Critical Care Nurse Career

Job Description: Provide specialized nursing care for patients in critical or coronary care units.


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Critical Care Nurse Career

What Critical Care Nurses do:

  • Administer blood and blood products, monitoring patients for signs and symptoms related to transfusion reactions.
  • Administer medications intravenously, by injection, orally, through gastric tubes, or by other methods.
  • Advocate for patients' and families' needs, or provide emotional support for patients and their families.
  • Assess family adaptation levels and coping skills to determine whether intervention is needed.
  • Assess patients' pain levels or sedation requirements.
  • Collaborate with other health care professionals to develop and revise treatment plans, based on identified needs and assessment data.
  • Collect specimens for laboratory tests.
  • Compile and analyze data obtained from monitoring or diagnostic tests.
  • Conduct pulmonary assessments to identify abnormal respiratory patterns or breathing sounds that indicate problems.
  • Document patients' medical histories and assessment findings.
  • Document patients' treatment plans, interventions, outcomes, or plan revisions.
  • Ensure that equipment or devices are properly stored after use.
  • Evaluate patients' vital signs or laboratory data to determine emergency intervention needs.
  • Identify malfunctioning equipment or devices.
  • Identify patients at risk of complications due to nutritional status.
  • Monitor patients' fluid intake and output to detect emerging problems, such as fluid and electrolyte imbalances.
  • Monitor patients for changes in status and indications of conditions such as sepsis or shock and institute appropriate interventions.
  • Participate in professional organizations and continuing education to improve practice knowledge and skills.
  • Perform approved therapeutic or diagnostic procedures, based upon patients' clinical status.
  • Prioritize nursing care for assigned critically ill patients, based on assessment data or identified needs.
  • Set up and monitor medical equipment and devices such as cardiac monitors, mechanical ventilators and alarms, oxygen delivery devices, transducers, or pressure lines.
  • Assess patients' psychosocial status and needs, including areas such as sleep patterns, anxiety, grief, anger, and support systems.
  • Assist physicians with procedures such as bronchoscopy, endoscopy, endotracheal intubation, or elective cardioversion.
  • Identify patients' age-specific needs and alter care plans as necessary to meet those needs.
  • Participate in the development, review, or evaluation of nursing practice protocols.
  • Provide post-mortem care.
  • Supervise and monitor unit nursing staff.
  • Coordinate patient care conferences.
  • Plan, provide, or evaluate educational programs for nursing staff, interdisciplinary health care team members, or community members.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Holland Code Chart for a Critical Care Nurse