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Nurse working in an ICU

Critical Care Nurse Job Description

If you’re an empathetic person who can provide care for the most seriously ill people, a Critical Care Nurse position with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde could be a great fit for you. No two days or patients are the same, and you’ll help patients recover from serious illnesses or keep them comfortable in the last days of their lives. There are lots of temporary opportunities with Medacs, keeping you in control of when and where you work.

What do Critical Care Nurses do?

Critical Care Nurses, also referred to as ICU (intensive care unit) / ITU (intensive therapy unit) Nurses, look after the most seriously ill or unstable patients under hospital care. Your patients may need mechanical intervention from machines such as ventilators and dialysis machines to keep their basic bodily functions working, or to keep them comfortable in the last days of their lives.

Critical Care Nurses work in hospitals, within the ICU, ITU or other critical care departments, accepting patients once they have been stabilised by A&E or after surgery. As a Critical Care Nurse, you’ll closely monitor the patient you’re assigned to for signs of a decline. Critical Care Nurses have a few key responsibilities, including:

  • Giving fluids and prescribed medication by IV
  • Checking patients’ heart rates, blood pressure and other vital stats
  • Changing or removing post-surgery drains
  • Changing dressings and cleaning wounds
  • Monitoring machines carrying out basic bodily functions for your patients
  • Changing and caring for catheters
  • Keeping patients clean and comfortable
  • Communicating with family members and making detailed notes

You’ll work closely with other clinical staff, including:

  • Critical care doctors
  • Consultants
  • Specialists in particular fields of medicine
  • Paediatricians (if you’re looking after critically ill children)

What qualifications and experience do Critical Care Nurses need?

To work as a Critical Care Nurse through Medacs, you’ll need to:

  • Have completed a nursing degree or equivalent apprenticeship
  • Be a registered nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Have six months of relevant UK experience as an ICU/ITU or theatre/recovery nurse within the last three years
  • Pass an enhanced background check

Critical Care Nurses also need a few key skills and attributes to help them thrive, including:

  • Patience and a calm nature under pressure
  • Strong attention to detail
  • An empathetic and understanding nature
  • A brilliant listener and communicator
  • Great computer skills
  • Strong timekeeping and multitasking abilities
  • A flexible attitude

Your next steps

If you’re looking to pick up extra Critical Care Nurse shifts, or fancy a new temporary role or full-time position, register with Medacs. You’ll get access to Critical Care Nurse jobs all across the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region. Being part of the Medacs network opens up lots of other benefits, including a supportive personal consultant and next-day payroll.

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