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9 Tips For Critical Care Nurses


  • A year of critical care NP experience is required for this degree, and then you can hope for a better salary as well as more flexible work hours.
  • You can be prepared by simply taking a quick inventory of your equipment so you may focus properly on the patient.
  • This mentor can be an industry expert or even be someone a year senior to you.

Nurses today are worried about being overworked, understaffed, and seriously exhausted. Among many nursing vocations, critical care nurses have more duties than traditional RNs. Experts have observed that critical care nurses often suffer from problems such as working more shifts than they can tolerate. These matters have negative effects on patient outcomes. So how can critical care nurses hone their skills and better handle patients? Contemporary challenges include:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Pessimism
  • Morale issues
  • Illegible writing
  • Higher turnover rates
  • Constant interruptions
  • Communication barriers
  • Absenteeism among nurses
  • Malfunctioning medical equipment

The following suggestions can help critical care nurses overcome these challenges.

  1. Hone your learning

RNs can now obtain MSN-AG-AC-NP degrees to become well-versed in adult and acute care. A year of critical care NP experience is required for this degree, and then you can hope for a better salary as well as more flexible work hours. Also, improving your education will teach you the skills needed for better patient outcomes in healthcare settings.

  1. Know the jargon

The critical care industry utilizes some distinctive words, i.e., jargon or terminologies unique to this profession. Becoming familiar with this jargon is important to accelerate your decision-making process. Today, you don’t have to worry about where to get this information. It’s simple; just go online and search for some common ICU terminologies. Moreover, you can buy books written to make critical care nursing convenient for people. Hence, avail of these educational resources.

  1. Memorize the procedures

Emergency departments have unique policies and processes placed for better patient outcomes. So, critical care RNs shouldn’t just familiarize themselves with these procedures and memorize them for better performance. Learn how to use medical equipment, follow safety guidelines, and become well-versed in available medical resources. Make every machine’s function known to you so you can use these devices without delay in emergencies.

  1. Hold onto equipment

Experts have suggested critical care nurses bring their equipment while entering a patient’s room to prepare themselves for any unexpected challenge. Realizing that you’ve forgotten an essential piece of equipment will only frustrate you with your unpreparedness. In other words, not holding onto equipment shall only waste your time and delay caregiving to the patient. You can be prepared by simply taking a quick inventory of your equipment so you may focus properly on the patient.

  1. Reduce your stress

Stress and anxiety have become common among nurses, and RNs doing shifts in critical care units are maybe the most disadvantaged in this matter. Studies have indicated that 52.3% of critical care nurses are suffering from stress. The solution is simple: don’t overwork yourself. We shall tackle this point in depth in the following subheading. Just know that you should do the following things to keep yourself healthy:

  • Sleep regularly
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Take breaks between shifts
  • Don’t take your work home (i.e., work-life balance)
  • Perform some stress-reducing exercises to relieve your anxiety
  1. Don’t overwork yourself

There’s no need to work more hours than your health can afford. Like all other nursing vocations, critical care nurses must create a work-life balance in their lives. Sometimes, nurses get mesmerized by the promise of better salaries by working more shifts. However, overworking yourself only harms your overall productivity. So, be watchful of your well-being, know your limitations, and don’t put on a burden you cannot tolerate. It’s good for your health and the well-being of your patients too.

  1. Find a mentor

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting a mentor to hone your career. This mentor can be an industry expert or even be someone a year senior to you. Finding a preceptor can make a difference in your career advancement endeavors. Just make sure your mentor is a good teacher as well.

  1. Create a routine

Routinization makes you less stressed. Creating a routine will help you, as a critical care nurse, hone your mental health while dealing with emergencies. Once a routine has been established, nurses can become more efficient, organized, and productive. Moreover, you’re less likely to suffer from errors emerging from forgetfulness when you tend to follow a proper routine. That’s why we suggest RNs get into a proper flow, get some reports on their patients, and prioritize their tasks.

  1. Determine your priorities

Critical care nurses should hone their soft skills, the most crucial of them is time management. Emergencies cannot be handled properly without allocating yourself time accurately to deal with all of them. The solution involves making a priority task sheet and preferring tasks requiring immediate attention. That’s how you create a visual calendar and improve time management. For instance, you can add the following questions to your priority sheet to hone your efficiency:

  • Who needs their meds right now?
  • Which patients are being discharged?
  • Which colleagues are not on duty today?


Critical care nurses can become more productive without harming their well-being by following the recommendations mentioned in this article. You should improve your education to become licensed and obtain the necessary credentials. Learn the industry jargon, memorize the nursing procedures, and shadow your mentor to become familiar with the work routine there. Also, reduce stress by never overworking yourself and create a work-life balance. Bring your equipment with you while entering a patient’s room. Establish a priority task sheet to hone your productivity. These effortless suggestions will help you become a better critical care nurse and make you more efficient.

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Medical Device News Magazine provides breaking medical device / biotechnology news. Our subscribers include medical specialists, device industry executives, investors, and other allied health professionals, as well as patients who are interested in researching various medical devices. We hope you find value in our easy-to-read publication and its overall objectives! Medical Device News Magazine is a division of PTM Healthcare Marketing, Inc. Pauline T. Mayer is the managing editor.

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