Currently, the role of an intensive care nurse (ICU) is dynamic and ever changing. The nurse is responsible for taking care of 1-2 patients. This includes hourly vital signs-sometimes more frequently, medications, personal care, charting, and other tasks that arise throughout the shift. It is the nurse’s responsibility to understand how hemodynamic monitoring, ventilators, and life sustaining machines work. Not only does the nurse take care of the patient, but the family as well. ICU’s can be a very scary and intimidating place for families and it is the nurse’s responsibility to ease those fears and answer any questions the family may have.
In the year 2021 the role of the ICU nurse will be very prominent. The nurse will have to have at least a bachelors of science in nursing (BSN). The nurse will be primarily involved in patient care and will be involved in many of the bedside procedures such as central line insertions, intubations, and arterial line insertions, many times doing the procedure themselves. Vital signs and lab values will be continuously monitored and automatically uploaded into the patient’s chart. The ICU patient’s rooms will be larger and more accommodating for family members. According to Bauzin & Cardon (2011) “a quieter ICU environment, one that includes family and friends, dotted with windows and natural light, creates a space that makes people feel balanced and reassured” (p. 260).
The nursing shortage will be an issue because many of the baby boomer nurses will be retired. This will force hospitals to hire a lot of support staff, such as clinical technicians (CT) to aide and take a lot of burden off of the nursing staff. The CT’s will bath the patient, draw blood, and insert IV’s freeing the nurse to concentrate on other nursing tasks and charting. To retain and encourage nurses to work for their organization, hospitals will offer incentives such as sign on bonuses, financial aide for school, and membership into any nursing…