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05/15/17

108 Hours in the Medical Intensive Care Unit. I am a NURSE!

Posted by aasalina on May 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

At the end of my senior year nursing school students are placed  on their  final clinical rotation working  1 on 1 with a nurse. I was luckily picked in the Medical Intensive Care Unit  (MICU) at Erie County Medical Center. The MICU is regarded as higher level of acuity where patients are medically acute that without any medication they can die at that moment.

As a student at this floor, I was able to truly see the current Buffalo  Public Health issues that are epidemically rising. Opioid, Alcohol overdoses & withdrawal, Congestive Heart Failure Exacerbations, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Kidney Failure or Multi Organ Failure. It was so saddening to see but it was humbling to provide care for this population.  While I can’t provide what kind of scenarios I have experienced, this rotation has taught me about the importance of mental health issues, primary prevention of diet, smoking prevention. I have seen the worst in this rotation on what drug, alcohol, smoking or obesity abuse can cause to your body medically. It was also saddening to see that the system is so broken as we see some people enter the hospital, become medically stable but then come back a few days with the same or different issue. I believe that the root cause of everything is sometimes the family dynamics, mental health issue, homelessness etc that caused them to enter the hospital which should be fixed.


In terms of learning, I loved that in this unit pharmacy, social work, physician,  respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses are all on the same closed unit. I was able to learn so much from the different professions such as why would pharmacy recommend one medication over a different medication with the same action,  differential diagnoses from different physicians, nurses who are continuously titrating critical care saving medications to reach a medical goal for the patient.

Buffalo currently has critical pertaining health issues and epidemic. I am glad to be in the frontline as a future nurse and see this issues now in the clinical setting.

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