Nursing at Penn Medicine

Critical Care Nursing Careers at Penn Medicine

Critical care nurses at Penn Medicine work with health care professionals in the surrounding community and from around the world to establish long-term, collaborative relationships. Penn's critical care nurses are committed to being reliable and trustworthy resources for helping provide most advanced treatment options to meet the needs of patients. They strive to maintain open lines of communication with physicians and their patients to ensure that each patient's care is as seamless as possible.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

All critical units are collaborative practices with cutting-edge research that are the hallmarks of critical care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Cardiac Care Unit treats the sickest of cardiac patients including heart failure patients awaiting transplant and those with acute MIs, or cardiogenic shock.
  • Cardiac Intermediate Care Unit cares for heart failure patients, even those requiring ventricular-assist devices, as well as those recovering from EPS procedures or being medically managed for heart failure.
  • Medical Intensive Care Unit manages the care of critically ill medical patients involving single or multisystem dysfunction. This varied and complex patient population includes oncology patients, in-house medical codes, liver failure patients awaiting transplant and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
  • General Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) manages the care of complex surgical patients including trauma patients admitted from the Level 1 Trauma emergency department.
  • Cardiothoracic SICU manages patients who have undergone heart and/or lung transplants, CABG, valve repair/replacements and other cardiothoracic procedures.
  • SICU Neurotrauma specializes in the care of patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures, those admitted from the emergency department with brain or spinal cord trauma and the liver transplant population.
  • Universal Bed Unit offers a critical care environment for patients who have undergone serious vascular and thoracic surgical interventions, but are expected to recover quickly and benefit from remaining in one unit until discharge.

Critical care nurses also use cutting-edge technology such as Penn E-lert eICU®. This remote ICU monitoring facility tracks trends and issues alerts if blood pressure or other vital signs deviate from acceptable levels.

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center offers high-level, evidence-based practice provided by dedicated registered nurses, physicians and a multidisciplinary team. Nurse-to-patient ratios are excellent and a comprehensive orientation program, which includes Gateway to Critical Care for novice RN staff, provides individualized attention and mentoring. Penn Presbyterian's culture allows clinical staff to work closely together, sharing knowledge and skills.

The Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) provides care to post-surgery cardiothoracic patients, as well as the general surgical population with a concentration of vascular, thoracic, ENT and orthopaedic patients. The staff working in this state-of-the-art facility develops a diverse skill set supported by the nursing education department. Staff receives training in the management of patients with an intra-aortic balloon pump, continuous renal replacement therapy, and ventricular-assist devices. With an opportunity to focus on patients needs, the nurse-patient ratio is 1-to-1 or 1-to-2. In addition, all patients are remotely monitored by Penn E-lert eICU®.

The Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) provides care to a diverse patient population including patients with advanced pulmonary disease, sepsis, gastrointestinal disease and renal disease. A 1-to-1 or 1-to-2 nurse-patient ratio is supplemented by Penn E-lert remote monitoring. Staff education and training are an important component of the orientation of staff to function in the highly acute unit.

Within Penn Presbyterian's Coronary Care Unit (CCU), care is provided for patients with acute myocardial infarctions, post-cardiac interventions, cardiogenic shock and heart failure. Specializing in high acuity patient populations, the Penn Presbyterian CCU is sought after and viewed by many referring physicians as their tertiary care unit of choice in the Philadelphia area. This state-of-the-art facility provides patients with cutting-edge technology and multiple treatment options with technology that includes intra-aortic balloon pumps, continuous renal replacement therapy, drug-eluting stents, hypothermia management for post-cardiac arrest victims as well as other innovative treatments.

The Thoracic Surgery and Heart Failure Unit provides care to thoracic surgical patients, heart failure patients and pulmonary hypertension patients. Nurses receive a comprehensive orientation that includes observation in the operating room, a critical care course, chest tube management, airway management, Swan-Ganz catheter monitoring, assisting with bedside bronchoscopy as well as other related procedures and research protocols. The Thoracic Surgery and Heart Failure Unit has long been associated with advances in the field of heart failure and pulmonary hypertension management.

Pennsylvania Hospital

With state-of-the-art equipment and procedures, nurses have the opportunity to provide exceptional care to the patients within Pennsylvania Hospital's Critical Care Services department. The nursing staff was involved in every aspect of the planning and design of the units, through the shared governance practice model, resulting in units that maximize the ability of the nurse to care for patients with optimal safety and efficiency.

The critical care units include a combined medical/surgical ICU, neuro ICU and CCU (for medical cardiac and open-heart patients). Practicing autonomously, nursing assessments and interventions truly affect patient outcomes. While involvement in patient care is intense, nurses feel good about the work they are doing, and the people they are helping.

The Intermediate Critical Care Unit offers a wide range of clinical experiences that include providing care to patients immediately after a post-percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. This area also provides care for patients undergoing bariatric surgery, a program that has been recognized by the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons as a Center of Excellence. Outcomes are exceptional and professional camaraderie is unsurpassed.