Tag Archives: critical care

Pinned. . .so now what?

I’ve earned the RN pin. . .the culmination of five years of hard work, lost sleep and intense caffeine consumption.  Our critical care director, probably one of the kindest docs around, and much beloved by our hospital’s nurses for the respect and admiration he has for the nursing profession, spoke eloquently, with just the right touch of humor.  A Nightingale ceremony, with an appearance from Flo herself (reincarnated), really capped things off.

So, one set of busted pumps, several beers, and a couple of deadly Fireball/beer cider dunkers consumed (imaging a cinnamon apple that makes one extremely tipsy), plus one barbeque (huh, who knew my classmates’ talents included keg stands? Impressive!), I’m contemplating the future to come.  There’s an NCLEX review class at my community college (a good deal at $200), plus some interviews (critical care and surgical units at my hospital). . .but what I really wonder is, what’s next?  Will I gain employment at a hospital without a BSN in my grasp? Can I hope for a critical care job?  Can I hope for any acute care job?  Does it really matter?

After a gut check (after the weight gain of nursing school/working full-time night shift, there’s plenty to check), I find that, no, it really doesn’t, as long as I have the privilege of caring for patients, in any care setting.  Long-term care, long-term acute care, acute care, community-based care, home care – I think any of them would work out, as long as I have the right attitude and the willingness to continue blooming where I’ve been planted. Til’ then, I’ll be happy to continue walking in circles for 12 hours a night, caring for patients within my scope.  The path will be there, I just have to take it when it appears.



Do LTACs Benefit ICU Patients?

So, this interesting study explores the efficacy of LTACs in the post-hospitalization survival rates of ICU patients. Essentially, the gist of the matter is that older patients with lots of comorbids don’t have a very high survival rate a year after hospital discharge, despite LTAC utilization. Probably not too surprising, given the acuity level of the patients studied. The study did not include patients coming from non-ICU care, although such patients are cared for in LTACs.

However, the question of whether LTACs serve as a more cost-effective method of delivering care to patients and families not ready to give up and die is asked, but not well explored. It would be interesting to see a study delineating survival rates only for non-DNR/DNI patients utilizing LTACs.