I take back everything I said yesterday implying that the ICU is boring.
Our modus operandi in the ICU part of Nur464 clinical rotation is--rather than get a patient assignment a day ahead and do research--to meet our clinical instructor on the cardiac unit and then go down with her to the ICU, where she finds for us a suitable nurse to shadow.
Well, when we went down today, there was a lot of chatting and networking that left me gazing into the distance absentmindedly. So when I noted a doctor preparing to intubate a patient, I took it upon myself to choose that assignment. And I don't regret it. The nurse I was with had just started her shift and just received the patient when I went in the room, so I got to see things from the ground floor, so to speak. She didn't stop the entire day and barely had time to assess her other patient.
I can't relay much of what happened, but suffice it to say that without working with a crashing patient requiring a code or rapid response, this was about as challenging and interesting a day as I could hope to have in our local hospital. It made me understand the appeal of ICU, as opposed even to my beloved current workplace. Moreover, between yesterday and today, I feel that my impression of ICU nurses as generally more intense and more capable people has been confirmed. I do think it's possible that some of them wouldn't be able to function on a med-surg floor as effectively. I think I would underperform on a med-surg floor as well. But this is like noting that Einstein might underperform as a ditch-digger. I exaggerate, but you get my point.