Home » MICU vs Recovery Room: A Comparison

MICU vs Recovery Room: A Comparison

I’ll bet some of you are going to hate me for saying this, but nursing isn’t such a bad job when you only do it part-time. And recovery room nursing isn’t so bad either, even though I’ve complained about it in the past. All it took was one shift back in the MICU to make me realize how good I had it in the recovery room. Let’s look at the advantages of being a recovery room nurse:

  • No weekends, holidays, or night shifts.
  • We are rarely “in the weeds” and even when we are, it’s very manageable.
  • The patients are (for the most part) very nice, appreciative, and never poop in their bed – unlike MICU patients.

In fact, I’m starting to wonder why the recovery room that I work in needs to use so many agency nurses. Some days no less than a third of the nurses are agency. Given all of the advantages, I wonder why they have so much trouble recruiting good staff nurses.

Some of the possible disadvantages could be:

  • Lack of a challenge, it’s really a very easy job to master.
  • Too many waitress-type tasks; i.e. fetching cookies and ginger ale for patients.
  • The doctors I work with (radiologists and interventional cardiologists) kind of lack that warm fuzziness you get from the medical docs. But you know what gives me the warm fuzzies these days? Not having to clean up poop

All of this being said, (doh!) I can think of some reasons why one would continue to be a MICU nurse:

  • You crave excitement.
  • You need to be challenged in your work.
  • You don’t mind holidays, weekends or night shifts.

That used to be me – all three of them. It’s funny how things change though, when you start a family. I guess that’s one of the great advantages of being a nurse. When you get tired of one type of nursing, you can always try another. There is such a variety of jobs in our field that you could stick with nursing and never run out of ways to reinvent your career.

Unless of course your secret desire is to become the web designer that you failed to become in the 90’s. Then you may as well stick with recovery room nursing until you get it all sorted out.