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Critical care nursing in an austere environment

Smith, Kimberly K. RN, MSN, CCRN

doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e31817daa01
Scientific Reviews

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.

From the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, TX.

I thank Mona Bingham, PhD, RN, U.S. Army, for editorial review and advice contributing to this article.

The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the author and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.

The author has not disclosed any potential conflicts of interest.

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