Since there is great variety between institutions, and between individual nurses and patients, there is no simple practice of critical care which will suit call cases (Nurse 2005, p.2). Managers of clinical areas need to work with providers of education to make sure that critical care practitioners are educated to respond to the needs of the critical care service they will be working in. Senior critical care nurses are the best ones to decide the staffing levels they need and the staffing mix appropriate for their patient loads. Experienced critical care nurses can greatly improve patient care and reduce complications in patients because of their observational skills and their holistic approach to patient care.
A critical care nurse is one who is a registered nurse and has the knowledge, skills ans competencies needed to care for the critically ill without needing direct supervision (Nurse 2005, p.3). These qualities should reflect the needs of the patient, and not depend on the patient's environment (e.g. medical or surgical ward). Critical care is usually provided in Level 2 and Level 3 facilities. Critical care practitioners can improve patient recovery using patient-centered care, proactive management and by being vigilant, coping with unexpected events and providing emotional support for the patient (Nurse 2005, p.5). This includes weaning them from ventilation and from sedation, physical rehabilitation of the patient, and providing needed psychological support
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