Nursing critically ill patients in the intensive care unit

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Critically ill patients present a challenge to the whole veterinary team because they require invasive diagnostic tests, advanced procedures and intensive nursing care. It is important to start with an assessment of the patient to prioritise concerns and develop a care plan tailored for the individual. The nursing process involves the implementation and delivery of this plan, followed by evaluation of the nursing/treatments. This is a cyclical process that is repeated over and over again as the patient's key parameters are reassessed and a further plan is made. The aim of this article is to explore some key aspects of critical care nursing, including infection control and hand hygiene, the management of tubes and lines, and dealing with recumbent patients.

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