Critical Care Nursing: What Do They Do?

2 minute read

There are several types and specialties of nurses, one of the highest being a Critical Care Nurse (CCN). Critical care nursing involves managing and caring for critically ill patients who need constant care. This could include care for patients who suffered from stroke, organ failure, trauma, and more. These nurses are at the forefront of patient care. They help to ensure that even those in the worst conditions are properly treated. 

For those interested in critical care nursing, continue reading below to learn more about this profession and what these nurses do. 

Training Required for a Critical Care Nurse

Critical care nurses require a high level of skills and knowledge to attend to their type of patients. Since these nurses will be caring for severely ill and injured patients, they must know various procedures and life-saving actions. Depending on the nurse’s experience, these nurses will often receive advanced training to handle these types of situations. 

There are a couple of ways that nurses transition to critical care. Some may pursue additional education by becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS). Although, a critical factor in becoming a CCN is obtaining the clinical experience necessary. Before becoming a CCN, a registered nurse or APRN must commit significant hours caring for critically ill patients before they can pursue a CCN certification. 

This certification is obtained through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. They offer a two-year and five-year option for obtaining the necessary experience caring for critical and severely ill patients. 

A Day in the Life of a Critical Care Nurse

The day of a critical care nurse is certainly not for everyone. Their days are often jam-packed with care tasks, administrative duties, and keeping track of numerous moving parts and people. Throughout the day, a critical care nurse will be engaging in duties such as:

  • Managing various medical devices (cardiac monitors, ventilators, and more)
  • Wound dressing, IV delivery, dressing patients
  • Make rounds and report patient statuses or changes
  • Comfort patients at the end of life
  • Talk to and reassure patients and family members
  • Monitor numerous patients

The above is far from the only duties of a critical care nurse, but it paints a picture of how busy their day can be. It can be difficult to keep track and stay on task throughout all of these tasks. However, CCRNs make it work to be there for everything they need to be. 

Where Critical Care Nurses Are Needed

Many parts of a hospital or healthcare facility care for critically ill patients. This includes ICU, pediatric ICU, surgical ICU patients, and more. CCNs can be found in any of these areas requiring this high care level. 

Some CCNs will become further educated and specialized in their particular unit or field as well. This allows nurses to focus on the area of care that truly resonates with them. 

Considering a Position as a Critical Care Nurse?

Are you an RN considering furthering your experience in critical care? Cynamed is here to help. We are a locally owned staffing agency in Pittsburgh, ready to help you find the right fit in your career. 

Whether you are a CCN looking for a new placement or an RN who wants experience in critical care, we are here to help. We aim to help you achieve your job goals, and we will always work with you to a satisfactory placement. If you have any questions or would like to work with us, you can call us at 412-325-3420 or fill out the contact form on our website.

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