In case you want to be a nurse, you must be exploring your options. However, have you ever thought of becoming an ICU nurse? That too of Neuro ICU?
Neuro ICU is a type of intensive care unit. This ICU cares for patients that suffer from neurosurgical and neurological injuries. Such injuries can include stroke, trauma, tumors, brain hemorrhage, etc.
The Neuro ICU possesses a challenging set of responsibilities for the nurses serving patients with high-intensity nursing care. The RNs in this very department work with patients who are in critical conditions and thus require 24/7. so you must be very dedicating and mentally prepared to become an ICU nurse.
What exactly is a Neuro ICU Nurse?
You may find people addressing the ICU nurses as Neurocritical Care Nurse and also Neuroscience Nurse. No matter the name, they serve patients with neurological issues. The Neuro ICU nurses are the neuroscience nurses that work specifically and only in the ICUs.
These are also registered licensed nurses but unlike other nurses, they work with unstable patients with life-threatening unstable conditions. The patients are considered unstable when they have neurosurgical/neurological injuries and require constant monitoring because of their weak state.
What kind of patients do Neuro Nurses work with?
Neuro ICU nurses provide high-intensity care to several types of patients. Their main responsibility is to help the patients suffering from neurological diseases, trauma, or condition.
Some types of patients such nurses encounter on daily basis are:
- Stroke victims: this can include hemorrhagic or ischemic
- Brain tumors: though various types of tumors exist, these Neuro ICU nurses work specifically with the patients that are suffering from a brain tumor. They work with the patients after the tumor resection or when the tumor gets invasion enough to start causing the deficit.
- Seizures: these are changes in the brain’s electrical activity. This causes the patients to either feel a change in behavior, sensations, or level of consciousness.
- Neurological Diseases: these are the disorders that can affect the brain and nerves found throughout the body. This can include things like Meningitis or even Guillain Barre Syndrome.
- Head Trauma: this is head injuries caused to the head, skull, or brain. This can be caused by gunshots or blunt force too.
The type of patients they deal with is the main thing that set their jobs apart from other RNs
What are the responsibilities of Neuro ICU nurses?
Neuro ICU nurses have various crucial responsibilities that are very similar to critical care nurses. The main difference between the Neuro ICU nurses and critical-care nurse is the type of patients they care for.
The main responsibility of these nurses is to conduct Neuro assessments. Neuro assessments are necessary because when a Neuro patient's health decline, it is not evident in vital signs.
The vital signs for the neurological changes generally occur late. Thereby these nurses perform Neuro assessments anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours daily. This can vary on the patient’s needs.
Furthermore, they are also responsible for communicating with the providers, interdisciplinary team, and patients’ families. This communication is conducted regarding the patient’s health and circumstances.
Communicating can be really hard because the nurses have to complex medical conditions to people who are not really aware of medical conditions or do not have any experience.
Some of the responsibilities can be:
- Managing the drains directly in the brain
- Measuring ICP
- Conduct and complete neurological assessments of both the conscious and unconscious patients.
- Completing thorough neurological assessments of both conscious and unconscious patients
- Managing the emotional distress of the family members
- Overseeing organ donation and procurement.
- Facilitating the brain death testing
- Assisting the patients at the end of life care