The ICU Trauma RN must respond quickly to a wide variety of trauma involving all different types of patients. The RN must be decisive, calm and clear in order to assess, intervene and stabilize the patient without a lot of information and do it as quickly as possible. This job is stressful and high pressure and the RN must remain calm in order to deal with the situation as well as the patient and family members. Normally the ICU Trauma Registered Nurse will work in a hospital, emergency room or acute care facility.
The RN in this unit will constantly assess the patient’s vital signs, speech capability, reflexes and responses. These patients require vigilant monitoring and observation and the RN in this unit will also use many types of monitoring equipment.
The RN in the Trauma ICU must be able to work as part of a team. The Trauma ICU is normally staffed by many other health care professionals and communication between all these team members is essential to the patient’s recovery.
Trauma may affect everything about the person, including their ability to speak, walk or care for themselves. In many cases communication is not even possible. There may be severe and devastating emotional and cognitive disabilities. The patient’s family is also dealing with seeing their loved one in this state and not knowing if the patient will recover. The RN has to be very sensitive to these facts and help educate the family members about the long term implications of the patient’s condition.
Most employers would require the RN to have clinical experience and certifications in critical care in order to work in this type of unit.