The nurse plays a very important role within the critical care setting. Much of the care delivered while the patient is in the intensive care unit, will be delivered by a nurse. Nurses assess patients and report that their findings to coordinate care. Nurses also recommend changes that impact patients, provide for patients needs, administer medications and prescribed treatments. Evaluation of the patient is a large part of the nurses role.
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The nurse on the critical care team plays a crucial and vital role in the care of a critically ill person. The nurse needs additional education in critical care nursing to care for patients in a critical care environment. The nurse's job is to carry out treatment orders, prevent complications, serve as advocate for patient and family and is that person who keeps the physician informed in any change in condition. In the typical ICU setting, the nurse usually has one to two patients. These patients often have specialized monitoring equipment, intravenous medication and ventilators to assist breathing. Often the patients are on heavy sedation or unconscious. It is up to the nurse to provide for every need of the patient in addtion to medical treatment such as bathing, feeding brushing teeth, turning, etc.