bed baths - page 2

I am starting an accelerated second degreeprogram in May and am planning to work in critical care after I graduate. I was just wondering what the typical duties of a critical care nurse are. Also,... Read More

  1. by   Chaoticdreams33
    Quote from Chip_04
    i do not think I would feel comfortable giving a bath to someone. IIs that something that nurses on all shifts are required to do?
    Most likely you'll get used to it pretty quick
  2. by   txdude35
    Quote from Ann RN
    How did you ever get through school without giving a bedbath?
    I had the misguided notion that I didn't need to learn it. Since I planned on going to the ED, I managed to avoid it. I'm making up for it now, though.

    And to the OP- as pointed out by rmbelcher among others, bed baths are about the least objectionable parts of the job. Last night I was doing trach care and had a MRSA-filled loogie coughed onto my face. I would much rather have been bathing him.
    Last edit by txdude35 on Feb 18, '07
  3. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from Ann RN
    How did you ever get through school without giving a bedbath?
    Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. Our first assignment in school was to do a physical assessment. The next assignment was to give a bed bath. If your pt refused or was off the floor...the nursing instructor found someone else.

    Our night nurses try to get the bed baths done, but we do many on day shift. Yes, a male nurse is required to give bed baths to his female pts unless the pt refuses or you make arrangements with other nurses, etc.

    I agree with the others that you should first get into the program before you narrow yourself to one specialty.

    I don't mind telling you the duties of a critical care nurse. You can keep these in mind while you are beginning the program and compare to other areas you get to experience. Just keep in mind that each unit is different.

    Typical duties include:

    Assigned 2-3 pts

    Most pt's have multiple chronic disorders as well as the acute problem that has landed them in ICU...for ex: pt may have a diagnosis of sepsis or respiratory depression but they also have a history of COPD, DM, and ESRD or Hepatitis that must be taken into consideration when providing care.

    Most pt's are hemodynamically unstable, so they require frequent monitoring and possibly fluids, pressors, osmotics or blood products. Electrolyte imbalances are common as well.

    We do an assessment every two hours on each pt, or more often according to diagnosis...like a post OP CABG, etc.

    We have techs (RN nursing students in their last year) and students from time to time if you are lucky, but we don't have any CNAs or LPNs. Basically, you're it. You are responsible for complete pt care. I prefer it that way.

    You do all personal hygeine. Catheter care has to be done each shift and after each bowel movement. Bowel movements are quite frequent sometimes . You feed your pt if they are po and can't feed themselves. You turn your pt's q 2 hours. Most are immobile. Mouth care every shift or q2h on the vent.

    You give every medication known to man! ICU pt's have lots of meds, fluids, and prn's.

    You speak to several docs throughout the day...the admitting, and the consults for that pt (renal, endocrine, cardiology, infectious disease). Then you have PharmD, Dietary, PT/ST, wound care, etc. THEN you have the family and friends, etc to keep updated.

    You draw labs...at least we do as long as the pt has a central line. Lab draws if they are a peripheral stick. You call abnormal labs to the appropriate doc.

    You are constantly on your feet and constantly evaluating your pt for changes. It is very fast paced.

    And between all this you have to find time to eat, pee, and chart! It's no easy task.




    If most of this is not making sense that's because you haven't gone to nursing school yet. Come back in a semester or two and re-read these responses. Good Luck! You may find that you love critical care or you may decide on something different. I encourage you to get a little nursing school experience under your belt and then start exploring the different areas of nursing.

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