Pearls for Critical Care Equipment1. Ensure you have the appropriate PPE to do the care required.
2. Find the colleague you can ask for help.
3. Ask for help when troubleshooting or identifying equipment.
Safety first, that is the first thing we learn as nurses – the same principle applies in a pandemic.
Personal safety means knowing when you need to wear PPE. It is important to use the right protection at the right moment. Be aware of your environment, your colleagues might need you quickly.
Don’t forget the human under all these tools! And if you have any questions, ASK! If something seems odd, tell someone. Understand that we all make mistakes and are here to work together as a team.
Click here for a complete lesson on an evidence informed look at personal protective equipment when caring for a patient with COVID-19.
Brief Overview of Common Critical Care Equipment
These machines make breathing easier by providing extra pressure and oxygen. Almost always, the drive to breathe comes from the patient themselves.
Being on a ventilator can change your physiology of respiration, the air/oxygen is pushed inside the lungs as opposed to being drawn in by a depression of your diaphragm.
Being on a vent also means you can send more oxygen into the lungs => FIO2. Room air is 21% oxygen, but on a ventilator, you can go up to 100%.
Multiple IV Infusions
TIt is not uncommon to see multiple IV infusions for critically ill patients. We recommend you keep your IV tubing untangled and labeled at the pump and at the connection point with the patient.
Tube Feed Pumps
Feeding is important for your patient. They will need some type of enteral feeding, and likely a rectal tube. Monitor for constipation, as it can impact breathing. Being in ICU is the metabolic equivalent of running a marathon every day, so it is important patients receive nutrition.
Dialysis may also occur for your patient. There are different types of dialysis, depending on what is available in your facility. Managing the dialysis machine may be part of your role for your patient.