A Day In The Life Of An Intensive Care Nurse

Have you ever thought being a nurse is all about coming to work on a shifting basis, giving medications on the right time, or providing treatment on a specific time of the day? Think again. The shifting basis stays the same, as a nurse comes in on a morning, afternoon or night duty, but the workload for this group of nurses is very different  from you first thought it would be. Ever heard of the intensive care unit or most commonly known as the ICU? Yes, nurses still work there, but they are on a working field that is much different from what you know.

Just like a ward nurse, an intensive care nurse is someone assigned in the ICU, they do almost the same routines, and procedures like most nurses do. Those assigned in the ward are given at least five patients depending on the load of the area. As for ICU nurses, the ratio of them to patients is 1:1, which means for every nurse has to care for only one patient. These patients, however, are admitted in the ICU for reasons that they may have a debilitating disorder or their current condition is so severe, constant monitoring has to be performed around the clock.

Most of the time, an intensive care nurse stays in the patient’s room, makes his or her progress report, and uses his or her five senses in looking out for any deviations from normal findings. Should he or she find out about anything, the nurse performs appropriate procedures to care for the patient. The nurse also has routine work, like administering medications on time, monitoring for the devices being placed on the patient, and doing health teaching to the patient or the family members. It may sound as easy as you thought it is, but the stressful part comes when the patient experiences multiple problems that the nurse has to attend to in an eight-hour duty, not to mention the possibility of the patient going through cardiac arrest.

A lot of drama can take place inside the intensive care unit, especially when the patient passes away, and the significant others cannot help but witness the final moments. The nurse can also feel sympathy for the loved ones, to think that he or she has developed a professional therapeutic relationship with the patient unlike in other fields of nursing work. An intensive care nurse can truly experience this kind of atmosphere as he or she matures in the area. At the end of all the treatment and care provided by the nurse, whether the patient lives or not, he or she can simply walk off and say, “It is just another day in the ICU”.

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