I was asked on Twitter what I thought were the qualities of a good critical care outreach nurse and how I thought practitioners were viewed by nurses and doctors. I thought I would share my answer. Happy to receive feedback. I am sure there are those out there with their own opinions.

“What qualities do I think are valuable for a ccot nurse?
  • Systematic approach to patient assessment.
  • Understanding of the ‘warning’ signs of impending sickness
  • Be prepared to challenge poor practice, by all professions
  • Instigate appropriate treatment to the levels of ones ability
  • Ensure treatment plans are followed up and that they have made a difference
  • Works well within a team under pressure, calmness being the most important
  • Desire to constantly learn, and to utilise various methods to do so
    • I always ask at interview what the candidate could do to learn if there was no budget provided. You would be amazed how many people don’t mention the internet or even a library but instead continue to wait to be spoon fed information
  • Look for new ways of working
My experience of how doctors and nurses view practitioners?
Junior doctors on the whole I think very much appreciate us and the teaching we can offer. One should always ensure that it is not offered in a patronising way but as a partnership. Sometimes I encounter a doctor who does not seem to like being taught by a nurse, but I find that a winning smile will help!
The registrars I have worked with have all been VERY positive in their appreciation of what we can offer to them. Sometimes it is the technical tasks, central lines, arterial lines etc but often it is also the management of the very sick patient whilst they are busy elsewhere. I know for a fact that we have converted some of the registrars who were initially not keen on the role.
I have also been very lucky in having tremendous support from our consultant colleagues.
Attitude by the practitioner towards the nursing staff is key, I believe, in maintaining relationships with them. I am first and foremost a nurse, and hope that I can always count myself as one of the team. A reasoned approach to ones treatment plans, working alongside the nursing staff I think is much wiser than the bull in a china shop approach.”

Originally posted 2014-01-07 21:12:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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3 Responses to Qualities of a Critical Care Outreach Nurse

  1. JOLLY says:

    i have got an interview on 5th jan and need to do presentation, on “what are t5he attributes of a successful critical care out reach team, can you give me some idea

    • Jonathan Downham says:

      Hi There,

      Main qualities of such a team I think would be:
      1. Diversity of skills.
      2. Ability to teach both formally and informally.
      3. Recognition of areas for development through networking and the audit process.
      4. Flexibility in practice so that they can adapt to the changing staffing and patient dependency levels.
      5. Teamwork both within the Outreach team itself and with other health care professionals.
      6. Awareness of new ways of working and a desire to move the quality of the care provided forward.
      7. Ensuring that the Outreach team is not only there to pick up the pieces when the patient becomes unwell but is also able to empower other staff to stop this from happening.
      8. Take part in the discussion via social media.
      9. Have an awareness of new ways of learning using the internet which will ensure that the learning is available for all in a reusable format. Lets stop re-inventing the wheel.
      10. Inspirational, supportive and innovative leadership which promotes autonomy, mastery and purpose.

  2. Mosammat Shamsun Naher Begum says:

    I have read your post. your writing is helpful for me and my colleagues who are working with at ICU. I want to get more writing regarding CCU and HDU.

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