For many who have completed CNA training, working in the ICU can be one of the most rewarding careers. In some ways, it’s much less stressful than regular floor nursing, mainly because the patient to nurse and patient to CNA ratio is so much smaller. This doesn’t mean that working in the ICU is for everyone after CNA training, though.
ICU Work may not be for you After CNA Training if:
- You’re Not a Quick Study- While you may not have the responsibilities of a nurse after CNA training, you’ll still have to be quick with your mind and your feet if you’re going to work in the ICU. This type of work requires the ability to multi-task and notice the small things. For instance, small shifts in a patients level of consciousness or vital signs may not seem like a big thing, but it’s something that must be reported to the nurse immediately when you work in the ICU. You have to be able to notice these things even when rushing about or having conversations with family members.
- You Get Stressed Easily- After CNA training, working in a department like the ICU isn’t the right choice for everyone, especially those who become easily stressed. This environment is fast-paced, and the patients here are often on the brink of death. You have to be able to roll with the punches and make it through every shift after CNA training.
- You’re Easily Intimidated- Yes, nurses and doctors can be intimidating. After all, they know so much and you’ve only been through CNA training. When it comes to working in the ICU, you have to put this out of your mind, at least when it comes to advocating for your patients. While it may irritate a nurse when you page her three times in one hour, this may sometimes be necessary when you work in these conditions.
- Not Enough Self-Confidence- When you work in the ICU after CNA training, you have to have confidence in your abilities. You need to know that the skills you learned in your classes are ingrained into your subconscious, and that you know how to do them over and over again. If you find it hard to get things done in a stressful environment, find it difficult to talk to patients, or have a hard time speaking to patients’ families, this may not be the line of work for you.
- Too Self-Confident- On the other hand, you do need a little humility to work in the ICU after CNA training. Don’t be so confident in yourself that you refuse to ask questions or ask for help. You can’t do it all by yourself. That’s why you have a team of CNAs and nurses there to back you up. Attempting to do things all by yourself can quickly lead to disaster.
Working in the ICU After CNA Training
There are certain traits that are required for the ICU. Do you have what it takes to work in the ICU after CNA training?