Critical Care Medicine

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Critical Care Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e31817daa01
Scientific Reviews

Critical care nursing in an austere environment

Smith, Kimberly K. RN, MSN, CCRN

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Objective: The purpose of this article is to present an overview of critical care nursing in current battlefield healthcare environments. The various levels of tactical combat casualty care are described with emphasis on those levels in which military critical care nurses are practicing.

Results: Results of a critical care medical record review is presented to describe mechanism of injury, critical care diagnoses, length of stay, ventilator days, procedures, and complications.

Conclusion: A vast knowledge of various critical care and trauma processes as well as a wide variety of nursing skills are required to provide appropriate care for these casualties. Critical care nursing competencies, cognitive and skill-focused, required to practice in this environment are described.

© 2008 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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