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Nursing Considerations in Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care

Jones, Melissa B. MSN, APRN, CPNP-AC; Tucker, Dawn DNP, CPNP-AC

doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000856
Congenital Heart Disease

Objective: The objectives of this review are to describe the education and critical thinking skills that characterize pediatric critical care nursing and how these skills impact patient care and outcomes in pediatric cardiac critical care.

Data Source: MEDLINE and PubMed.

Conclusions: Pediatric cardiac critical care nurses manage complex and vulnerable patients requiring various levels of support. Effective care of these patients requires knowledge about the complex anatomy and physiology associated with congenital and acquired heart disease, as well as the effects of mechanical ventilation, mechanical circulatory support, and vasoactive medications. Strong physical examination skills, accurate interpretation of hemodynamic and laboratory data, active participation in bedside rounds, excellent communication skills, meticulous care of invasive monitoring catheters and tubes, and compassionate support of families are among the skills that distinguish a cardiac critical care nurse.

1Children’s National Health System, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC.

2Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando, FL.

The authors have disclosed that they do not have any potential conflicts of interest.

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©2016The Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies