Health Care Professionals And Departments Found in a Typical Acute-care Hospital

Health Care Professionals Found in a Typical Acute-care Hospital

Some of the professionals found in a typical ICU include physician, nurses, respiratory therapist, and pharmacist.


The specialized physicians working in the ICU are referred as intensivists. These are medical doctors that have received extra training to handle critically ill patients. To be intensivists, one needs to be qualified medical personnel and later do specialization in intensive care. To be admitted to Medical Intensivists to obtain critical Care Certification, one requires accredited fellowship training for a period of 2 years in internal medicine subspecialty that include patient care in ICU. However, three years training is demanded for those specializing in gastroenterology and cardiovascular disease. In this case, one obtains American Board of Internal Medicine certification in the subspecialty and a year clinical fellowship training accreditation in critical care medicine in medical department (Pastores et al., 2014).


ICU has cot nurses who get special training to work in ICU. They are all registered nurses (RNs) who have completed normal nursing training and taken a specialty in caring for patients that are critically ill. The basic primary nursing technique promotes care coordination and continuity by paying attention to the spiritual, physical, emotional, and psychological needs that normally accompany prolonged hospitalization and serious illness. ICU nurses must go through nursing school to get nursing license. They also need to advance their education by pursuing master‘s decree specializing in critical care, which implies that one must participate in MSN to RN program. One also has to work at least one year in traditional nursing setup before specializing in ICU nursing. One is also required to continue taking short courses to advance their knowledge in the unit. This includes licensure or certificate in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and NCLEX-RN. Personal skills that include critical thinking, empathy, decision-making, and interpersonal communication are also needed. Other key skills include technical skills to be able to operate ICU equipment and computer skills to be able to retrieve medical information from a computer (Social Community for Nurses Worldwide, 2017).

Respiratory Therapist

ICU respiratory therapists work in collaboration with nurses and physicians to deliver oxygen, offering airway management, breathing medication administration, and assist in ventilators management. Respiratory therapist in this unit must complete college respiratory therapy education. To practice as a respiratory therapist, professionals need RT license to enroll in respiratory care degree program in a recognized institution which is accredited from the commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).  To be accredited, one must have at least an associate degree in respiratory care. The standard qualification required to operate in ICU is a National certification via the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc (Respiratory Therapist License, 2017).

ICU Pharmacist

Critical care pharmacists contain advanced expertise and knowledge to quickly evaluate clinical data and to offer direct patient care to patients that are critically injured and ill, who may need specialized technological or pharmacologic intervention to uphold nutrition, respiration, blood pressure, as well as other homeostatic function above the primary condition of the patient. To be a Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) certified pharmacist in critical care, a pharmacist need to be pharmacy program graduate that is credited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). One should also be able to uphold active, current license to take part in the US pharmacy. The pharmacist also need to complete post-licensure practice for at least four years, dedicating about 50% of this time to critical care pharmacy. Residency two years post graduate program of Critical Care Pharmacy that is credited by American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) will also need to be completed. A pharmacist will also need to attain a passing score on Critical Care Pharmacy Examination offered by BPS (Board of Pharmacy Specialties, 2017).

Typical Acute Care Hospital Departments

A patient records department is as well critical in the hospital. The department is charged with maintaining varied documents bearing patient information such as patients’ addresses, kin, conditions, diagnoses, and treatments. Commonly, the department is run by a records manager together with clerical staff with medical records management training. Besides, there are departments that are straightforwardly involved in taking care of patients. They include the hospital’s acute assessment department.

The acute assessment department is charged with ensuring that there is appropriate analysis, as well as assessment, of the conditions of patients. The professionals serving in the departments include physicians who diagnose, admit, and treat the patients. In some of the hospitals, there are speech-language pathologists (SLPs), dietitians, case managers, nurses, and social workers. Other professionals who are likely to serve acute care hospitals include physical therapists, respiratory therapists, patient-care technicians, physician assistants, restorative technicians, occupation therapists, and pharmacists (Malone, Capezuti & Palmer, 2014). The professionals may collaborate in offering services or provide them independently in distinct departments or units.

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