I've Got Skills: ICU Nurse vs. ER Nurse

Find out how an ICU Nurse and an ER Nurse take care of their patients in a hospital.

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KRISTINA HERRIOTT: I'm Captain Kristina Herriott, an ICU nurse in the United States Army.

JASON DRIVER: I'm Jason Driver. I'm an emergency room nurse here at Marina Del Ray Hospital.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: Welcome to I've Got Skills.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: I work here at William Beaumont Army Medical Center. And I'm an ICU nurse.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: I've never thought about doing anything else to do as a career.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: I get attached to my patients so it's a happy day when they’re out of the ICU and back home.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: When I first went into school, got the first year paid for, but then started thinking about how I was gonna pay for the rest. I wasn't thinking the military at all so I tried it out for not even a semester and I said, "I like this."

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: It was a practical decision at the time but I would go back and do the same thing again.

JASON DRIVER: I've been a nurse for eight years. My original goal was become a physician. Doctor for me wasn’t my role E.R. nurse is where I am now. And it makes me very happy to be here.

JASON DRIVER: For me, the E.R. is a place where I can-- be surprised each day. I wake up in the morning, I kinda know my day, but I don't really wanna know my day.

JASON DRIVER: Biggest challenge in the E.R. situation is always look like you know what you're doin'. Make sure you always got your mind working, strong and focused. Make sure that at the end of the day, your patients are safe as well as your staff.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: Hi, I'm Captain Herriott, Kristina. Welcome to William Beaumont Army Medical Center.

JASON DRIVER: My name is Jason. Thanks for having me.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: Yeah, you wanna go in?

JASON DRIVER: All right let's do it.

JASON DRIVER: You know, I wasn't sure how it was to be on a Army base. But when I got there, everyone's very open and welcoming, And they're all very confident in what they're doing.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: Let me show you one of our special chronic patients.


KRISTINA HERRIOTT: So this is Mr. Sim Man.

JASON DRIVER: MR. Sim Man, alright.

JASON DRIVER: They have this training mannequin which is really cool. And, I mean, I wish every facility could have the option of having one, 'cause, I mean, the thing talks and moves. And you can listen to his lungs. You can interact with it. seems a great training tool.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: It really allows us to get our techniques down before we more to our real, live human patient.

JASON DRIVER: I've never seen anything like this before it's really awesome.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: It is. It's a really great tool.

JASON DRIVER: Captain Herriott's she's very cool, calm and collective (SIC), She's very friendly. So, and I kinda like that.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: I've always enjoyed taking care of people I get to look forward to doing my job on a daily basis.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: So one of the really cool things we have here at William Beaumont is our computer charting.

JASON DRIVER: William Beaumont Hospital definitely has a great program their equipment there is definitely top-notch.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: So with the computer charting, not just in the hospital, but actually in a deployed setting-- I can pull up their clinical notes, flow sheets, labs, radiology results.

JASON DRIVER: Just in the hospitals, or anywhere?


JASON DRIVER: That's impressive.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: Continuity of care is really important in the military.

JASON DRIVER: Captain Herriott and I are alike in the sense that we both drive to make sure our patients are safe there's a sense of confidence and-- and comfort in what we do for them.

JASON DRIVER: Captain Herriott, welcome--


JASON DRIVER: --To Los Angeles and Marina Del Ray--


JASON DRIVER: --Hospital. Let's show ya around.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: All right, I'm excited.

JASON DRIVER: (DOOR) All right, well, welcome to my little neck of the woods, the emergency room here in Marina Del Ray Hospital.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: Yeah, so how many beds do you guys have here?

JASON DRIVER: We have 14 beds in the E.R.

JASON DRIVER: I showed her today a few different things about the E.R. as well as the hospital. First thing I showed her is that when we first came here today, the hallways are kinda empty, not much goin' on. And now, a few hours later, there's-- the place is kinda busy.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: --It's very busy here. It-- it is. The-- the E.R. is constant motion, constant flux of people. I don't think I saw the nurses stop hardly to eat.

JASON DRIVER: No. (LAUGH) They don't.

JASON DRIVER: Here's room one known as our drama room or our trauma room, depending on whats going on.

JASON DRIVER: Yeah, Captain Herriott definitely did walk away seein' the E.R. a little differently than she did before. Things are outta place. This is over here. That's over there we like the-- the movement, where she really appreciates the controlled environment.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: So, what did you choose the E.R.

JASON DRIVER: I myself are more of an anatomy type guy. I like seeing this (UNINTEL) in front of me. They'll look at 'em real quick. And then get 'em outta here.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: I like to focus on more the-- the patho and the physiology of what's going on with that-- that disease or that patient.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: Oh, we're both take-charge people. We-- we make sure our patients get taken care of.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: One of the things the military provides is leadership opportunities.

JASON DRIVER: Captain Herriott definitely-- she has the leadership skills built within her. She looks very confident.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: We're expected to take charge. We're expected to be in charge of committees. That's not a requirement in a civilian hospital. As a soldier, you leave the hospital. You may be done on the ICU, but you're still a soldier every day, all day.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: Jason in the Army. I think he could make it work.

JASON DRIVER: Captain Herriott definitely has a very strong future ahead of her. I think she can leave there today and work at any ISU (SIC) in the United States of America, in the world, probably.

KRISTINA HERRIOTT: To learn more about my job as an ICU nurse, go to the career page at GoArmy.com.