Acute Care Nurses Career
provide advanced nursing care for patients with acute conditions such as heart attacks, respiratory distress syndrome, or shock. may care for pre- and post-operative patients or perform advanced, invasive diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.
What Job Titles Acute Care Nurses Might Have
- Clinical Nurse Educator
- Nurse Manager
- Nursing Director
- Staff Nurse
What Acute Care Nurses Do
- Perform emergency medical procedures, such as basic cardiac life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and other condition stabilizing interventions.
- Manage patients' pain relief and sedation by providing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions, monitoring patients' responses, and changing care plans accordingly.
- Document data related to patients' care including assessment results, interventions, medications, patient responses, or treatment changes.
- Diagnose acute or chronic conditions that could result in rapid physiological deterioration or life-threatening instability.
- Administer blood and blood product transfusions or intravenous infusions, monitoring patients for adverse reactions.
- Assess urgent and emergent health conditions using both physiologically and technologically derived data.
- Assess the impact of illnesses or injuries on patients' health, function, growth, development, nutrition, sleep, rest, quality of life, or family, social and educational relationships.
- Interpret information obtained from electrocardiograms (EKGs) or radiographs (x-rays).
- Obtain specimens or samples for laboratory work.
- Collaborate with patients to plan for future health care needs or to coordinate transitions and referrals.
- Refer patients for specialty consultations or treatments.
- Set up, operate, or monitor invasive equipment and devices such as colostomy or tracheotomy equipment, mechanical ventilators, catheters, gastrointestinal tubes, and central lines.
- Discuss illnesses and treatments with patients and family members.
- Distinguish between normal and abnormal developmental and age-related physiological and behavioral changes in acute, critical, and chronic illness.
- Collaborate with members of multidisciplinary health care teams to plan, manage, or assess patient treatments.
- Assess the needs of patients' family members or caregivers.
- Perform administrative duties that facilitate admission, transfer, or discharge of patients.
- Provide formal and informal education to other staff members.
- Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in acute care.
- Treat wounds or superficial lacerations.
- Participate in patients' care meetings and conferences.
- Participate in the development of practice protocols.
- Adjust settings on patients' assistive devices such as temporary pacemakers.
- Prescribe medications and observe patients' reactions, modifying prescriptions as needed.
- Order, perform, or interpret the results of diagnostic tests and screening procedures based on assessment results, differential diagnoses, and knowledge about age, gender and health status of clients.
- Analyze the indications, contraindications, risk complications, and cost-benefit tradeoffs of therapeutic interventions.
- Assist patients in organizing their health care system activities.
What Acute Care Nurses Should Be Good At
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
What Acute Care Nurses Should Be Interested In
- Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
What Acute Care Nurses Need to Learn
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
this page includes information from by the u.s. department of labor, employment and training administration (usdol/eta). used under the license.