Critical Care Nursing Essay

This essay sets out to discuss the importance of comprehensive and accurate assessment on a registered nurses’ ability to make excellent clinical decisions. It will examine what factors can change a nurses’ capability to be aware of, and act on abnormal assessment findings.

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The issue of consistency is raised when discussing how to ensure assessments are comprehensive, complete and that the data is recorded using the same guidelines as other nurses. To enable consistency of assessment, the same nurse should be taking the observations of a patient for the duration of a shift (Moore, 2007). This ensure that the interpretation of results don’t differ each time the vital signs are done. It also allows the nurse to detect subtle changes in the patients state that may not have been written down. For example, in most clinical environments the respiration rate is recorded as just a number, and the rhythm, degree of effort, quality of breathing and evidence of wheezing or other abnormal breathing sounds are not recorded. The rate may stay the same over a period of time while other aspects of respiration may change, and this is something that a nurse is more likely to notice if they have assessed that patient before. During handover, a nurse should tell the next nurse looking after their patients how they took observations and detail what tools they used to ensure consistency is maintained. Nurses may not pick up on abnormal assessment findings because they do not know what the normal ranges are, or perhaps do not know what combinations of abnormal clinical  Critical Care Nursing Essay

This essay sets out to discuss the importance of comprehensive and accurate assessment on a registered nurses’ ability to make excellent clinical decisions. It will examine what factors can change a nurses’ capability to be aware of, and act on abnormal assessment findings. As well as assessment being part of the nursing process that is used in every day nursing, it is also a critical part of patient safety (Higgins, 2008). Assessment findings are used to determine what needs to be done for the patient next. Early warning scoring systems currently exist to aid in the early detection of patient deterioration (Goldhill, 2005). The rationale for the use of these systems is that early recognition of deterioration in the vital signs of a …show more content…
It may also be that they don’t know how to intervene. These are issues that urgently need addressing in order to ensure trends in avoidable patient death decrease.Critical Care Nursing Essay


Early warning scoring tools allow for early interventions to be implemented therefore increasing the patients’ chances of survival. Early intervention is essential to improve the prognosis of patients (Moore, 2007).


A decision has been defined by The New Oxford Dictionary of English (2001) as ‘a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration’. Clinical decisions cannot be made prior to a thorough and accurate assessment. By undertaking a full and systematic assessment of patients, nursing staff are in a prime position to act on findings and ensure that appropriate nursing interventions are initiated (Moore, 2007). Effective decision-making has the potential to facilitate improvements in health care (Aitken, 2003).

The main purpose of the study was to confirm the hypothesis that consultation with CNS or RN in a drug-monitoring clinic has a significant positive impact on the well being of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The study involved a single blinded randomized controlled trial over a period of three years. Subjects were chosen from the rheumatology out patient setting in a district general hospital with a drug monitoring service. A total of 71 subjects who were starting out on anti-rheumatic therapy were randomly assigned to either the interventional or the control group. While the interventional group was supervised by the CNS to assess patient needs (using Pendelton’s framework) alongside drug safety evaluation, the control group was seen by an outpatient staff nurse purely for drug safety concerns. oth the groups were assessed Critical Care Nursing Essay

Walking into the hospital at 6:40am you badge in and make your way to the floor, just minutes into your shift you hear the intercom buzz “code blue, 1A, code blue 1A”. Almost immediately you hear the front doors of the floor flying open and staff members rushing in. Those staff members, are ones from the Intensive Care Unit or ICU. Nurses from the ICU are specially trained in the care of critically ill patients with special needs for extensive monitoring. Critically ill patients are defined as those patients who are at high risk for actual or potential life-threatening health problems. The more critically ill the patient is, the more likely he or she is to be highly vulnerable, unstable and complex, thereby requiring intense and vigilant nursing care (AACCN, 2016, para. 2). Critical care nursing is a job that is very well respected, but with that respect comes a lot of responsibility and education as this job will continue to evolve over the years.Critical Care Nursing Essay
In the event that one decides critical care nursing is where their future resides, you must first figure out where to start in your education. Prospective registered nurses must complete a graduate program which should include classes such as Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, and other social and behavioral sciences. Students will also be involved in a clinical setting where they will explore core nursing subject such as ethics, mental health, and pharmacology. Nurses who want to work in critical care must obtain a bachelor’s degree of nursing. The path from RN to ICU nurse can vary from state to state. For example, typically in Delaware you work your way up the chain. Perhaps starting on a Med Surg unit, and then getting some experience in a progressive care unit Critical Care Nursing Essay

In addition to working as a Phlebotomist, I work on the telemetry floor as a Certified Nursing Assistant where I hold my permanent positions. I work per diem Medical Assisting at the Wound Center and have also been given the opportunity to float to the Emergency Room and the Critical care unit to help with various jobs assisting the nurses. I have found that the most fascinating out of all my experience at the hospital has been in the Critical Care unit.Critical Care Nursing Essay

It’s interesting, stimulating fast paced work.

