What is the role of the staff nurse in the PICU?


I have to answer this question for an assignment. I haven't been to the PICU yet, so I'm really unsure of the role. Is there anyone out there who can help me with this?

Pediatric Critical Care Columnist / Guide

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

16 Articles; 7,358 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

Wow, that's a complex question. It's almost impossible to quantify what we do as nurses in any role. We wear many hats in PICU... RN, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, pharmacist, patient advocate, teacher, chaplain, ethicist, playmate and sometimes scapegoat. Our primary role is to provide safe, competent, ethical nursing care to our patients, whatever that means. We are the eyes and ears of the physician, assessing and reassessing the patient's condition and responses to the treatment interventions we provide. We have a huge knowledge base that we draw on in the provision of care - of anatomy and physiology, growth and development, pharmacology, a little physics and a lot of psychology. There are many transfers of function in PICU, things that would normally be the responsibility of a physician may be performed by the nurse. We administer high-alert drugs, we remove central venous lines and arterial lines, place post-pyloric feeding tubes and a range of other skills that are specific to PICU. There's a lot to the job. Can you be a little more specific in what you're looking for?

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