What are the Different Critical Care Jobs?

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  • Written By: Florence J. Tipton
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2019
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It is usually vital that prompt medical care is provided when a person has a serious illness or suffers a traumatic injury. Close monitoring of the person’s condition may require the strict care of medical professionals trained in critical care jobs. The extent of the injury or progression of the illness may require a team of critical care professionals who have specialized training in treating these often life-threatening conditions. Most critical care jobs are in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital and might be physicians, nurses, and pediatric specialists. Ancillary jobs may also include doctors trained in anesthesiology and surgical care; paramedics; and, pulmonary specialists.

Critical care physician jobs have specialized training in treating children and adults with life-threatening illnesses or serious injuries. Also called intensivists, critical care jobs held by physicians are typically responsible for treating and preventing the progression of a condition. Patients who are treated by a critical care physician may have undergone surgery and are experiencing life-threatening complications. These physicians closely monitor the patient’s condition in an attempt to avoid infections, brain trauma, or some type of organ failure that may cause conditions to worsen or lead to death. Some critical care physicians are also certified in a sub-specialty of anesthesiology — which is the providing of medicine to relieve pain — or surgery.


Someone who typically works closely with physicians in an ICU is a critical care nurse. Close monitoring of patients with serious and acute illnesses or complications is typical with these jobs. Critical care nurses might also have to tend to the emotional and social welfare needs of family members of the patients. The ICU, cardiac intensive care unit (CICU), and emergency rooms are common places where critical care jobs for nurses are located.

A child who is seriously ill or wounded may need the close attention of someone who works in pediatric critical care jobs. Some of the common illnesses and injuries related to infants and children may include an infection, drowning accident, or cancer treatments. Often, a specialist in pediatric critical care medicine is the primary contact who coordinates treatment protocol with others on the critical care team.

Sometimes, treatment for a critically ill or wounded patient is necessary as soon as they arrive at a health care facility. Paramedics who have specialized training in life-saving techniques may go beyond standard treatment to stabilize the patient. Training closely resembles what a physician receives, but the critical care paramedic is not a licensed physician. Instead, training and certification allows the paramedic to administer treatment using specialized medical equipment designed for trauma care.

Pulmonary critical care is specialized treatment of life-threatening respiratory conditions typically associated with the lungs. Some of these conditions may include lung cancer, chronic asthma, or respiratory failure. Either of these may require a specialist in critical pulmonary care to diagnose, treat and monitor the effects that the illnesses have on the patient’s lungs and ability to breathe.



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