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The Role of Intensive Care Nurses

Intensive care and intensive care nursing is an important part of the healthcare field, as the doctors, nurses, and professionals that work in the intensive care unit must monitor patients very closely. Intensive care nurses monitor and treat patients that suffer from serious and complex ailments, disorders, or injuries. These nurses work with individuals who are experiencing or at-risk of experiencing life-threating conditions of illnesses or injuries. Intensive care nurses typically care for patients that have had major invasive surgeries, trauma and accident patients, and patients that are admitted with major organ failure. They must have the training and skills needed to handle sophisticated medial equipment and complex protocols.

Intensive care nurses carefully assess, monitor, and record their patient’s conditions. Many patients that are admitted into intensive care require constant cardiac and respiratory monitoring, as well as the constant administrating of medication and treatments, as deemed necessary. Nurses must also monitor and administer intravenous medications and monitory ventilatory support closely for changes. They must also know how to work equipment, check information, and respond to a number of machines and examination techniques. At times, their jobs can become extremely difficult when having to relay life-threatening or worse news and updates to the families and friends of their patients. Additionally, since the assistance and care that intensive care nurses provide for their patients is generally non-stop, it is common that they are assigned between 1 and 2 patients at a time.

Often, patients are unable to make decisions about their care or respond to treatments due to the nature of their injuries or illnesses. Another important part of an intensive nurses job is to keep the family of the patient well informed of what is going on. Intensive care nurses must provide family members with detailed and necessary information to let family members make the best informed decisions that they can, when it comes to decisions regarding patients. Equally important in the nurse’s role, is that nurses ensure that the wishes of the patient’s family regarding treatment plans or further decisions placed by the family are respected and carried out.

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