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Critical Care Nurses

The Job

A critical care nurse's main responsibility is providing highly skilled medical and postsurgical care for critically ill patients. Critical care nurses may be assigned one or two patients as opposed to being involved in the care of several patients.

For example, a certified critical care nurse might work in the pediatrics intensive care unit of a children's hospital. He or she might work as a bedside nurse and as a relief charge nurse, responsible for the administration of the ward. He or she might even work as part of a ground transport team that transports critically ill or injured children to the hospital.

Critical care nursing requires keeping up with the latest medical technology and research as well as medical treatments and procedures. These nurses must operate high-tech machines and be well-versed in the latest procedures.

Critical care nursing is a very intense nursing specialty. Patients require constant care and monitoring. Many nurses are required to work 12-hour shifts, which can be very exhausting.

In many cases, critical care nurses are confronted with situations that require them to act immediately on the patients' behalf. The nurse must be a patient advocate, meaning that the nurse must help the patients receive the best possible care and respect their wishes. They must also provide support and education to the patients and their families.

Although the job can be an emotionally draining, it is also rewarding.

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