Nurses, in the Intermediate Medical Care Unit, care for patients who need a moderate level of attention. Patients’, in this unit, aren’t as self-sufficient as those in standard in-patient rooms, but they are not as critical as those in the Intensive Care Unit.
For nurses who enjoy a challenging work environment, becoming an IMCU nurse can be very rewarding. Below is some basic information to help nurses who are considering a career in the IMCU.
IMCU nurses typically treat patients who are suffering from serious conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, electrolyte imbalances, renal failure, liver failure, gastrointestinal bleeds, blood disorders, cancer, sepsis, respiratory distress or multi-system organ failure.
These patients may have been admitted to the hospital with intermediate care conditions, or they may have come from ICU after some improvement.
During any given day on the job, a nurse in the IMCU must assess each patient’s needs individually and collect relevant data, such as temperature, blood pressure and pain levels, according to the facility’s prescribed procedure. Nurses must also conduct ongoing assessments of each patient’s status in accordance with the facility’s requirements.
If a patient’s physician orders certain treatments, the nurse must perform them in a timely manner. In addition, IMCU nurses may perform other patient interventions described by the patient’s individualized treatment plan.
If a patient becomes unresponsive or experiences other medical emergencies, IMCU nurses must initiate emergency resuscitation. IMCU nurses should also keep family members informed of their loved one’s health condition as requested by the patient, while simultaneously maintaining the patient’s confidentiality according to HIPPA regulations.
Finally, IMCU nurses are often required to report each patient’s condition to the incoming nurses during shift change.
Nurses, working in the IMCU, are usually registered nurses employed by hospitals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses employed by hospitals earned an average wage of $69,810 in 2010, which averages to an hourly wage of $33.56. Jobs for registered nurses are increasing very rapidly.
In fact, the BLS predicts that openings in this field will increase by 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, leading to the creation of more than 700,000 new jobs for registered nurses.
These numbers represent only the average wages and job outlook for registered nurses. Nurses working in the IMCU will have different experiences based on their location, the nature of their employer and their skill levels.
Benefits for nurses working in the IMCU vary by employer. However, many IMCU nurses enjoy free or reduced child care, group medical insurance, educational incentives and bonuses. Some employers also offer flexible work schedules to accommodate nurses with families, or other obligations, and approximately 19 percent of registered nurses are currently represented by unions.
Benefits for IMCU nurses are likely to improve as the nurse continues who career. Likewise, nurses with higher levels of education may receive better benefits than those who have less training or experience.