Critical Care Nurses
Provide advanced nursing care for patients in critical or coronary care units.
Related job titles:
Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN), Intensive Care Unit Nurse, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Registered Nurse, Burn Center Nurse
Annual Median Wage: $65,950
Projected growth: Faster than average (20% to 28%)
Assess patients' pain levels and sedation requirements.
Monitor patients for changes in status and indications of conditions such as sepsis or shock and institute appropriate interventions.
Set up and monitor medical equipment and devices such as cardiac monitors, mechanical ventilators and alarms, oxygen delivery devices, transducers, and pressure lines.
Administer medications intravenously, by injection, orally, through gastric tubes, or by other methods.
Evaluate patients' vital signs and laboratory data to determine emergency intervention needs.
Prioritize nursing care for assigned critically ill patients based on assessment data and identified needs.
Document patients' medical histories and assessment findings.
Conduct pulmonary assessments to identify abnormal respiratory patterns or breathing sounds that indicate problems.
Advocate for patients' and families' needs, or provide emotional support for patients and their families.
Administer blood and blood products, monitoring patients for signs and symptoms related to transfusion reactions.
Monitor patients' fluid intake and output to detect emerging problems such as fluid and electrolyte imbalances.
Compile and analyze data obtained from monitoring or diagnostic tests.
Document patients' treatment plans, interventions, outcomes, or plan revisions.
Collaborate with other health care professionals to develop and revise treatment plans based on identified needs and assessment data.
Assess patients' psychosocial status and needs including areas such as sleep patterns, anxiety, grief, anger, and support systems.
Perform approved therapeutic or diagnostic procedures based upon patients' clinical status.
Identify patients who are at risk of complications due to nutritional status.
Collect specimens for laboratory tests.
Identify patients' age-specific needs and alter care plans as necessary to meet those needs.
Coordinate patient care conferences.
Assist physicians with procedures such as bronchoscopy, endoscopy, endotracheal intubation, and elective cardioversion.
Assess family adaptation levels and coping skills to determine whether intervention is needed.
Supervise and monitor unit nursing staff.
Identify malfunctioning equipment or devices.
Participate in professional organizations and continuing education to improve practice knowledge and skills.
Participate in the development, review, and evaluation of nursing practice protocols.
Ensure that equipment or devices are properly stored after use.
Plan, provide, or evaluate educational programs for nursing staff, interdisciplinary health care team members, and community members.
Provide post-mortem care.
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Source: O*NET OnLine information for Critical Care Nurses.