Learn more about each of the roles that make up the Critical Care Center's multidisciplinary care team.
Constant team communication is key
for patient care in the ICUs
Intensivists are board-certified physicians with additional training and credentialing in the subspecialty of critical care medicine. These added qualifications are awarded in the United States by the American Boards of Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, or Surgery. Because subspecialty certification is not offered by the American Boards of Emergency Medicine or Neurology, these specialists are generally considered certified in critical care if they are board-certified in Emergency Medicine or Neurology and have completed an approved critical care fellowship training program.
Critical Care Nurses and Critical Care Nurse Practitioners (CCNP)
Critical Care Nurse Practitioners (CCNP) are registered nurses with graduate preparation in advanced practice registered nursing (APRN), who provide direct care to individuals and/or groups in critical care settings. Under the administrative direction of the medical director and nursing director, the CCNP provides clinical management to patients, which includes critical care interventions, intensive care monitoring, diagnosing and prescribing treatments, therapeutics, and medications, coordinating referrals and discharging patients from the intensive care unit. In collaboration with a multidisciplinary care team, the CCNP serves as a role model for professional nursing practice by:
- Providing direct, comprehensive patient care to critically ill patients in the ICU setting, utilizing critical thinking and clinical judgment skills
- Consulting with clinical and administrative members of the ICU team
- Possessing technological proficiency in common ICU procedures (for example, placement of endotracheal tubes, arterial lines and central venous catheters)
- Performing complex functions and maintaining a calm and professional demeanor in a complex, high-pressure environment
Respiratory therapists are board certified at the registry level (RRT) by the National Board for Respiratory Care and are licensed by the state of Massachusetts. On the critical care teams, respiratory therapists are valued for their expertise in providing both therapy for the lungs, including support by mechanical ventilation. They collaborate closely with physicians and nurses to wean patients off the ventilator using strategies and protocols based on proven clinical evidence. Skilled in the assessment and management of artificial airways, respiratory therapists respond to all airway emergencies, assisting physicians during endotracheal intubation and fiberoptic bronchoscopy procedures and administering aerosol (inhaled) medications. Finally, respiratory therapists are essential to the safe transport of patients on ventilators throughout Mass General.
Physical and Occupational Therapists
Physical therapists are licensed clinicians with Masters or Doctorate level training in Physical Therapy. Many therapists at Mass General have advanced board certification in specialty areas as recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association. At Mass General, physical therapists practice in all critical care settings to minimize a patient’s loss of function, restore mobility and prevent disability. Physical therapists collaborate closely with the multidisciplinary care team to maximize a patient’s capacity to engage in therapeutic activities. In collaboration with the team, a philosophy of early mobilization is promoted to minimize the potential sequelae of critical illness.
Clinical pharmacy services in the critical care setting are provided by a team of dedicated Critical Care pharmacists. The Critical Care pharmacist is an integral member of the multidisciplinary critical care team, providing specialized services that include, but are not limited to, assisting physicians in pharmacotherapy decision making, providing pharmacokinetic consultations, monitoring patients for drug-drug interactions, efficacy and safety, providing drug information, and offering medical education and training to physicians, nurses and patients.
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