Does anyone take a critical care class?

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Hi guys.

Our cirruculum does not offer a critical care class for the BSN program. I have heard of other programs around that offer this kind of class and I have been wondering what the class entails.

We recently had to write a paper on an urgent care type of situation, and everyone did poorly on it. I think it is because we are not trained very well in this kind of thinking. My program focuses more on theory. I have been "Nursing Processed" to sleep.

Anyway, I would really like to see this kind of program in our cirriculum. Do any of you have this type of course and what kind of program are you in? What does the course cover? I feel like I am missing out.


669 Posts

We don't have a specific class, but during the summer internships,we can choose critical care as our field. That counts for 24-40 hrs of paid work each week AND 3 credit hours under "Nursing Elective."

It's a bargain in my mind. No theory and TOTAL hands-on experience.

We don't have a critical care class in at my school that EVERYONE takes. However, everyone does a critical care clinical rotation for 4 weeks.

AT my school we have different electives. Everyone has to take at LEAST one elective. Our elective range from family nursing, nursing history, addictions, cultural diversity issues in nursing, and a critical care elective.

I took the critical care elective this semester, we can choose to do the pediatrics focus, adult focus or we can do half of each throughout the semester if we wish. They gave us assignments to do and it was self-study and totally online. We NEVER had a lecture.

We cover topics such as the burn patient, heart failure, patients in shock, cardiac arrest, near drownings, head trauma, HIV, dealing with parents/family in the ICU areas, professionalism for nurses in ICU areas, Legal/ethical issues surrounding ICU areas,

We did not do clincals for the elective since we do a critical care rotation through our required classes. HOWEVER we did have an enrichment activity where we were required to do something pertaining to critical care or something close to it. Like I choose to shadow a NICU nurse, some people choose to follow a paramedic/EMT, some people went to see an open heart surgery, some shadowed an ER nurse, some went to see a autosopy, some went to see an organ transplant, some went to an ogran transplant meeting. Those were just some of the things my classmates and I did.

Have you thought about making a suggestion to the school? My school did not have a critical care elective for a while until someone made a suggestion and then they finally implemented the elective just a few years back.


240 Posts

We have a critical care/emergency room class. It is called Restorative Health for Multi-System failure. We have a didactic portion the entire semester. In clinical, we do 8 weeks of ICU and 8 weeks of ER (just once a week though). I work in an ICU now as a student nurse so I am really excited about going into the critical care class next semester!!


1,024 Posts

We have an Intermediate I and II that cover Med-Surg, Psych, and Critical Care. It's integrated with everything else.



17 Posts

We have a critical care class and rotation in the BSN program I'm in. It's a senior level class though and I'm a junior so I don't know the details about it (yet!).



56 Posts

Like Nikki I'm a junior and don't know the details of my critical care class. At my school you can take either Critical Care or OR. The OR class gets a lot of critical care with the recovery portion of their class. That's historically where critical care nursing started was in the recovery room. As a nurse intern working in the ICU I've been around it quite a while. You have to know a lot of numbers. ICP (intercranial pressure) monitors for head injuries. Cardiac Output monitors for heart patients. Ventilators for respiratory failures. Everyone is on EKG monitors. Alarms go off alot. Learn dopamine, dobutamine, nipride, levophed and a few other extreme drugs (can vary unit by unit according to what the docs like to prescribe). Keep in mind these drugs are titrated (moved up or down depending on how the patient is doing.

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