why standards for these placements are set but not followed. It's extremely hard to know exactly what they base their decisions on. Maybe they saw something special in your classmate during the interview. Straight A's do not necessarily correspond to great nurses, and C's do not necessarily correspond to poor nurses. I know it's hard to see right now because you're in the middle of school, but nursing school only gives you so much help in the real world and it takes a lot more to be a good nurse.

Really, most of my rambling post thus far comes down to "watch your mouth and be professional, you never know who may be listening." It's true, though. Best of luck!

P.S. In my ED interview, they asked about my capstone experience and what I'd picked up in the critical care setting! We do see a lot of sick patients in the ED, especially if the ICUs are full and we have to keep them with us for a while. Learn everything you can about ICU care and cardiac care, and bring it to the job interview with you (appropriately). Tell them about what makes you stand out learning-wise without being arrogant, that's how I got the job.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

11 Followers; 64 Articles; 169,033 Visitors; 13,799 Posts

Hi there!

I had a few thoughts as I read this thread, and while not all of them might apply to you or your specific situation (as I learned reading on), I feel like I should share them.

Before nursing school, I had a serious desire to work in the ED. It was the goal the entire time I was doing my pre-reqs, nursing school, capstone, etc. I was completely driven to be an ED nurse. I knew going into capstone placement time that there were 2 spots and 20 people trying for the ED. I did not get placed in the ED, and I remember being pretty upset for a bit. I did get placed in an ICU setting where I learned quite a lot and ended up loving it, but I kept driving on toward my goal of working in the ED. I feel like my story may be somewhat similar to yours. Spoiler: I did end up getting into the ED new grad residency program at my hospital!

I know you ended up explaining that you weren't trying to put down your classmate, and I definitely understand the feeling of someone else getting what you want (and have wanted for a while). Do just watch how you word things, even if you're upset. There is so much of "politics" in nursing, and in the ED there are many strong personalities that have no problem repeating something you said while upset and turning it into gossip. There is also a nurse in my residency class that came in with a 'chip on their shoulder/something to prove' and trash talked people (including myself) to try and big themself up..... and almost no one wants to work with them. The ED definitely requires teamwork to function.

I also saw that you decided not to talk to your school about your placement, and I definitely agree with your choice. Just like what I said about the ED, school is another place where even a misspoken, upset conversation can hurt your prospects. I don't know about your situation, but my hospital is a teaching hospital linked to the school I attended. All the professors and school officials work at the hospital, and word gets around. If you did try to raise an issue about your placement, I would not be surprised if the CVICU got wind of it. That is not the way you want your career to start, even if it's not a paid position and you're not an RN yet. Even worse, I wouldn't be surprised if the ED heard about you not getting the placement you want and "kicking up a fuss," and their first impression of you would not be a good one. A school classmate of mine managed to destroy any hope of a career in the area by literally crying to the Directors about everything she deemed an injustice (a.k.a. not what she wanted), even if it was a normal part of nursing school.

You also mentioned that you don't know why standards for these placements are set but not followed. It's extremely hard to know exactly what they base their decisions on. Maybe they saw something special in your classmate during the interview. Straight A's do not necessarily correspond to great nurses, and C's do not necessarily correspond to poor nurses. I know it's hard to see right now because you're in the middle of school, but nursing school only gives you so much help in the real world and it takes a lot more to be a good nurse.

Really, most of my rambling post thus far comes down to "watch your mouth and be professional, you never know who may be listening." It's true, though. Best of luck!

P.S. In my ED interview, they asked about my capstone experience and what I'd picked up in the critical care setting! We do see a lot of sick patients in the ED, especially if the ICUs are full and we have to keep them with us for a while. Learn everything you can about ICU care and cardiac care, and bring it to the job interview with you (appropriately). Tell them about what makes you stand out learning-wise without being arrogant, that's how I got the job.

Well said: "Watch your mouth and be professional because you never know who may be listening OR who they'll share it with."

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KeeperMom has 10 years experience and works as a CRNP.

8,825 Visitors; 639 Posts

You might not want to read what I've written but you did come here asking to validation which I'm not going to give you.

As a preceptor in our ED for the past 5-6 years, I've learned a few things about students and which ones are a good fit for the ED and which ones are not.

My very best precepting student was a young girl that struggled as a student grade-wise. She was a solid B student with a C thrown in here or there.

My very worst student was the girl that came in with guns a'blazing showering me with how high her HESI scores were and how she's an honors student and makes straight As. While she was very book smart she was also a very concrete thinker and that is just not a good mix in the ED. She could educate us all veterans with how this or that was the EBP and how THIS was how it was done in class. She thought a whole lot about herself. She was very hard on herself if she didn't get the foley on the first try or couldn't recognize an arrhythmia right away or which course of treatment to anticipate. She was also an attention seeker and needed constant feedback from me and the other nurses.

She did apply for a job with us but I could not, in good conscious, recommend her for a job in that ED. I just did not think she would be a good fit at all.

Back to my best student.... She was a go getter for sure. Asked a LOT of really great questions and a hunger to learn and grow as a nurse. She picked up concepts and was a great critical thinker and had good instincts. Her best quality was that she wasn't afraid to fail. At the end of our semester, I told my NM that we had to hire this girl. She is still in that ED and one of the better nurses.

It wasn't until she graduated and came to work with us that I learned that she was a very young single mother that still lived with her parents and worked part time on the weekend to pay all of the bills her ex strapped her with when he left in the middle of the night in her car and every penny to her name.

She never once made excuses nor did she give up. I pushed her and she rose to every challenge we threw her way. She's a great friend now and super proud of that girl. She made me look good for sure.

It sounds to me like your instructors may know what they are doing by placing you in CVICU. I precepted there for my master's and that place is NO joke. The nurses there definitely know their CV and are very regimented in their work and work flow. CV is very systematic and concrete nursing, and they know that when X happens, you fix it with Z. I wouldn't say it is black and white but there isn't much grey area in CV.

I've been lucky and have had some really great students and few not so great students. Overwhelmingly, the B students did far better than the straight A students in the ED. One school uses HESI test scores and grades to assign students while the other school matches based on the student's grades and how they might fit in the area she will precept in. I'll take a B student over that A student any day of the week.

On a side note, no one ever once asked me what grades I made in school in any interview I ever had. Not once.

Trust your instructors and have a good attitude about CV when you go. You might find that it really is a good fit for you. If you still feel strongly about the ED, ask your instructors to maybe place you in a mini-precepting assignment for a few weeks after you have completed your required assignment.

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NickiLaughs has 8 years experience and works as a RN, ER-Trauma/Critical Care.

33,877 Visitors; 2,344 Posts

I did ICU for 4 years before ED. Hated it, but it's def helped me and been a benefit. CVICU is great experience, embrace it then move on.

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