Nursing is a very rewarding career to choose. You get to care for people when they are ill or not feeling well, making a real difference in people’s lives. Sometimes your smile can be what gets them through their day. With nursing, every day is different since every person is different. While the days may be long sometimes, the rewards and benefits are worth it.
Abbella Medical Staffing is a Baltimore-based medical staffing agency for travel nurses and allied health professionals. We place you in some of the best hospitals and healthcare facilities around the nation, giving you an opportunity to learn from the best specialists around. Travel nursing is for those who want to see the world, while getting paid to do so. You will fill short-term vacancies left by others, such as those on maternity leave, and make an impact on your patients. Below, we’ll take a look at critical care nursing. Call our nurse staffing agency to begin today!
WHAT IS CRITICAL CARE NURSING?
Critical care nursing is a specialty within the nursing field where nurses are trained to care for those who are facing life-threatening injuries or illnesses. Interestingly, about 37% of all nurses in hospitals are considered critical care nurses according to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. These nurses are trained in advanced life support and in monitoring these patients.
Critical care nurses are also advocates for the patients, representing them and their needs when necessary, including intervening for them if they believe their medical care plan is not in their best interest. Critical care nursing is very much a one-on-one relationship. Typically, critical care nurses are only assigned one or two patients at a time since these patients need round the clock care as long as their status remains critical. It’s a career that can be stressful as patients’ lives are on the line.
Critical care nurses can be found in many areas of a hospital or healthcare facility. Some of these include:
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
- Pediatric ICU
- Emergency rooms
- Telemetry units
- Cardiac care units
- Recovery rooms
- Operating rooms
- Trauma centers
- Surgery centers
- Flight nurses
WHAT DOES A CRITICAL CARE NURSE DO?
- Monitor a patient’s vitals, including heart rate and body temperature
- Assess a patient’s needs on a continual basis and develop a care plan
- Help diagnose patients’ injuries
- Collaborate with the patient’s medical care team
- Clean and bandage wounds
- Perform blood transfusions
- Advocate for the patient
- Assist family in making healthcare decisions for the patients, such as life support
- Helping administer medications
- Educate the patient and their family on their condition and treatment plan
- Help with arrangements if the patient passes
CHARACTERISTICS OF A CRITICAL CARE NURSE
It’s super important that a critical care nurse be calm in the midst of chaos. They have to make decisions when the environment is emotionally charged. They need to have patience and understanding in order to address the patient’s family. They also must be able to deal with their own feelings if the patient passes or ends up with debilitating conditions. A critical care nurse must also be quick-thinking, able to respond at a moment’s notice to a change in a patient’s condition. They have to make tough decisions, and they should have thick-skin. When emotions are involved, people, especially family members, can lash out. It’s important to understand most of the time this is nothing personal to you.
Being a critical care nurse is not for everyone. Oftentimes, the patient under your care will not get better and will die. This can take a toll on your emotional health and well-being. In sum, the job can be heart-breaking, but it can be especially rewarding as you offer care for those who need it the most.
WHAT TRAINING DOES A CRITICAL CARE NURSE UNDERGO?
Critical care nurses must undergo additional training after nursing school. They must earn a master’s degree with an emphasis in critical care or ICU nursing. This training prepares nurses to enter the critical care field as soon as they graduate. There are classroom and clinical components to this additional education, as well as leadership training. Training goes well beyond the care requirements of nursing and includes the scientific thinking behind nursing theory and practice. Problem solving and communication skills are also integrated into the curriculum. Finally, after completion of the master’s degree program of your choice, you can get certified as a critical care nurse by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). While not required to obtain a job as a critical care nurse, it does demonstrate that you have a baseline of knowledge to employers. However, it requires two years of experience working with critically ill patients.
CHOOSE ABBELLA MEDICAL STAFFING TODAY
Critical care nurses are in high demand around the nation, and many hospitals often need help on a temporary basis, such as when a permanent employee leaves. Being an ICU travel nurse is an important career. Not only will you get to experience life in different parts of the country, but you’ll also get to experience ways other hospitals do things and fill an important role. ICU travel nurses are not only needed in area hospitals. They are also needed in community-based assisted living centers, physical therapy centers, healthcare facilities, and more.
One of the many advantages of travel nursing is you are able to work in many healthcare facilities in many different roles. This is a great way to help you decide what you want to specialize in. There are so many different fields for critical care nursing, and the best way to decide is to work with those patients on a one-on-one basis and see which path makes your heart sing the most.
Abbella Medical Staffing places ICU nurses around the country in hospitals and healthcare facilities who need your helping hand. ICU nursing is a rewarding career, and by choosing our medical staffing agency, we can help you expand your knowledge and your skill set. Fill out our short application online, or call us today!