The Ins and Outs of the Critical Care Nursing Field

Whenever the term critical care is mentioned – most people immediately think about severely sick patients in intensive care units or ICUs. They are not mistaken. Intensive Care Units and Critical Care specialized areas in the hospital that care for patients in need of intense and one on one attention. These are the areas where a critical care nurse Practices.

What is a Critical Care Nurse

A Critical Care Nurse or a CCN is a highly specialized nurse that has been trained to work in Intensive Care areas. They are nurses that care for patients who are severely ill and in need of individualized care. A CCN cares for patients of all diagnoses and gender. Patients may vary depending on this category. Critical care nurses also deal with complex technology that helps sustain patients.

The History

This type of nursing is a relatively new nursing specialty. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the very first Intensive Care Units appeared in the Western world. These units were created to deal with gravely ill patients. They were considered to need a more intensive form of care compared to the patients in the regular wards. The notion of an intensive care unit quickly spread. Today, most hospitals are required to have these specialized areas and in turn specialized nurses and physicians to run them.

Back then, nurses assigned in CCUs and ICUs were not seen as different from regular ward RNs. It was only a few years later that CCN was considered as a specialized nursing field.

Roles of a CCN

Like any other registered nurse, the roles of the critical care nurse are very complex. These nurses have to deal with severely ill patients. They also need to be familiar with complex technologies that are continually present in a critical care setting. The critical care nurse also has to know basic and advance life support. Such skills may be called upon at any point during his/her service.

The critical care nurse must also be skilled in the art of diagnosis. He/she must be able to diagnose and identify a patient’s immediate needs. This part of nursing is important as it may be the difference between life and death for a patient. Nonetheless, the nurse must remember that despite being skilled at diagnosis, one must not overstep her boundaries and perform roles reserved for a physician alone.

Aside from dealing with patients and their needs, the CCN also has to deal with the patient’s family. The CCN often works as a counselor that helps the family get through the crisis at hand. He/she may have to deal with questions and concerns from the patient’s immediate family and significant others.

Qualifications and Requirements

IN THE PHILIPPINES – Locally, any registered nurse can become a critical care nurse. It is only a matter of area assignment. Most of the time, nurses who are assigned in critical care units are those who have shown promise in their previous areas of exposure. They are also the ones who have worked in similar areas such as medical/surgical or pediatric units.

ABROAD – Abroad, in the US specifically, there are no specialized requirement to be a critical care nurse other than an RN License. However, there are bodies of authority that certify CCNs.

Although, certification is not required, most CCNs abroad are choosing to go for it because it increases their credibility. Employers also often require their CCNs to be certified in the field. Certification is achieved post graduation. It is not something taught in school. Some schools may expose their students to ICUs, but this is not considered enough for certification. The RNs get their CCN certificates while they are on the job. It is also often sponsored by the employer.

Work Opportunities in the Philippine Nursing Scene

There are a lot of opportunities to become a critical care nurse in the Philippines. But, nurses have to understand that these critical care units are often hard to get into. These units only require a limited number of nurses. Most of the time there are only a total of 12 nurses that work in a typical ICU with 8-10 beds.

Those who do get into these areas are considered lucky because their position opens great opportunities to work abroad. In most settings, CCNs have a lesser work load compared to nurses in large wards. Patients in ICUs need more attention but the numbers are much smaller compared to wards. A typical government hospital ward may hold 50-70 patients and with only a nurse or two to manage it.

Work Abroad

There are a lot of work opportunities for a critical care nurse abroad. The CCN can work in any area where there is an intensive care unit. Certification is often an option provided by employers to deserving and promising nurses. The employers are often the ones who fund certification seminars and the likes.

With the present shortage in nursing manpower, hospitals are clamoring to get their hands on specialized nurses. These employers would often offer big sign-in bonuses just to get a nurse to work with them. The average salary of a critical care nurse in the US often ranges from USD50,000 – USD 75,000. It is estimated that nearly 70% of the critical care nurse population earn that much. Some earn slightly lower while others earn upwards of USD90,000 to USD100,000 annually.

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Popular Hotspots for Dental Care and Implants

If you or someone you know is missing one or more teeth or suffering from severe tooth decay then dental implants may be an excellent solution. All those people who are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth can bring back their teeth in tip-top shape through implant dentistry.

Yet, the major drawback of considering cosmetic dental care and surgery for most people from the US, the UK and Australia is their cost. The dental treatment cost in the First World countries can be extremely daunting for many patients in need of it.

Luckily, one can find very affordable dental care somewhere else in the world. People who are completely ready to undertake the dental implant procedure can save up to 80% on their treatment simply by opting to receive implants in any dental tourism destination.

Some popular countries for overseas dental implants include Poland, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Thailand to name a few.

Poland

Poland, one of the most advanced countries in Europe, is now one of the most preferred destinations for affordable dental care. The ultra modern private Polish hospitals and clinics equipped with state of the art technology and infrastructure play an important role in Polish dental tourism boom, by attracting thousands of dental tourists, mainly from the UK, every year.

Cosmetic dental procedures including implants are quite cheaper in this central European country, saving UK patients at least 81% on the cost of their treatment.

Hungary

Seeking dental implants or other dental services in Hungary is a good alternative for people living in countries where dental treatments do not come cheap. Situated in the centre of Eastern Europe, the country takes pride in having the advanced private hospitals with modern x-ray machines, lasers, video cameras, dental tools and surgical techniques. These medical facilities offer competent dental services at reasonable prices to their local and foreign clients. By having the dental abnormalities fixed in Hungary, a patient can expect to at least 50% on the procedure even after including all other expenses.

Italy

Travelling to Italy for dental care may seem like a far out option for American and many Asian denizens but with the significant savings they make on the cost of their dental treatments overseas patients feel completely satisfied. Dental care cost in Italy can be as low as 70% of private dental prices in the US. Given the affordability of the dental procedures, standard of infrastructure and the skills of the surgeons in Italy it’s not a surprise that different patients from different countries are increasingly flocking to this country with their dental and other healthcare needs.

India

India is the destination of choice for anyone seeking first world quality treatment at third world prices. If you require expensive dental work such as bridges, crowns, implants or an orthodontic procedure, you can make considerable savings by going abroad to India. Medical tourists from all across the world, prompted by sky-scraping dentistry costs and dwindling insurance benefits at their native countries, make a beeline in this Southeast Asian country for various dental procedures. Top notch private dental clinic in India use latest generation techniques to perform oral surgery.

Mexico

This country shares its borders with the United States so it is the perfect option for those from the US. Opting for dental implants in Mexico can save American patients up to 66%. Not only US citizens even patients from far away countries can expect huge savings on their dental treatment. Private Mexican clinics are staffed with qualified and skilled general dentist, periodontists and oral surgeons with advanced training in implant surgery. Not only the dentistry is affordable, the quality of dental care in Mexico is also superior, a major factor that attracts many overseas patients.

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