pcu vs med surg


I decided to transfer to our medical ICU to fulfil my dream and see what it was all about. When I was in nursing school my instructors encouraged us to get at least one year of med/surg experience before we branched out. So far, I am very into Aesthetic/ Derm and Psych nursing.

You may be surprised at the options they may be able to offer. I am finding your article in a rather random and desperate google search. I would like to try working in the emergency room which is where I’m most familiar since most of my CT patients came from the emergency room. PCU stands for “progressive care unit.” Patients on PCU floors require more monitoring and assessment than patients on regular hospital floors, but their conditions are stable enough to avoid the ICU (intensive care unit).

My dream job in nursing is to be an Trauma ICU nurse. She also dealt with patient populations that experienced active chest pain, congestive heart failure, end stage renal disease, uncontrolled diabetes and a variety of other chronic, mental and surgical conditions. You’ll still learn about the art and skill of nursing, just in the specialty that you desire to work in. A new-grade going for ICU is setting themselves up for failure. © 2020 Ausmed Education Pty Ltd (ABN: 33 107 354 441).

A team is only as strong as its weakest link, and everyone will know you as just that if you are lacking basic skills and knowledge!

Moreover, there is something you can learn in every specialty of nursing that you can apply to another field of nursing.

Unfortunately in many areas there is so much competition for jobs for new nurses that I’m sure those nurses are willing to take any job. For instance, doctors are almost always available on the unit. If those options don’t work, you may have to consider leaving your contract (have something in place first though). Another grown adult patient of mine cried because the unit ran out of orange juice, and all I could offer was apple juice.

If you’re truly interested in one line of work, do what you love and not what’s expected. This can lead to burnout and even worse, fatal errors and loss of license.

I also believe in pursuing a specialty that you’re interested in. This is so refreshing to read!
She also suggested that after we get our experience, we could later apply for the CCU. Part of my “speed” issue was unfamiliarity with nursing generally, and also inexperience in very basic things like time management. I was not informed at the time that I would not be allowed to work in the ER or Newborn Nursery or PACU – my three areas of interest – because they don’t hire new nurses into those specialties unless you precepted at their facility.

Dr. Asudani is a hospitalist in the division of hospital medicine in the department of internal medicine at the University of California San Diego Health System.Dr. Here are 4 reasons why seeking a position in your ideal specialty is a good idea: 1.

What Is Nurse Abuse and How Do We End It? In the ICU, both patients need q2h assessments and charting immediately after they are done. Hi Em! I feel so unprepared. I think all specialties of nursing provide tremendous learning, and none are a waste of time… including med-surg. Your thoughts? IVF & IVPiggy back, trach care, suctioning, IV push medications, chest tube/drain management, wound/ostomy care, post-surgical care, drawing blood in the proper order). I have a BA and MA in Political Science and am doing a career change.

Professionals like case managers need to have the experience that comes with working in areas such as Med Surgical nursing to be able to recognize obstacles that they will encounter assist patients and their families with resources and taking the time to educate and empower those who face new diagnoses and life long chronic conditions. The recruiter reached out to me within a week to inform me that although the interviwer raved about me, my current manager would like for me to stay on my current unit after boards. Looking for work in an ICU or PCU?

Your article really put me at ease knowing that I should follow my instinct and do what interests me. Usually, medical-surgical nurses wonder this, especially if they haven’t tried any other specialties since they graduated from nursing school. The ICU treats patients who are in critical condition and require intensive medical care and/or life support.

I’m actually considering leaving the profession altogether. I also knew that if I worked in med/surg for a year I would most likely leave the profession. Marsha am so greatful and appreciate you with much love from my heart for creating this forum for nurses.When i got out of nursing school,i felt i was the most frustrated about which area to apply to with the Medsurg myth.So circumstances led me to start with Psych with which i had a peaceful clinical rotation.

“Working at Med-surg is a waste of time, hard to get any critical nursing care opportunities.” Core Curriculum for Medical-Surgical Nursing. I also wonder, in the big scheme of things how much need there is to staff w/ med-surg and then what do we need to do to make it appealing for nurses to work and stay in such positions. I have the utmost respect for med/surg nurses because I know I cannot due their job. Most, if not all, ICUs include specialized, technical, and monitoring equipment for critically ill patients, including heart monitors, artificial ventilators, dialysis machines, and intravenous infusions which may or may not include vasopressors (a class of drugs used to treat shock and restore blood flow to vital organs). My ultimate goal is to open a birth center locally and give women more delivery options in my community.

At the time, I was very disappointed about this because I thought the opportunity to do my practicum in a critical care area would give me an excellent chance to get my feet into the door of the ICU or the Emergency Department, my desired specialties. Related. Other procedures are also done at the bedside, including opening up a CABG patient’s sternal incision on the spot to save a life. When I did practicum in a med-surg unit, I had time to sit down and actually think about my patient’s conditions and create plans. For medical-surgical nurses who are used to having five to eight patients per shift, the idea of “only” having two patients can make them swoon in jealousy. Hi Schaina!

Congratulations on your graduation. I knew my instructors had recommended med surg, but before nursing school even started, I knew OB was my jam. By a while back I mean 2007 lol! I really want to take the job but now I’m worried that there won’t be opportunities for me if I want to transition out of the ambulatory surgery/perianesthesia nursing specialty one day because I won’t have that broader background that comes with med/surg. However, I always wanted to work intensive care.

With the exception of proficiency with invasive technologies, the Task Force ultimately requires the PCU staff to have the same level of education as the ICU staff. Marsha, excellent post especially for us ‘older nurses’!


I never realized just how lucky I was 20 years ago to hire directly into OB right out of school.

I’m in my last semester of nursing school and am in a tough spot deciding between a job I don’t love but that is a sure thing (this hospital gives new grads offers before NCLEX), and a job that I love in the ED that isn’t quite official yet. The application for the residency will open in a few weeks and I need to decide where I will be for at least the next year. During our one-on-one meeting for the transfer, she kept trying to convine me that I needed to start med surg or neuro telemetry (basically med surg). I feel like this area of nursing is just not for me. Just starting out on your own as a new nurse, you’ll find the growth curve can be quite steep.

After this update, I immediately begin to apply to every RN residency program in my state. It can be difficult to keep our sparks burning bright, but AMSN President Robin Hertel and some special med-surg RNs commit to being your spark when you need it.

This hospital is one of the few hospitals in the area that hires associate degree nurses, due to the common magnet programs. My patients have non-stop medications and treatments spaced out throughout the entire shift. If they are not present, extenders usually are, such as CRNPs and PAs.

And truthfully, at that time, I was dreading working in anything else but critical care. This is so important for retention and to ensure nursing remains a caring profession. Many floor nurses understand the intensity and stress of a code, but that doesn’t match the constant stress of the ICU.

Unfortunately, however, this can sometimes lead to new graduate nurses who may feel stressed and unfulfilled in their day-to-day work and disenchanted in their career choice. Thanks for the enlightenment!

I’ve been offered a position on a med-surg acute care unit where I did my practicum (I loved the people and felt pretty comfortable on the unit) but have also been offered a new grad position in an ICU at a level 2 trauma hospital. Wouldn’t L&D or psych run into same dilemma? I am learning a lot, but I’m burning out quickly. As a new nurse I started on a cardiac progressive care/open heart unit with a Nurse Residency program. And I think you have supported your reasoning with a great example and tips for making it work.

I’m currently working as an extern in an oncology unit at the hospital where I want to work after graduation. Running to an emergency is just as vital as it is anywhere in the hospital, probably more so for ICU nurses. Let me focus on 1 or 2 critically ill patients. Thank you, I will be sharing with my fellow classmates.

It is complex, temperamental and absolutely necessary to know how to work correctly. I would love to hear an update. For starters, learning how to operate the ventilator could take up an entire nursing school class. Another complained because I came into to take their blood pressure. Did okay for 20 weeks of training but then alone, things have gone downhill. What’s the worse case scenario–having to start on a Medsurg without new grad status (read leniency)? I complete agree with you. Now feathers may ruffle with this blog post…. I knew I wanted critical care. The ICU will support patients through traumatic injuries, heart attacks, strokes, and severe respiratory/circulation issues, to name a few. Very imformative article. I am currently taking my pre reqs to go back to school for nursing.

A handful of the nurses I graduated with landed in the specialties of their choosing.

CCRNs also reported higher levels of role clarity and self-efficacy.

Everything you say and detail is so true, and I have seen this first-hand in a very brief day in ICU! I go back and forth between being very excited about this new path, to also being terrified because it’s such a big change from what I am used to. Night Shift Nurse: Are You Cut Out For the NOC Shift?

Moreover, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses echos that sentiment by stating, “Medical-Surgical nursing is the foundation of all nursing practice.” And in that respect, being the largest specialty of practicing nurses, Medical-Surgical nursing is often regarded as one of the most respected and most demanding choices in nursing practice today. After graduation, I was offered a position on a Med-Surg floor as well a position on a Burn/Trauma step-down unit, the latter which I accepted.

I had already had 20 plus years experience in Radiology as a CT Tech.

Patients arrive from the Emergency Department, Cath Lab, Operating Room or are transferred from ICU or Medical Surgical … You do have more options. Which brings me to the next point….

And although it wasn’t my first choice, the Burn/Trauma step-down unit became my stepping stone for the Emergency Department.

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