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How many of you here do today aspire to touch someone's life either emotionally, physically or spiritually? Growing up, I could never picture myself doing anything else other than bringing positive change to the society. Well for me, I intend to realize my life aspirations through becoming an intensive care nurse.
An intensive care nurse focuses specifically on taking care of terminally ill patients following massive injuries or deadly diseases. Terminally ill patients are those that have potentially life-threatening ailments and as such the intensive care nurses provide them with vigilant care to the patients and their families are given the uppermost nursing care (Adam, 2017).
The critical care nurse is tasked with the responsibility of recording and monitoring the signs and symptoms and the fluctuations in the invalid's condition; then inform the physician. For instance, a patient with stage III cancer must continuously be monitored to determine any change in the patient's condition; say, advancement of the Cancer cells.
They have the duty of educating patients. An intensive care nurse explains conditions to the patients and their relatives. They can change the care strategies that patients can resume once they are discharged. These plans could be medications, dietary changes, lifestyle-related changes and incorporation of physiotherapy sessions.
Intensive care nurses are charged with the duty of evaluation and analysis of diagnostic tests to assess and determine patient conditions. In many cases, the patient consults the critical care nurse before actually seeing the physician. As such, the critical care nurse will for example; take the vital signs, dress wounds (if any), administer medication, to mention but a few.
Moreover, they are assistants to physicians during the administration of procedures such as endoscopy and intubation. They are therefore expected to know various options and treatment plans for a variety of acute conditions. Besides, technical knowledge in the operating mechanisms of life support systems as well as being well informed of the regulations of the nursing profession including patient's privacy are central in fulfilment of this role.
It is paramount that a critical care nurse possesses effective intercultural and interpersonal communication skills. This comes in handy when supporting and educating the patients' and their families. The nurse should be able to relay information to the two parties while at the same time be able to assess the coping and adaptation skills of the recipients of the report.
To add on to that, it is essential that the nurse be able to relate and communicate effectively with the other colleagues such as the physician. The critical care nurses are expected to work in teams in coordination and smooth execution of the tasks they undertake.
Intercultural communication is necessary as hospitals are multi-cultural centres. Intensive care nurses should, therefore, learn to take on the cultural perspectives of their patients to understand the reasons behind their patients' beliefs.
Moreover, communication is the primary attribute to the nursing job group. As such, it is empirical that the critical care nurse can ask for feedback from the patient without being ambiguous and give well-structured and articulated instructions to the patients without being misinterpreted or misunderstood. For instance when assessing the level of pain of the patient and when investigating the patient's medical history. The nurse should be able to listen and give effective responses.
In my opinion, the most notable aspect of intensive care nursing is the ability touch another individual's life without them knowing you at a personal level. I am thrilled with the multi-tasking abilities of professionals in this field. However, I feel that the long working hours and periods spent standing is a health hazard to the nurses. Therefore, intensive care nurses should be motivated through salary increments and frequent performance appraisals.
Indeed critical care nursing is a calling, and I believe that I have received my direct calling into this field.
Adam, S. (2017). Critical Care Nursing: Science and Practice. Oxford University Press.
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