the way to professional objective: a nurse on an intensive care unit

During my training as a nurse from 2001 to 2004, it was clear to me that I want to work in an intensive care unit. In the third year of the apprenticeship, I went to the intensive care unit. This was in my teaching hospital, a very elite reputation. You have to bring several years of professional experience, in order to get a Chance.

So, I got to know as a Trainee to a highly professional and competent Team. I was fascinated. Everything was followed by clear structures and rules. Expertise, what I learned, but never had used, it was relevant. The trainer called for me. It was not easy, but it was impressive.

According to my use on the intensive care unit, I knew: I want to make sometime! My attitude to training changed. I now had a solid goal: I want to make a excellent examination! I’ve managed to, ultimately.

After my civil service, I served in a hospital, I got a job as a nurse in the ICU.

Training under the eyes of a mentor

In 2005, I entered the intensive care unit for the first Time as a new employee. I led a discussion with the station’s management, and met my mentor. Two months she would accompany me and to learn.

The first days passed in a blink of an eye. I couldn’t help but feel partly as decoration. Also on this ICU, it was incredibly textured – and I was not a part of the structures. At the same time, a very high claim prevailed professionally. The gentlemen seemed to me very distant. You had to prove it.

In the first weeks of my use was limited to a few patients. Uncomplicated Cases. It went to the basics. What is the structure of a bed space in intensive care? What needs to be when and how controlled? As will be documented with the measured values? How is the daily routine in the different layers?

What about the bureaucracy? As is documented in the patient file in the Computer? As investigations are logged in? How are laboratory commissioned-samples?

Devices with 1000-page manuals

Also the technical aspects need time. Alone, the monitor has a 1000-page manual. Add to this the ventilators, syringe pumps, infusion pumps, feeding pumps, defibrillators and many other devices. All must be understood and supported. A colleague put it this way: “If I Wake you up at night to 3 o’clock, you have to the device, blind, deaf, and unprepared.”

Experience as a nurse

Slowly I was allowed to take care of a normal patient independently. Always under the watchful eyes of my mentor. When should I tell the doctor? What I take with my patients is true? What changes do I need to be set? Just the ability to not lose the patients with all of the technology out of the focus, one learns only with experience.

In the third week they started me on the care of ventilated patients. What are the special features to note? How entwöhne I device a patient from the ventilator? What conditions must be met for this? My mentor was aware of “errors” in my work environment, such as missing parts emergency Equipment, or adjusted alarm limits to check, if and when I notice you.

Pharmacology, anatomy and physiology

Also, the Expansion of medical and nursing expertise was required. What are the main diseases on the Station? What is the treatment of the different diseases? What assistance tasks? How should I prepare for the different tasks? When must it go quickly, when I have the time? Were accompanied weeks through intensive study of literature. Pharmacology, anatomy and physiology.

Up to this time I had been with my mentor for a “double pack”. If you had already pulled back slowly and work with me, she was always there. She was my shadow. My Security.

Respect for the responsibility

After four weeks of training we met about the workload of the intensive care nurse. I supervised three intensive care patients. Now it was serious. I can’t stand in addition in the service plan. I was fully counted and had to take care of my patients like all the other independently.

On the one hand, I was happy and proud, finally to work independently. On the other hand, I’ve had an incredible respect for the responsibility. Would I be able to prove myself? I still had the same Service as my mentor. You had your own patients. But at least I had a solid contact.

Also this month passed rapidly. It was, in retrospect, a great, challenging and very exciting time for me! After two months, my training had officially ended.


I look back today to the year 2005, started Learning, but at the time, actually. In the first half of the year, I integrated myself more and more in the Team and was finally recorded. The initial distance waned. There are several further developments followed – up to the Takeover of the station line years later. In 2005, I felt that I arrived. This is my Department. It has not changed until today.

Photo: Marc Alexander Noll