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Specialization in Intensive Care Nurses

Nurses who work in intensive care units are responsible for providing around the clock care and assistance to patients that are experiencing life threatening conditions. Common individuals admitted into intensive care units include patients that have had major invasive or multiple surgeries, trauma patients, or patients that have severe or multiple organ failure. Intensive care nurses often specialize in a specific field such as adult intensive care, pediatric intensive care, or neonatal intensive care. The treatment modes, methods of testing, and treatments of different age groups differ, and it is important for nurses to be specially trained to handle their specialization.

One of the many types of intensive care nurses are those that specialize in adult intensive care.  Adult intensive care nurses generally treat patients that are over the age of 18 that have been admitted into intensive care for various reasons.   They must administer medication, monitor patients’ conditions, and identify subtle changes. They are also responsible for constantly monitoring cardiac and respiratory machines, intravenous medication, and ventilatory support.

Pediatric intensive care refers to the intensive care of a baby, child, teenager, or young adult. While cases may vary, pediatric intensive care nurses usually monitor and assist patients who have been admitted into the intensive care unit that are between a couple of months old and 17-18 years of age. Neonatal intensive care nurses generally work with patients that are newborn or premature, or born with complications. Nurses in neonatal care most commonly treat newborns that suffer from pulmonary, neurological, or cardiac complications. They also care for premature babies until they were are well enough in health, size, and weight to be discharged.

Basically, intensive care nurses can be grouped into treating some of the same issues and disorders, but must know how to treat specific age groups differently. They must know how to respond to treatments, care for and aid their patients, and be patient and caring towards them. All sectors of intensive care are equally as important, and require well trained and knowledgeable nurses.

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