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One of the front-line staff trying to help fight the Covid 19 pandemic is the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurse. ICU Nurses are battling every day to keep patients alive and as the entire world battles against Covid 19 the role of the Critical Care /ICU Nurse has become even more vital.
All hospital ICU units every day are continually fighting to help keep their patients alive. However, during Covid 19 pandemic these units have in some cases tripled in size, putting immense pressure on ICU staff, but the goal remains the same – helping patients successfully recover.
Let’s take a look into what you need to become a Critical Care / ICU Nurse and why now like never before being an ICU nurse is so important.
ICU Nurses care for patients who are experiencing life-threatening health problems. The medical conditions of these patients are extremely complex, intense, and demanding and the nurses need to possess specialised skills along with an in-depth understanding of the human body and medical interactions.
Like most medical professionals, Critical Care / ICU nurses need to be critical thinkers. As the role requires constant analysis of a patient’s condition you need to see the big picture and hone in on the best possible treatment for the patient. Working well under pressure will be one of the many traits an ICU nurse possesses.
You will need to be a registered nurse, this means studying towards a degree in nursing, but alongside this, you will also have the practical side of learning and gain experience in a range of healthcare settings. There are alternative ways to become a nurse such as a Nursing degree apprenticeship, nursing associate, you will need to research to find the best way that suits your circumstances.
Passing a Nursing and Midwifery Course (NMC) you will need to register with the NMC. From here you can progress to different nursing levels and specialisms. Choosing a Critical Care / ICU will require further training and qualifications, but everything will be geared to your area of specialty.
Technical ability – As a Critical Care / ICU Nurse you definitely need to have a comprehensive education and hands-on experience. Patient care is paramount, can be doing anything from inserting a central line, monitoring a patient’s neurological status, facilitating ventilatory support and so much more. Therefore having the technical know-how is imperative.
Be passionate – Being a Critical Care / ICU Nurse is so demanding, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Unfortunately, mortality rates are high due to the nature of the patient’s health and being in intensive care, so you need to push yourself back up for your next patient is so important. This will only come from truly loving your job. However, don’t forget there will be good times as well when you see your patient successfully recover and go home, or have a heartfelt thank you from the patient and their family and friends.
A team player – Like anything that is successful, it comes from working as a team. You will be in contact with so many other medical teams, including your day-to-day colleagues and you can only work well together by communicating and trusting each other. Everyone is there for the same reason, to helping people so working together to achieve that goal requires every single person.
Organisational skills – Caring for multiple patients successfully requires fantastic organisational skills. A colleague needs to be able to find, read understand your notes on the patient files, medication schedule, observation charts, etc is key, having missed information, or misplaced files is dangerous for all involved including the patient.
And importantly able to face difficult situations – As you can expect sometimes you will need to relay bad news to a patient, family members of the patient and this is difficult. People will react differently and being able to adjust in these situations is just as important as dealing medically with a patient. You will need to have a caring, understanding heart.
The life of a Critical Care Nurse / ICU Nurse is extremely difficult but can also be really rewarding. All nurses need to ensure that their own self-care is also not neglected and being an ICU nurse is no different, they cannot do their job effectively if they are not looking after themselves.
Each nurse is important and especially during this time of COVID 19 we praise the work every nurse is doing. We at Cavendish Professionals have a longstanding history within the healthcare market and give thanks to each and every nurse we have worked with and continue to work with. Currently, we have available positions with our clients in Critical Care / ICU nursing, so please contact the healthcare team if you wish to discuss further. Thank you again for your hard work!!