Critical Care Nurse Training Programs
Both experienced and newly qualified CCRN’s alike can take additional training once qualified to provide specialist care in various sectors. Taking extra courses could improve salary and open up job opportunities. If a critical care nurse is hoping to move further up the ladder, one sure way is by furthering training in order to provide more for their patients and unit.
First, when receiving a critical care nurse certification, the license on it will last for three years. When this time is coming to an end, the nurse will need to enroll in another course to keep up to date with any changes made in medication, administering medications, patient care and more. It may be advisable to take extra training too if a new piece of equipment is being brought into the workplace. Although receiving basic training from an employer, additional courses will add to this to improve or refresh knowledge level.
The original CCRN course usually runs from around 10 to 15 weeks and covers the information needed to move from a registered nurse status to a critical care nurse. At the end of the course there is an exam, if successful receive the person will receive their certification to prove they can practice nursing in critical care efficiently.
During this time, they will have to take part in simulation exercises, review case studies, attend lectures and more. Some of the work will take place in the learning establishment, however study should still continue from the home to ensure full understanding. It is important that everything being taught can be applied on the job.
To become specialized in a certain department, it is necessary to study for one of the following certificates.
- TBD: This is the course to take if looking to work in the emergency department providing critical care. The course provides training to provide front line treatment and assistance to patients who have either arrived in a critical state, or have become critical during their initial time in the ER. This course can help to deal with a touch and go situation where the patient may or may not have yet been diagnosed.
- ACLS: Short for Advance Cardiovascular Life Support, to get this certification the nurse will need to learn several invasive procedures that could help to save the life of someone who is suffering from a cardiovascular problem. Once certified, nurses are able to work with adults who suffer from cardiac arrest or other emergencies regarding the heart. This will allow them to provide on the spot treatment where they would otherwise need to call a senior member of staff, which could greatly hinder the chances of a patient’s recovery.
- PALS: This kind of certification is aimed at people who work in pediatrics. This includes paramedics, pediatric and emergency response professionals and physicians. The care that is provided for an adult can differ from what is needed in the case of a child. By taking this course, the student will be taught up to date information on how to deal with a child who is critically ill by taking vitals and providing the relevant treatment. It will also teach students how to spot changes that could point to an additional problem, even if the changes are small. When additional help is required, this course will teach how to administer the correct treatment.
- CPR: This certification teaches students how to perform emergency heart and/or lung first aid to keep a patient alive until a senior member of staff arrives to take over. This immediate care can and has saved the lives of many already. It is not requires to be a critical care nurse to take this certification, but it can show initiative when applying for a new position as well as teach the latest techniques before taking the required three-year refresher.
- Stroke Certification: Stroke certification allows students to study the treatment of patients who have had, or are currently suffering a stroke. The key to minimizing damage after a stroke is fast intervention, which is not always given if the signs are not spotted. Students will learn what to do in the event of a stroke, tips on dealing with patients and their care and also how to treat patients after, whilst they are recovering.
- TNCC: This stands for Trauma Nursing Core Course. It was created to give nurses the tools they need to work with trauma patients and is extremely useful in the critical care field. The certification shows that the student is able to competently attend to a trauma patient and provide the necessary treatment.
- CPI: CPI stands for crisis prevention and intervention. It is a certification given to students who need to learn how to deal with a patient who is showing signs of anger. The aim of the course is to teach students how to resolve the situation before it becomes physical. If it does become physical, the students will know how to get out of a situation where they are cornered or being held by a patient, safely. This can stop nurses from becoming physically harmed if they are confronted by a patient who is confused, frightened, or mentally ill. The aim is to safely treat the patient and calm them down with minimal confrontation or danger to themselves, other staff and patients around at the time. It can take a while, even after security is called, for them to arrive and there may not be others in the vicinity at the time to help. The course will broaden the type of patients a nurse feels competent in working with and open up new opportunities for those holding the certification.
Some of the certifications are required in addition to the original critical care course, in order to work in certain departments. Even when the certifications are not required, they can greatly improve the level of care that the nursing staff provides to their patients who need specialist care. Having extra certifications can improve the chances of employment in different sectors and save lives by quick action and fast diagnosis.
Training In Critical Care