Hey guys – big shocker here – I’m starting a new job soon!
I’m not going to go into much detail but here’s what I can tell you:
- I’m going to be working in a critical care unit (aka CCU) – taking care of the sickest of the sick.
- It’s going to be in a much larger hospital than I’m used to as compared to my background at critical access hospitals.
- I will no longer be teaching students at clinical sites.
- It will be a mix of day shifts and night shifts – usually 6 weeks of days followed by 6 weeks of nights.
- It will be a transition to a new environment and a huge learning curve!
- I’ll be commuting a little over an hour to work for 3 – 12 hour shifts/week.
- I plan on grouping my shifts and staying overnight in town between 12 hour shifts when I’m able (hello air bnb!)
The #1 question I’ve been asked is “What is the difference between CCU and ICU?” Specifically for my new job, there isn’t much of a difference. I will be taking care of a variety of very sick patients, usually intubated, sedated, or on a ton of medications/drips, just like an ICU.
Sometimes people call a CARDIAC care unit a CCU but I am not working at a cardiac care unit – this is a critical care unit. In the even bigger hospitals, there are specific ICUs for specific types of diagnosis – such as NICU just for preemies, Neuro ICU would be specifically for neurology issues, Cardiac ICU would be specifically for heart issues etc. But, again, my new unit will be all kinds of very sick people with a variety of medical issues.
The #2 question I get asked is, “Why do you want to commute so far?” That’s easy: If I want critical care experience, I have to drive to a bigger hospital with a critical care unit so there’s at LEAST a one hour drive no matter which direction I go!
Usually in critical care units, the nurse is only assigned to one or two patients per shift – a HUGE change from juggling multiple ER patients per day/per shift.
I’m going to have to learn how to refocus and distribute my energy. That sounds strange, but I really struggled with that when I moved to a bigger facility from my previous job. Now, I’ll have to adopt that mindset of dedicating attention to one patient for 12 hours at a time as compared to my ER background where a lot of patients get a little attention at a time.
I’m so excited, I’m so ready for a challenge and a change! I’ve been told the transition from ER to ICU seems like it wouldn’t be too bad but is actually pretty tricky! In the mean time I’m brushing up on my critical care and advanced cardiac life support algorithms and medications!
I’m looking for a little advice from my readers: Tell me some good books to listen to on audible for my commute! I love self help/self improvement books and murder mysteries. Any tips for staying awake on the drive home? Any air bnb booking tips and tricks?