Critical Care Nurse

Who is a Critical Care Nurse and What Do They Do?

Critical care nurses, often called ICU nurses, are highly skilled and compassionate professionals who provide care for some of the most critically ill patients in healthcare settings. They work in fast-paced environments like intensive care units (ICUs), caring for patients with life-threatening conditions following injuries, surgeries, or severe illnesses.

  • Responsibilities of a Critical Care Nurse:

    • Assessing and monitoring patients: This includes taking vital signs, checking for signs of complications, and evaluating response to treatment.
    • Administering medications and other therapies: This involves giving injections, operating complex medical equipment, and providing life support measures like ventilation.
    • Collaborating with physicians and other healthcare professionals: Nurses work closely with doctors, respiratory therapists, and other specialists to develop and implement care plans.
    • Providing emotional support to patients and families: Critical care can be a stressful time, and nurses play a crucial role in offering comfort, guidance, and information.

    Telehealth for Critical Care Nurses: Training and Collaboration

    Telehealth allows critical care nurses to extend their expertise beyond traditional healthcare settings. However, specific training and collaboration are crucial for legal and ethical practice.


    • Critical Care Telehealth Certification Programs: These programs equip nurses with the knowledge and skills to deliver safe and effective telehealth care, including using telehealth technology and platforms, conducting virtual assessments, and managing remote patient care.
    • OpenTelemed Training Programs: Programs like those offered by OpenTelemed can provide specific training on their platform and legal compliance within their network.


    • Physician Supervision: In most cases, critical care nurses practicing telehealth require supervision from a licensed physician. This ensures patient safety and adherence to best practices.
    • OpenTelemed Collaboration: Organizations like OpenTelemed can facilitate collaboration with physicians and other healthcare professionals within their network.

    Services Performed by Critical Care Nurses: Independent vs. Supervised

    Independent Services:

    • Virtual consultations and follow-up care: Nurses can provide remote consultations for stable patients, monitor their progress, and offer guidance.
    • Remote patient monitoring: Nurses can use telehealth technology to monitor vital signs and other health data remotely.
    • Patient education and support: Nurses can provide educational resources and emotional support to patients and families through video calls or messaging platforms.

    Supervised Services:

    • Diagnosis and treatment: Diagnosis and treatment of complex medical conditions typically require in-person evaluation and physician oversight.
    • Invasive procedures: Procedures like administering medications or operating medical equipment generally require a physical presence and physician supervision.

    Financial Focus for Critical Care Nurses in Telehealth

    OpenTelemed’s message emphasizes the financial potential of telehealth for critical care nurses. However, it’s crucial to remember that ethical considerations and patient safety should always come first.

    Financial Benefits of Telehealth:

    • Increased income potential: Telehealth can allow nurses to see more patients and expand their practice, potentially leading to higher income.
    • Flexible work schedule: Telehealth can offer greater flexibility in work hours and location, allowing for a better work-life balance.

    Ethical Considerations:

    • Scope of practice: Nurses should only practice within their legal scope of practice and competence.
    • Patient safety: Telehealth consultations may not be suitable for all patients, and appropriate referrals and in-person care must be ensured.

    Empowering Critical Care Nurses: OpenTelemed’s Role

    OpenTelemed positions itself as a platform empowering critical care nurses by:

    • Legal compliance: Providing guidance and resources to ensure legal and ethical practice.
    • Financial support: Offering opportunities to expand income through telehealth.
    • Professional development: Providing access to training programs and continuing education opportunities.

    Remember: It’s important to thoroughly research and understand all aspects of telehealth practice, including legal requirements, ethical considerations, and financial implications, before starting your own practice.