Pros: making a difference
Cons: no lunch breaks due to patient acuity
At the beginning of my evening shift working in the surgical ICU, I would start by getting report from the previous shift and doing bedside reporting to introduce myself, prior to the previous shift leaving. I would typically have one to two patients, depending on acuity, who would require frequent assessments on cardiac, neuro, & complicated surgical patients, including administration of many cardiac and pain management medications.
I learned how to better critically assess a patient and be able to recognize when something is getting ready to go wrong. Working in ICU, not only management, but my other co-workers all came together during a crisis to help each other. The hardest part of the job was seeing patients die, despite working so hard to save them. On the flip side, the most enjoyable part of the job was seeing patients who were able to be discharged, due to getting better.