It is always a challenge for critical care nurses to manage critically ill patients. Even with the availability of more diagnostic and treatment options, the care of these patients has become increasingly complex and require the assistance of intensivist physicians.

Intensivists are physicians who have received board certification in a medical specialty. An additional fellowship allows a subspecialty certification specifically in critical care medicine. The intensivists collaborate with other health care providers to deliver optimized patient care in the intensive care unit (ICU). Intensivists look at all organ systems and treat the patients accordingly. Their other important contributions include setting up policies, developing protocols, and facilitating communication within the ICU.

In 2004, a group of intensive care physicians implemented the intensivist program in our 24-bed coronary care unit/medical ICU at Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood, Florida. The intensivists are present in our unit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week....

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