Everything You Need to Know about Critical Care and Nursing
Are you a student of critical care and nursing? If yes, then you must have sorted the basic concepts by now. Critical care nursing can be an interesting and important area to explore. The American Association of Critical Care Nurses states that almost 37% of nurses employed in the hospitals work as critical care nurses. This shows the importance of these professionals in the field of healthcare. Keep reading this blog to know more about critical care and nursing.
What is a critical care nursing or intensive care nurse?
Critical care nursing is a specialization part of nursing in which patients who are having life-threatening, high-dependency conditions are dealt with. The primary goal of critical care nursing is to elevate the care for patients who are critically ill through specialist nurses. Critical care nurses often work in various ICU specialties like trauma, burns, medical, surgical, cardiothoracic, coronary, pediatrics, etc.
A critical care nurse must be able to carry out complicated patient evaluation, apply intensive therapies and interventions, and observe the patients. They must be capable of doing all this while staying very calm in the face of critical or life-threatening situations. Apart from this, the critical care nurse must also be able to modify the latest care plan into emergency care.
The job of a critical care nurse needs the individual to be physically and mentally strong as it is very demanding and might require the professional to work for long hours.
Difference between critical care and intensive care
Although the terms ‘critical care’ and ‘intensive care’ are often used side by side, there are significant differences between the two.
Critical health care is given to patients whose life is threatened. The patients who need medication and close monitoring with the help of advanced medical equipment receive critical care. This is to make sure their body functions normally when professional care is given in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). CCU is a unit dealing especially with patients who have cardiac conditions. In this unit, care is delivered to patients who are terminally ill or comatose and will be staying in the unit for a long period.
Some cases where critical care is required are as follows: cardiac arrest, major traumas, injuries from accidents, stroke, poisoning, surgical complications, gunshots, pneumonia, etc. Based on the patient’s condition and the progress of the recovery process, he/she might have to stay in the critical care unit for days or even months.
Intensive health care is given to patients who are threatened by or suffering from organ failure. Several crucial functions are monitored in the intensive care unit through invasive monitoring using different types of machinery. Different types of machinery are used to support or replace organs that are not functioning properly. Examples of some treatments are mechanical ventilation, shock treatment, etc. ICU is basically where a patient with a critical condition like organ failure is given constant care. Patients are intubated to supply food and/or to help in breathing.
The staff working in the ICU needs to take rapid decisions. It is vital for them to excel at managing the stat treatment and medication of the patients.
Inside an ICU, the patients’ beds are placed in an angle that nurses can view them from their station for continuous visual monitoring. Along with this, there is an abundance of space to transport critical life-saving tools or equipment from one place to the other. Family members are restricted to visit in this unit so that there is no noise. It allows the patients to take proper rest and recover. It also helps in getting rid of germs that can be detrimental to the health of the patients.
What will you study in critical care nursing?
As mentioned earlier, critical care nurses specialize in delivering the right treatment and support to patients who are critically injured or ill. As these patients are very vulnerable (due to their illness), they require intensive care. Apart from carrying out treatment procedures, the critical care nurses also inform the patients about their condition. It can help the professionals make better decisions regarding the care that is provided.
Professionals in this field work in emergency rooms, intensive care units, cardiac care units, surgical intensive care, neuro-care units, pediatric, etc.
Studying this specific area of nursing can bring in many opportunities for anyone. Some of the concepts that are taught in this course are given below:
- Body systems
- Medical conditions
- Medical history
- The proper method of treatment for the patients
- Physical or mental health
To sum it up, the following things are what you will study in various critical care courses:
- Introduction to critical care practice
- Health diagnosis
- Planning the treatment
- Health assessment
- Theories of advanced critical care nursing
- Application of the advanced critical care nursing
Some detailed sections that you will get to study are as follows:
- Critical care clinical section
- Evaluation criteria for critical care
- Professional behaviors for those working in critical care
- Experience in the department of dialysis
- Experience of the operating room
- Case studies of various scenarios such as acute stroke, head trauma, Diabetic Ketoacidosis, Hip fraction, etc.
These are the basic topics studied by the students of critical care and nursing.
Enhance your learning through evidence in critical care
Health care professionals always provide evidence-based care. The best evidence and latest knowledge are used to make decisions regarding how to deliver care to patients who are critically ill. For this, nursing experts conduct research on the ways care should be provided to patients to attain the best outcome. The information collected from the research shared with the critical care nurses who are practicing at present (via published literature, education, or practice).
Hospitals recruit specially trained nurses who provide training and education. They execute literature reviews to make sure that they provide evidence-based and current information. Nurses learn about new ways to deliver critical nursing care so that safe and better results are obtained.
Critical care nurse certifications
The certification provided by the ‘American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ (AACN) is as follows:
CCRN- This certificate is given by AACN. It authorizes that a registered nurse has acquired a high level of knowledge in critical care nursing. The certification has many categories, which are listed below:
- CCRN (Adult)
- CCRN-K (Adult)
- CCRN (Pediatric)
- CCRN-K (Pediatric)
- CCRN (Neonatal)
- CCRN-K (Neonatal)
- CCRN-E (Adult)
- PCCN (Adult)
- CMC (Adult)
- CSC (Adult)
- ACNPC-AG (Adul-Gero.)
- ACCNS-AG (Adult-Gero.)
- ACCNS-P (Pediatric)
- ACCNS-N (Neonatal)
All these certifications have different requirements. So, before you apply for any of them, you should check your eligibility. Also, you need to renew these certifications after a period. You must check the procedure for the same.
What will you achieve by getting a certification?
- Validation for your clinical skills, knowledge, and abilities
- Proper recognition
- Advantages in career advancement
- Show your pride in your area of specialization
Certifications not only ensure excellence in care for patients, but also help you to enjoy professional growth.
The profession of nursing can be a hectic one, but the lasting feeling of helping others can make it quite satisfying. If you want to quit your nursing course because you are baffled by complex assignments, you can use the internet to opt for online academic help.
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