View Full Version : Which unit would you recommend?
09-02-2007, 03:57 PM
Besides med/surg ICU, which unit would you suggest getting experience in and why? Which did you work in and how has it helped you?
PICU- become less intimidated by youngins?
NICU- be great at IVs?
Trauma/Burn- fluid balance issues?
CVCU- do open hearts get old?
CCU- be great at cardiology?
09-02-2007, 05:33 PM
Different units have different patient populations and different hospitals have different acuities for the same unit.
This is my recipe that I followed for my success at getting into school.(you will also find more information by searching on this site)
lvl 1: Cardiothoracic ICU: Adult/peds,
great understanding and exp in:
hemodynamics of sick patients, vasoactive medications, use of vads,ecmo, swans, alines, usually experience with dialysis, cvvh etc (since their hearts are poop!), exp. with the ventilator and settings for those tricky abg's, heart and lung transplants, bedside surgeries where I would play the role as the anesthetist.
Then I went to the critical care float team where I worked in all the major icu's and er and expanded on my understanding outside of the lungs and heart.
Go for what interests you the most. This exp. I feel is what my future knowledge will be built on. Build a strong foundation and you should be fine anywhere.
09-02-2007, 06:35 PM
Here is what i would suggest
Work SICU or CVICU full time
b/c you will see the most swans & CVPs in these areas. Also you will get acquainted with the vasoactive drips which are rarely present elsewhere (even anesthesia).
Work in the ER per diem
b/c just like in anesthesia, when the shit hits the fan you need to know what to do without 6 people helping. In the ER you will learn to do these rapid assessments as well as rapid interventions which are much more rare in the ICU.
09-02-2007, 06:42 PM
I started in a MSICU with CT all combined...A great experience.. dabbled in a little trauma for ortho experience then went to the cardiac cath lab for a year to gain a better understanding of cardiac. I still work which allows me to work in a variety of settings. just what my path was and feel it has helped me in school
09-02-2007, 07:16 PM
I agree with zippys2k21-depending on the hospital and their units- patient acuity will differ. I do recommend working in a surgical/medical ICU..I worked in a CCU for 4 years where I gained a ton of cardiac experience (MI's, cardiogenic shock, balloon pumping, etc.) then transferred to the MSICU for about 8 months and learned a sh**tload..took care of all kinds of patients (swans, vents, neuro pt's). Open heart units do get old quickly (no offense..)...it gets to be kind of like cookbook nursing.
09-05-2007, 11:12 AM
My personal suggestion for someone coming right out of nursing school would be a year in a busy ED to get all your skills down at the same time getting exposure to every patient type under the sun. Then take that experience to the CVICU. Not sure about the hospital you work at but most facilities are so full right now there are boarders with every complaint in every unit. The hearts do get old after a while but in the mean time they all come out with swans, cvp, a-lines and vents. Good learning from my standpoint. If that wasn't available I would look for a MICU or SICU that sees all the medical or surgical patients. Brian
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