A good nurse is the most important part of any patient’s stay in the hospital. The patient comes very quickly to rely on the nurse for all their needs and to trust the nurse to give the patient the best care possible. When a nurse becomes busy, too stressed, too impatient, the critically ill may not feel comfortable asking for what they need. The acute care nurse practitioner is the lifeline and it is important that these nurses are certified with all the knowledge that they need and keep that knowledge up to date.
Those who are acutely ill generally have extended stays in the hospital and come to rely on their acute care nurse practitioner to take care of their needs. The nurse practitioner improves the quality of stay for the patient, perhaps decreasing the length of time they stay in the hospital just by improving their spirits.
The role of the acute care nurse practitioner is to help the patient within the hospital, and through all aspects of their stay, whether in the ward or the clinic. The patient will appreciate the guidance and care of the nurse in the emergency room, intensive care, labs and wards and the specialty clinics. The nurse plays a number of roles and must be present and assured with important skills from different aspects of the job. It is important that their skills never weaken, their knowledge never become outdated, and their smile or their patience never falter.
An acute care nurse practitioner may stay with a single patient and see them through the entirety of their care and even later as an outpatient. The patient comes to rely on the nurse completely, from admission to discharge, along with other health care workers. The nurse practitioners have a large body of knowledge to help them give the aid to the patient through this journey. These nurses have to be experts in the care of the acutely ill, able to deal with patients with a range of complex problems.
Once certified the nurse will work in a range of medical settings, from cardiology, to neurology or emergency room surgery. However, there are three main areas of emphasis that the acute care nurse practitioner will focus on for the certifications. They are critical care, cardio-pulmonary, and trauma. More specialized areas can also be considered as the nurse’s area of interest such as internal medicine, transplants, neurosurgery or oncology. Clinical and academic training comes in a variety of areas including differential diagnosis, pharmacology, patient care management, interpretation of x-ray or lab samples, invasive and non-invasive procedures, as well as education and research.
Once trained, it is necessary to pass the acute care nurse practitioner certification exam, and once passed, to take some recertification from time to time to make sure that the necessary knowledge is still current. It is important to keep the certification up to date, including the pharmacological aspects. If you require certification or a review course, then you should consider a training course to get you ready for the exam itself. A training course focuses on the exam and the critical information needed to pass the exam itself. You know the material, but do you know the exam?
This article was written by Lilli Boughamer, on behalf of Barkley & Associates, Inc., offering home study packages that can be completed at your own pace. To know about the key areas of responsibility of a nurse, you may also visit Wiki.answers.