Critical care nursing is the specialty inside the nursing profession that ensures the delivery of optimal care to acutely and critically ill patients. Critically ill patients are patients who are at high risk for actual or potential life-threatening health issues. These patients are highly vulnerable, unstable, and also have complex healthcare needs that need vigilant and intense nursing care.
These types of nurses and healthcare professionals are essential in intensive care units (ICUs), including medical, surgical, pediatric and neonatal ICUs, cardiac care units, cardiac catheter labs, telemetry units, progressive care units, emergency departments, and recovery rooms. Critical care nurses are also found in medical evacuation and transport teams.
In the usa, most critical care nurses are registered nurses; because of the unpredictable nature from the patient population, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) rarely assume the primary care role in caring for critically ill patients.
Rn's can obtain certification in critical care nursing with the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACCN), an advisory board that sets and maintains standards for critical care nurses. This certification, referred to as CCRN, describes the holder like a certified critical care nurse for adult, pediatric and neonatal patient populations.
Several subspecialties of the kind of nursing can be found in units made up of similarly aged patients. These subspecialties have been in the next areas:
• Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, also known as Nursery ICU or NICU. The NICU's people are primarily newborn and premature infants who are looked after until they reach the gestational age of 30 days. Following this period, their care is going to be assumed by the Pediatric Intensive Care unit.
• Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, or PICU. Here, the patients are about one month to eighteen years of age.
• Adult Intensive Care, or ICU, takes care of patients who are beyond eighteen.
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There might, however, be deviations in the above setup, for example sending newborns who get admitted in the Emergency Department to the PICU, rather than the NICU. There may be rare cases when a grownup patient with congenital cardiovascular disease is going to be admitted to the PICU, as their current treatment methods are a continuation of treatment they had been receiving from their physicians ever since they were children.
Care subspecialties can also be based on the type of disorder, disease or primary injury of the patient population. For instance, the Adult Intensive Care Unit may have a specialized unit for trauma patients known as the Adult Trauma Intensive Care Unit.
Businesses of equipment utilized in the critical setting with which intensive care nurses need to be thoroughly familiar. These include hemodynamic and cardiac monitoring systems, mechanical ventilator therapy, intro-aortic balloon pumps, ventricular assist devices, continuous renal replacement equipment, along with other advanced life support devices. All of these are at the critical care nurse's disposal when providing medical intervention to the critically ill.
With advances in healthcare and technology, health conditions previously referred to as critical is now able to treated outside the critical units. Nonetheless. critical care nurses always keep abreast with new treatment options and technologies within this growing profession.