I am ER trained and worked in critical care for many years, however the last four years I have been doing primary care. The administration realized my background and immediately sent me back to the hospital; to the ER first, then to the units. This was uncomfortable, but I was able to re-align myself to acute care.
I think the first thing we need to do is train all (or many) of the nurses in the hospitals to be ICU savvy. We are all RN's. No matter where we are in the hospital, we need to be able to step up to ventilators and drips . Even some ER nurses were less than comfortable with the hour to hour management of ventilators and pressor drips during my covid experience. I realize that this is a challenge as the skills wont be utilized regularly, but there must be a way to make critical care less foreign to the average staff nurse.
I wonder if a form of team nursing would work. I am currently working with pacu nurses in a covid icu. They're not completely comfortable in icu but they're willing to ask questions and learn. So we support each other and double check each other. Its working.
Thank you for your response. I completed an accelerated BSN/MSN, and in my clinical training I felt that the emergency and ICU clinical rotations should have been much longer and more in depth. I also think that it is unfortunate that most nurses do not get enough exposure to critical care, and if there was it would be easier for nurses in other areas of the hospital to jump into caring for ventilated patients. With the increasingly critical nature of most hospitalized patients, perhaps more critical care training would help.