Throughout its history, nursing has worked at keeping up with constant changes that have come about in technology and healthcare and providing our patients with the highest quality care possible. As a group of professionals, we have strived to meet every new challenge with additional education, experience, skills training and certification. And perhaps nowhere has all of this been more obvious than in critical care nursing.
Most would agree that patients whose illnesses previously required stays in critical care units now can be cared for on a variety of other units. As a result, those patients in critical care are sicker than ever and require more intensive care.
From myocardial infarctions and cardiothoracic surgery to trauma, respiratory failure and brain injury, critical care nurses in every specialty must be prepared to provide the most complex patient care. They need strong assessment and observation skills, current knowledge of medications and diagnostic test results, and honed technology skills. They practice in countless settings and fill a variety of roles. In this specialty issue, we look at some of the important work they’re doing in facilities around the country.
One of our features focuses on interprofessional teamwork to improve outcomes related to critically ill patient immobility, and the other on how facilities are addressing verbal and physical abuse of nurses in their EDs. For this Trending Now in #Nursing Special Edition magazine, we also conducted a survey of our critical care nurse readership. Some of the results are featured in an infographic “Profile of a critical care nurse” in this issue. Our full profile of the average critical care nurse is now available.