Critical Care Podcaster - Could that be YOU?

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  • Trauma Columnist
    Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

Jonathan Downham is an Advanced Critical Care Practitioner in Warwick, UK. He was in Florida recently at NTI 2019.'s Content and Community Director, Mary Watts caught up with him for an interview.


Jonathan has a 32-year history as an ICU nurse. He stated, "The career progression is different in the UK than the US.” According to an article in the Journal of the Intensive Care Society, "Although advanced critical care nurse practitioners (ACCNPs) have been established in the US since the early 1990s, this role has not developed to the same extent in the UK. Also, whereas the critical care outreach nurse has been a well-established role throughout the UK, there was no national consensus on the ACCNP role. To address this, in 2015, the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine developed a curriculum for Training for ACCPs that was applicable to both nurses and other allied health professionals.”

When asked how he got started in podcasting Jonathan said, When I got to the top of the tree (of the ranks in Intensive Care), the possibility of becoming a Nurse Practitioner was being muted. Being "a bit of a geek and loving gadgets" he decided to start the blog, CriticalCarePractitioner. After starting the blog, Jonathan realized that "I don't want to write and write and write" and started podcasting in 2014.

He has approximately 120 podcasts on his site. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Anemia
  • Sepsis
  • Hemodynamics
  • Mental health for the ICU nurse

How to connect with nurses?

He talked about how his podcasts help him to connect with nurses from around the world. Jonathan also offers video teaching and admits that "I learn things and so do the people who watch.” During NTI, for instance, he produced several podcasts onsite including one with other social media influencers (CCP Podcast 121). Other videos cover:

  • Chest x-ray interpretation
  • Insertion of chest tubes
  • Difficult intubations
  • The whys of "proning" an ICU patient

When asked how he has grown his website and expanded his following, he alluded to the "uphill struggle as I still have a day job.” He promotes his podcasts by writing blog posts and utilizes word of mouth but admits it's been difficult sometimes. Jonathan also has many blog posts on his site that are clinically focused, many geared towards newer critical care nurses.

Mary asked Jonathan how he chose topics for his podcasts? "I use social media platforms like Twitter and then ask the people that I follow if they would like to chat and about 80% agree to do so.”

Podcasts are really a one-way street Jonathan admits, "I get approximately 2000 downloads but I think if it could be two-way communication it would easier and more widespread. Podcasts are geared to one-way learning.” He has also expanded to producing YouTube videos with an emphasis on clinical competencies.

And what about the future?

And finally, they discussed the future. "I would like to believe that I could continue this well into retirement. The flexibility is great. I'm working on teaching videos and want to continue to build my podcasts. This helps to inspire nurses around the world. I'm a nurse and always will be.”