Nurses are not only assisting doctors and administering medication in contemporary scenarios. Their role has evolved into respected medical personnel with critical responsibilities. The role now requires more flexibility in terms of working in multiple settings and flexible hours with multidisciplinary teams.
The Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU), also known as the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is the unit in the hospital that provides care for critically ill patients. The patients in this unit require round the clock monitoring and the nurse to patient ratio is also high. Agency nurse ITU jobs need to be specially trained in order to prepare them to handle the pressure of the ITU.
Being an ITU nurse can be extremely demanding and can take an emotional toll on you. So, it is necessary that you acquire these skills to succeed in this profession.
Since ITU nurses are assigned the responsibilities of inserting central lines, monitoring patient’s neurological status, facilitate ventilator support, administer medication and much more. These responsibilities require you to have technical knowledge and skills to perform them efficiently.
To prepare for the role of ITU nurse, you need to elevate your skills through education and training constantly. Staying abreast of the latest technologies in healthcare is imperative.
Being a Team Player
ITU patients require the attention and care from various specialists simultaneously. Therefore, as an ITU nurse, you need to be able to work in a multi-dimensional team of healthcare professionals.
Working with a team requires effective communication skills as, without communication, the patient does not receive the best care.
Tackling Difficult Situations
Because patients in the ITU are critically ill, you need to be prepared for any sudden developments in their condition and be able to deal with it immediately. Any delay may lead to adverse results.
The patient’s family is already undergoing an emotionally difficult time and the last thing they need is a nurse who reacts emotionally to bad news. Agency nurse ITU jobs prepare you to balance your reaction and emotions and help you create personal and professional harmony.
Passion for Work
ITU nursing is incredibly challenging. Providing care for critically ill patients can be both physically and emotionally demanding. In order to be efficient in your work, you need to be passionate about your work. You need to be able to appreciate the days when the patient shows signs of improvement or a kind word from a family member. These can be filed away and drawn upon on days when the stress and anxiety are high.
Working as an ITU nurse just for the financial rewards will not let you last long. Without passion for the job, it will be difficult to deal with the taxing hours, demanding patients and specialists, and ever concerned family members.
Thinking On Your Feet
Along with a passion for the job, you need to be able to think on your feet. While technical education and skills are important, you will be dealing with patients whose conditions can deteriorate quickly. This requires that you be able to make quick decisions after evaluating the patient’s condition and considering all possible options.
ITU nurses are usually experienced and need to have basic management skills. They areplanning, organising, communication, decision making, delegation, problem solving and motivating. Without these skills, you will be unable to meet the demands of the profession.
As an ITU nurse, you will have other nurses working with you and delegating work is important to avoid burnout. Also, keeping other team members motivated to give their best is a critical skill for an ITU nurse. Being organised is imperative as patients’ charts need to be updated with the smallest of details. Any errors can lead to fatality or liability to the hospital.
The job demands caring for patients, but that does not mean that you don’t care for yourself. As an ITU nurse, you need to make sure that you take enough time off to relax and unwind. You can also take up activities such as exercise, join a book club, meditation, go out with friends or family, and enjoy other activities that help you relax.
You need to make sure that dealing with the high stress of the job does not get to you and leads to burnout. Studies have found that about 70% of nurses report burnout and you need to ensure that you are not one of them.
Patients in the ITU are critically ill and their condition demands constant care and attention. The nurses’ role becomes important in proving comprehensive care to the patient, working with the different specialists treating the patient, working with other medical staff and delegating tasks to them, constantly motivating the team and providing empathy to the patient’s family.
With so many responsibilities, an ITU nurse needs to be highly experienced, and skilled in caring for patients and themselves.