Critical care nurses are required to treat patients facing a wide range of health issues from cardiac issues, traumas, respiratory failure and brain injuries. For those considering this area of medicine here are a few things to think about before deciding.
Are you inquisitive? Do you enjoy learning about and using new technologies? Critical care nurses must have strong assessment and observation skills, current knowledge of medications and diagnostic test results, and honed technology skills.
Are you a good communicator? In critical care nursing it’s essential to communicate minute-by-minute changes in the patient’s condition to others on the team.
Are you organized? Do pay attention to detail? Effective organizational skills are paramount in being successful, and good time management can make all the difference in your practice.
Do you want to take care of the sickest of the sick? A critical care nurse should possess the inner desire to care for the most critically ill patients to be successful.
If so, then critical care is probably a good match. But before you make the change, consider shadowing critical care units in your facility. There are many critical care specialties each with their own characteristics and personalities. Or, request a clinical rotation in a critical care unit in your nursing program. Finally, take a critical care certification program.
We hope these insights help you on your journey, and if it is to critical care, then thank you. This can be one of the most personally challenging specialties in nursing.
~Michael and Frida Donner