I have decided to make a move to go back to work in the Critical Care Unit. For the past 2 years I have been working in the Recovery Room and it's been a welcome break from the emotional burnout that I had from being a Trauma Nurse. As welcome as the break was, I am finding that I am missing using the knowledge and experience I have when taking care of critically ill people. There is a technical and pharmaceutical side of this kind of nursing that I've been away from for enough time. If I don't go back now, I'm afraid that things will have changed so much that I'll be left behind and won't have the confidence to do what I know I am good at.
In the last two years, the population of critically ill patients in Toronto has changed. There are far more violent incidents involving guns and knives. 10 years ago, this was a rarity, now it is the norm. The ICU is now a locked unit and the police are regular features. The faces have changed, but I have a need to go back.
I am looking forward to this, but am also nervous. Nervous precisely because the ill faces have changed. Not all patients are the 'victims,' some are the bad guys. I know it can be hard to keep an open mind when gangs and violence are involved. I am thinking that this is going to be my new challenge.
I have been planning this move back to the ICU for months, and it will take effect at the end of February. Actually, I will be working part-time in Recovery, and part-time in ICU because I think that this will be best for me. Variety is spice of life.
Last Saturday, I was called into the OR because they needed a pair of extra hands for the latest gun-shot victim. I don't normally work in the OR, and in fact was a little squeamish because they had this poor guy cut open like they were doing an autopsy. I did what I could, and know that my help was appreciated, but I know that my skills would have been much better utilized in the ICU after the surgery trying to keep this patient alive and dealing with his family.
I miss that, and am ready to go back with a fresh outlook.