Acute Care Nurses
Provide advanced nursing care for patients with acute conditions such as heart attacks, respiratory distress syndrome, or shock. May care for pre- and post-operative patients or perform advanced, invasive diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.
Sample of reported job titles: Cardiac Interventional Care Nurse, Charge Nurse, Preceptor, Progressive Care Unit RN (Progressive Care Unit Registered Nurse), Staff Nurse
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Perform emergency medical procedures, such as basic cardiac life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and other condition-stabilizing interventions.
- Manage patients’ pain relief and sedation by providing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions, monitoring patients’ responses, and changing care plans accordingly.
- Document data related to patients’ care, including assessment results, interventions, medications, patient responses, or treatment changes.
- Diagnose acute or chronic conditions that could result in rapid physiological deterioration or life-threatening instability.
- Administer blood and blood product transfusions or intravenous infusions, monitoring patients for adverse reactions.
- Assess urgent and emergent health conditions, using both physiologically and technologically derived data.
- Assess the impact of illnesses or injuries on patients’ health, function, growth, development, nutrition, sleep, rest, quality of life, or family, social and educational relationships.
- Interpret information obtained from electrocardiograms (EKGs) or radiographs (x-rays).
- Obtain specimens or samples for laboratory work.
- Collaborate with patients to plan for future health care needs or to coordinate transitions and referrals.
- Refer patients for specialty consultations or treatments.
- Set up, operate, or monitor invasive equipment and devices, such as colostomy or tracheotomy equipment, mechanical ventilators, catheters, gastrointestinal tubes, and central lines.
- Discuss illnesses and treatments with patients and family members.
- Distinguish between normal and abnormal developmental and age-related physiological and behavioral changes in acute, critical, and chronic illness.
- Collaborate with members of multidisciplinary health care teams to plan, manage, or assess patient treatments.
- Assess the needs of patients’ family members or caregivers.
- Perform administrative duties that facilitate admission, transfer, or discharge of patients.
- Provide formal and informal education to other staff members.
- Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in acute care.
- Treat wounds or superficial lacerations.
- Participate in patients’ care meetings and conferences.
- Participate in the development of practice protocols.
- Adjust settings on patients’ assistive devices, such as temporary pacemakers.
- Prescribe medications and observe patients’ reactions, modifying prescriptions as needed.
- Order, perform, or interpret the results of diagnostic tests and screening procedures based on assessment results, differential diagnoses, and knowledge about age, gender and health status of clients.
- Analyze the indications, contraindications, risk complications, and cost-benefit tradeoffs of therapeutic interventions.
- Assist patients in organizing their health care system activities.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access
- Electronic mail software — IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software
- Medical software — Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR; GE Healthcare Centricity EMR; Medscribbler Enterprise; StatCom Patient Flow Logistics Enterprise Suite (see all 15 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
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- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
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- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Treat medical emergencies.
- Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.
- Monitor patients following surgeries or other treatments.
- Record patient medical histories.
- Diagnose medical conditions.
- Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
- Administer blood or other fluids intravenously.
- Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
- Adjust prostheses or other assistive devices.
- Evaluate patient functioning, capabilities, or health.
- Prescribe medications.
- Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
- Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members.
- Collect biological specimens from patients.
- Refer patients to other healthcare practitioners or health resources.
- Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
- Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
- Order medical diagnostic or clinical tests.
- Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
- Assess patient work, living, or social environments.
- Process healthcare paperwork.
- Maintain medical or professional knowledge.
- Train medical providers.
- Treat acute illnesses, infections, or injuries.
- Evaluate treatment options to guide medical decisions.
- Advise patients on healthcare system processes.
- Establish nursing policies or standards.
Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities
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- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 96% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 88% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 96% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 89% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Physical Proximity — 81% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Consequence of Error — 88% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 81% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 69% responded “Very important results.”
- Time Pressure — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 70% responded “Extremely important.”
- Electronic Mail — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 56% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 56% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 44% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 54% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 44% responded “High responsibility.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 48% responded “More than half the time.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 37% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 33% responded “Extremely important.”
- Letters and Memos — 26% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 52% responded “More than half the time.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 37% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 56% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: SIR Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
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|29-1141.03||Critical Care Nurses Bright Outlook|
|29-2031.00||Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians|
|29-2061.00||Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses|
|31-2021.00||Physical Therapist Assistants|
|39-1022.00||First-Line Supervisors of Personal Service Workers|
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