Acute care nurses provide advanced nursing care for patients with acute conditions such as heart attacks, respiratory distress syndrome, or shock. May care for pre-and post-operative patients or perform advanced, invasive diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

  • Perform emergency medical procedures, such as basic cardiac life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and other condition-stabilizing interventions.
  • Manage patients' pain relief and sedation by providing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions, monitoring patients' responses, and changing care plans accordingly.
  • Document data related to patients' care, including assessment results, interventions, medications, patient responses, or treatment changes.
  • Diagnose acute or chronic conditions that could result in rapid physiological deterioration or life-threatening instability.
  • Administer blood and blood product transfusions or intravenous infusions, monitoring patients for adverse reactions.
  • Assess urgent and emergent health conditions, using both physiologically and technologically derived data.
  • Assess the impact of illnesses or injuries on patients' health, function, growth, development, nutrition, sleep, rest, quality of life, or family, social and educational relationships.
  • Interpret information obtained from electrocardiograms (EKGs) or radiographs (x-rays).
  • Obtain specimens or samples for laboratory work.
  • Collaborate with patients to plan for future health care needs or to coordinate transitions and referrals.
  • Refer patients for specialty consultations or treatments.
  • Set up, operate, or monitor invasive equipment and devices, such as colostomy or tracheotomy equipment, mechanical ventilators, catheters, gastrointestinal tubes, and central lines.
  • Discuss illnesses and treatments with patients and family members.
  • Distinguish between normal and abnormal developmental and age-related physiological and behavioral changes in acute, critical, and chronic illness.
  • Collaborate with members of multidisciplinary health care teams to plan, manage, or assess patient treatments.
  • Assess the needs of patients' family members or caregivers.
  • Perform administrative duties that facilitate admission, transfer, or discharge of patients.
  • Provide formal and informal education to other staff members.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in acute care.
  • Treat wounds or superficial lacerations.
  • Participate in patients' care meetings and conferences.
  • Participate in the development of practice protocols.
  • Adjust settings on patients' assistive devices, such as temporary pacemakers.
  • Prescribe medications and observe patients' reactions, modifying prescriptions as needed.
  • Order, perform, or interpret the results of diagnostic tests and screening procedures based on assessment results, differential diagnoses, and knowledge about age, gender and health status of clients.
  • Analyze the indications, contraindications, risk complications, and cost-benefit tradeoffs of therapeutic interventions.
  • Assist patients in organizing their health care system activities.
Work Context
  • Telephone — 100% responded "Every day".
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 100% responded "Every day".
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 97% responded "Every day".
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 97% responded "Every day".
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 89% responded "Extremely important".
  • Contact With Others — 89% responded "Constant contact with others".
  • Physical Proximity — 82% responded "Very close (near touching)".
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Work Activities
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Evaluate treatment options to guide medical decisions.
  • Diagnose medical conditions.
  • Diagnose medical conditions.
  • Monitor patients following surgeries or other treatments.
  • Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.
  • Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
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Knowledge

Medicine and Dentistry
  • Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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Skills

Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Service Orientation
  • Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness
  • Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Monitoring
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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Abilities

Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Information Ordering
  • The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Data base user interface and query software
  • Microsoft Access Hot Technology
Office suite software
  • Microsoft Office Hot Technology
Electronic mail software
  • Microsoft Outlook Hot Technology
  • IBM Lotus Notes
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