Qualities of a Critical Care Outreach Nurse

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.”


Guidelines for the management of tracheal intubation in critically ill adults

Having read the guidelines I made these infographics. They are FREE. Just click on the button below.