Communication in the Intensive Care Unit, Research Paper Example


            Nurses are noted to be known for their role in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They assist and they assure the patients of a good sense of recovery. Relatively though, more is expected from a nurse serving in the Intensive Care Unit. From the term “intensive’, it could be understood that nurses situated in this position are expected to give double if not triple the attention that they give to their patients and increase the cooperation that they have with their colleagues attending to the patients in the said section of the hospital. It is very important that nurses are properly briefed about the role that they play in the ICU not only for the patients but also for their colleagues, especially that of the doctors who are assigned to give attention to the individuals in the said area of the healthcare facility they serve.

With the many responsibilities that a nurse should give attention to in relation to the position that they have to give importance to while working in the ICU, this research shall be focused on how they are to assure patient safety. In connection to this, improving the condition of creating a patient-centered culture in the ICU shall be focused on the process of improving communication between colleagues and specifically keeping a good data on the condition of the patient[s] being attended to. Concentrated on the proper administration of procedures and protocols related to handling ICU medical operations, this research shall try to find proper references that could help in manifesting the fact that improved communication between staff members and good record keeping could increase the competency of nurses in handling their roles as assistants and caregivers to patients admitted in the ICU.

Issue in Focus

            Patients admitted in the Intensive Care Unit are often diagnosed with serious conditions hence imposing that these individuals require specific attention and special assistance especially when it comes to undergoing medical operations. Hence, for a nurse to have the proper skill to handle the responsibilities involved in the process of giving attention to patients, training is necessary. However, apart from the nursing skill itself, healthcare practitioners who are to be assigned in this position are expected to have just the right behavior for the job. A good attitude and outlook on matters could not only help the nurse be more confident in handling his responsibility, but would also resonate a good source of motivation for the patient to recover.

During the past few years, mishandling operations in the ICU have been noted to have increased due to the condition of the patient and the response of the nurses to the situation. Relatively, stress is a common element in the ICU. With the intensive situation, it is hard for either the patient or the nurses to be cool and calm, nevertheless, this is an important aspect to consider. To keep things calm, cooperation and symphony in the process of operation should be a primary culture followed by the staff members who are assigned to complete tasks within the said area of the hospital. This could only be possible if good communication is established between the individuals involved in the process, especially that of the nurses.

Considerably, nurses serve as the bridge between the patients and the doctors. If there is anyone who is more updated about the situation of the patient, that would be the attending nurse. In the ICU, this responsibility of the nurse is heightened. Monitoring the situation of the patient and making sure that everything goes into writing is important hence equipping the doctor with the proper information he might need later on to proceed with other medical treatments that the patient might need to recover faster.

Resolutions and Suggestions

            Proper administration and management is essential especially in assuring the safety of the patient. There are instances when some nurses tend to forget to put down into record several details about a patient’s progress or a particular medication that has been taken by the individual. Even the slightest mistakes could cause huge problems in the ICU. Nurses attending to the patients in the said area should then be given the heads up that they should always keep in mind to manage the need to record everything and give attention to any particular matter that could affect the process of recovery undergone by the patient. It is essential that such record be updated every now and again so as to make sure that the patient’s progress or any particular problem is given attention at the best possible time.

Management of communication in the ICU should be handled by head nurses; this could be better imposed through creating a pattern of schedule and charts that would place nurses in the most effective times that they would placed on duty. This process should also involve the classification of skills that the nurses are noted for in an individual matter allowing them to be placed accordingly to be able to subject them properly and make the function to their fullest. Training nurses every now and again is important. Notably, this would increase the competency of the nurses to make sure that they are able to handle both intensive situations and emergency operations to assure the safety of the patients at all times.

Matters for Further Research

            At present, several IT operations are being developed to help the healthcare industries to be more competent in handling their responsibilities to the society. For those working in the ICU, it is important that these IT programs are given attention to. Notably, IT software such as EHR Electronic Health Records should have specialized versions specifically dedicated to those operating in the ICUs. Training nurses to utilize the information in the said software programs could improve the way the information is used to support the needs of the patients. This could also improve the communication of the people involved in handling responsibilities in the ICU as they are properly informed of everything about the patients they are attending to hence equipping them with the capacity to provide proper medical attention to their patients assuring them both of their safety and proper recovery.


            Exposing the different issues on patient safety in the ICU and protecting the condition of the patients through improving nursing responsibility operations is expected to make this research more practical and applicable in responding to several issues in the ICU at present. Researching on the different cases that would prove that an improvement on communication and operational management could improve nursing competencies among those who are assigned to attend to patients in the ICU shall make this study more useful and reflective of the supposed development that nurses at present are supposed to take into consideration. Involving issues on how IT operations could support such desire of improvement among nurses and the way they handle their responsibilities is expected to make an indicative impact on how ICU operations are given attention to at present and even towards the future therefore further preparing nurses of the responsibilities they have to face in the years to come.


The Critical Care Nurse.    Retrieved on June 11, 2013.

Kahn, Jeremy M.; Goss, Christopher H.; Heagerty, Patrick J.; Kramer, Andrew A.; O’Brien, Chelsea R.; Rubenfeld, Gordon D. (2006-07-06). “Hospital volume and the outcomes of mechanical ventilation“. New England Journal of Medicine 355 (1): 41–50.

Takrouri, Mohammad Said Maani (2004). “Intensive Care Unit”. Internet Journal of Health.

Grossman, Dana Cook (Spring 2004). “Vital Signs: Remembering Dr. William Mosenthal: A simple idea from a special surgeon”. Dartmouth Medicine (Dartmouth College, Geisel School of Medicine) 28 (3).