I enjoy learning new information all the time. I have a thirst for medical knowledge and a hunger for helping people. In what I have witnessed, critical care nurses are the only support systems that some patients have, with my naturally nurturing demeanor and ability to comfort people in their time of need, I think I would be a good fit for this role. I love a good challenge and enjoy a change of pace every day; these are my reasons why I am very interested in becoming a Critical Care Nurse.Critical Care Nursing Essay

Though nurses caring for the critically ill have been led by several influential people and groups including Florence Nightingale and the American Red Cross in the mid 1800’s, it was not until nearly 100 years later that the AACN was formed. AACN is the Association for Critical Care Nurses. “In the 1960’s, the founders of critical care nursing and AACN valued and fought for humane, effective, collaborative, and accessible care for the nations critically ill citizens. ” The earlier generation nurses came together and solely focused on the safest effective ways to care for the critically ill.Critical Care Nursing Essay

“In 1969, nurses imagined AACN as an inclusive organization committed to investigation, education, and communication about caring for the critically ill. That is precisely the organization that we know today. ” The AACN is an organization that is a “patient centered health care system” where the nurses deliver their excellence in patient care for critically ill patients and families and where the nurses have the opportunity to make their optimal contribution. (The American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 2013) Once  Critical Care Nursing Essay


an individual becomes a licensed Registered Nurse, they can then train to become a critical care nurse. “Although certification is not required to practice as a critical care nurse, many choose to become certified through the AACN. ” It is more desirable for hospitals throughout the United States for hiring nurses that are certified through the AACN. Individuals that are aspiring to become a critical care nurse should know that they will spend long hours on their feet and need to be able to lift patients with use of good body mechanics and lifting techniques.Critical Care Nursing Essay

Nurses should have good stamina and be ready to be on their toes in the event of an emergency. (The American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 2013) Critically ill patients are those at high risk for actual or potential life threatening health problems and those that are critically injured. Critical Care nurses provide nursing care for these critically ill and seriously injured patients who require complex assessment, high intensity therapies and interventions, and continuous nursing attentiveness.Critical Care Nursing Essay

Critical care nurses perform many roles for patients including bedside clinician, comforting patients, educator and advocate. Some critically ill patients can do little for themselves asking for help or administering medications, therefore the patients must rely on their critical care nurses to be their eyes, ears, and voice. The critical care nurse must have the ability to think quickly, have skills to multi-task effectively, have a wealth of knowledge in critical care conditions and have the ability to motivate patients to get better.

A positive attitude suited for teamwork is a must, considering the nurses will be working closely with doctors, surgeons, respiratory therapists, physical therapists as well as their nursing team working together, bringing all resources together to make sure the patients are getting the highest quality of care and ensure to make a good recovery. Advancing in critical care nursing is achievable when the nurses address an interest in a specific specialty. The nurse is usually required to have at least two years’ experience with these specific types of patients.Critical Care Nursing Essay

For example Cardiac Surgery Certification (CSC) allows critical care nurses to help cardiac surgery patients recuperate, and can work in post anesthesia care units. Critical care nurses also train to a master’s level degree in nursing to earn Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (ACNPC). This certification is more focused on the nurse’s clinical judgment. Using independent and dependent nursing functions, the critical care nurse works in collaboration with members of the health care team to provide the best holistic care in a timely manner in order to aid of the critically ill patients recovery or to support in a peaceful death.Critical Care Nursing Essay

Independently the nurse works on his/her own nursing process for the patient, while working dependently with physicians and surgeons for the official medical diagnosis. “Professionals are defined as individuals expected to display competent and skillful behaviors in alignment with their profession. ” When most nurses are asked to identify their core values, they are consistent throughout the profession. They include honesty, integrity, and human dignity, equality of patients, the want to prevent and alleviate suffering, and the want to improve the quality of life for all.Critical Care Nursing Essay

In my experience in working in the critical care unit, these core values are clearly represented to me with the upmost professionalism. I have a clear outlook of what I want for me and my children in the future. As an aspiring nursing student, with a lifelong dream to become a nurse, I now see my dream soaring into critical care nursing as well. (www. nursetogether. com, 2008-2013) Bibliography www. nursetogether. com. (2008-2013). (Nurse Together LLC) Retrieved from Nursetogether empowerment. encouragement. opportunities. http://ccn. Critical Care Nursing Essay

Steps to Becoming a Critical Care Nurse
Enroll for a nursing program
The first step is for nurses to finish the nursing studies to become a registered nurse. It is a prerequisite requirement for critical care nurses to be registered nurses before they enter this specialized field of nursing. Most employers prefer critical care registered nurses (CCRNs) with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Some start by getting an Associate’s degree level, but it is essential for nurses who want to be CCNs to consider academic qualifications before writing their applications.Critical Care Nursing Essay

Obtain licensing to become a registered nurse
Each state has it set of requirements for nurses to earn their registered nurse license. It is essential to visit the state board of nursing website at the state where you plan to practice and determine the eligibility requirements. Nurses obtain a license to practice after passing NCLEX-RN the (national council licensure exam for registered nurse).

Earn the relevant experience
Critical care nursing requires certification that nurses can only get if they have particular expertise in a critical care field. The period to gain experience in intensive care settings is also an opportunity for exploring desires to become a certified critical care nurse. Experience in critical care nursing is somewhat significant because it is a requirement that a nurse must fulfill before obtaining a CCRN certification.Critical Care Nursing Essay

Get a Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification
Nurses who pass the licensure exam to practice become eligible for CCRN certification. Certification is not a requirement to work in the critical care settings, but many nurses in working environments choose to get CCRN training and credentials that they get through professional associations such as American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) in the USA.Critical Care Nursing Essay

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