What comes to your mind when you hear the word INTENSIVE?
Yeah, i n t e n s e – action, drama, tension. That’s what nurses in the ICU experience every shift.
Patients suffering from acute trauma or distress such as stroke and heart attack need to be attended immediately, providing advanced, intricate treatment.
A critical nurse’s responsibilities and obligations may include, but not limited to:
- Rapid and thorough assessment of patient’s condition.
- Use of critical thinking to address plan of care and implement nursing interventions.
- Provide advanced management and treatment of condition – promptly, accurately and according to standards.
- Assist physician to meet planned goals.
- Administer medications properly and timely.
- Ensure functionality of mechanical equipment such as ventilators, life support and cardiac monitors.
- Work harmoniously with other members of the healthcare team.
- Provide education to patient and significant others.
- Ensure that the client’s dignity is maintained.
- Act as patient advocate.
What is an ICU Nurse’s day look like?
Want to become one? Here are the requisites:
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
- Registered Nurse (within the jurisdiction of where you will practice)
- Experience in general care.
- Get a certification as a critical care nurse.
Job outlook and salary:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for RNs, ICU Nurses included, is forecasted to increase to as much as 16% by year 2024 — which is much faster than other professions. As of May 2016, ICU nurses earn from $68,450 to $102,990 annually.
Caring for patients in the Intensive Care Unit is no easy task. You care for dependent individuals with critical conditions. Take care of your patients holistically, respect and preserve their rights. Most of them are at coma, so act as their advocate – do what is best for them without letting anyone exploit them. Preserve their dignity no matter what happens. Not anyone who stays in the Intensive Care Unit comes out well and alive.