3 answers

what does a typical day look like for critical care nurse?

2
100% of 2 Pros
Asked Viewed 66 times
2
100% of 2 Pros

3 answers

Kelsey’s Answer

0
Updated
Hi Brittany!

Excellent question. I was an ICU nurse for 8 years. It completely depends on the ICU you are working in. I have worked trauma and CVICU. On a typical day I arrive around 6:30am. I get an assignment of 1-3 patients depending on acuity. You get report from the precious shift. Verify all medications, review lab results, look at x-rays, and make a plan of care. You introduce yourself to the patient and family and do an assessment and medication admin. Also verifying all your equipment is safe and IV drips are correctly titrated. You do q30 or q1 hour vitals, walk, turn, suction your patient, clean up lots of poop, give bed baths, and keep them alive. You work with the doctors to make changes, improve drips, correct labs, ECT. You do this all day trying to continually avoid negative patient outcomes. I usually got off around 8:30 pm. Being an ICU nurse was awesome and exhausting. No day is the same. Sometimes you are giving 10 units of blood and continually fighting horrible hemodynamic instability and some days are easier but it is always challenging.
I absolutely agree. It is exhausting but also rewarding! Erin Smith, MSN, ACCNS-AG, RN, CCRN-CMC
0

Tanisha’s Answer

0
Updated
Hi Brittany,

I agree with Kelsey. No day is the same. I worked for 7 years in MICU (medical ICU) and these patients can be quite complex. Medical ICU is different in that you’re managing multi-systems; heart, kidneys, lungs, etc. I typical day for me was getting report on 1-2 patients; some patients require 1:1 management meaning thats your only patient. These 1:1 patients may be on continuous dialysis called CRRT that you manage as the ICU nurse or have recently coded, or even be an organ procurement patient. As Kelsey mentioned, checking ALL drips and IV pump settings (accidents happen) with the off going nurse, then checking labs and imaging. I personally worked in a level 1 Trauma center which was also a “teaching” hospital so we had medical interns, residents, doctors from other disciplines such as infectious diseases, etc, a fellow, and the Attending. After rounding on patients, we would participate in rounds with the entire medical team to make sure everyone was on the same page with regard to the patients current status, medication needs, etc. Because you’re the nurse, you are aware of all the patients titratable drug requirements and need to make the team aware in case additional interventions are warranted. All the other duties are routine such as turning, cleaning, bathing the patient. You’ll find that as an ICU nurse, you’re very territorial over your patients and will likely do most of the work yourself. You also have to transport patients off the unit for imaging such as CT scans, MRI, and X-ray. This can be extremely daunting and a long process depending on how ill your patient is and the number of IV drips theyre on. On my worst day, I had to transport a patient with 12 drips running on 3, 4 channel IV infusion pumps. This process involves a respiratory therapist who ventilates the patient if they are able to be disconnected from the ventilator because some absolutely cannot, and other support staff in case of an emergency. I absolutely loved intensive care. The challenge is definitely there. Knowing your limitations and asking for help will help keep you from making a fatal mistake in that setting. Hope this information helps!
0

YaeJi’s Answer

0
Updated
It’s true. No day is the same. As you advance you can have different roles within the ICU sometimes you can take care of Critically ill patients or other patients that are ready to transfer out of the ICU. Other days like on my unit you can be the break nurse. Typically you are responsible for all aspects of the patients care whether it be giving medications coordinating with social work relating critical information to the physician, or dealing with whatever issues may come. There is always a potential that your patient may decompensate and you will need to resuscitate them. The icu is all about noticing minor changes (especially in pediatrics) and monitoring critically ill patients. It is extremely rewarding and an endless amount of learning!!!
0