The pediatric ICU in any hospital requires a little extra from healthcare professionals. Registered nurses who work for pediatric ICUs usually work in a high stress environment where they are required to be on their toes constantly. A pediatric intensive care unit caters to the medical needs of newborns, infants, young children and young adults – usually up to the age of 18.
A registered nurse working in a pediatric ICU does much of the work of a regular RN. The only difference is that the need for care in an ICU is intense and the population that one needs to cater to is children. These two difference make the job of an ICU RN quite meaningful – and stressful as well.
Nurses who have special interest in working in pediatrics are usually hired as ICU RNs. They cater to sick, injured or disabled children within an intensive care unit. Premature babies and injured children usually dominate ICUs so pediatric ICU RNs need to be well-versed in catering to the demands of children suffering from injuries or premature births.
It is imperative for pediatric ICU RNs to be able to handle adverse situations effectively and to apply their medical knowledge to manage emergencies effectively.
• Provide age appropriate care to children admitted in pediatric ICU
• Obtain patients’ histories and ensure that they are filed properly
• Consult with doctors and members of healthcare teams to comprehend patients’ medical issues and evaluate and implement care plans
• Monitor patients’ vitals such as blood pressure, heart rate and breathing and initiative corrective action on an immediate basis
• Follow cardiac and respiratory monitor readings such as EKG and O2 stats and communicate observations to doctors on duty
• Track urine output and insert catheters and start IVs
• Administer infusions and monitor special equipment such as ventilators to assess patients’ conditions
• Use nasal aspirators on premature babies and ensure that their incubators are well-equipped
• Change diapers and ensure that babies are kept in optimally cleaned conditions
• Tend to injuries by cleaning and dressing wounds as often as directed by primary care doctor
• Administer medication through IV or by mouth in accordance to healthcare plan devised by primary care doctor
• Observe changes in patients’ conditions and report any alarming changes to doctor on duty or pediatrician
• Provide emotional support and education to families of patients admitted to pediatric ICUs
• Record all care information concisely and accurately through forms
• Meet the developmental and emotional needs of children admitted in pediatric ICU
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