Intensivist: Why Intensivist Differ From General Physicians?

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With this word, many questions arise in mind. Many people don’t know what an intensivist is or have doubts regarding their job and duties. By the end of this article, we will get to know about intensivist or intensive care practitioners.

What is an intensivist?

An intensivist is a physician, a board-certified physician who is specialized in most ICU practice and providing specialized care to critical patients and emergency patients.

They are specially trained in skills to treat complex patients.

Critical care physicians are also called intensivists as they give care towards complex cases.

They are professionalized in intensive care or critical care medicine.

These type of physicians have very high duty on their shoulders, as they have to manage patients with low mortality rate and unwell condition. They have to be very careful in handling patients, as many of them have acute illnesses with chronic. Such patients have low stability rates as well and involve in extreme clinical problems that may lead to death.

An intensivist is a need of every hospital containing trauma center or ICU because an intensivist is specialized in these kinds of skills and can give quality care to patients, reduce their time for stay, improve their survival chances as they know multiple parameters regarding respiratory distress,  and reduce complications which can be challenging for a general physician.

Usually, there is a shortage of intensivists in most of the hospitals around the world, and the need for intensivists is emerging day by day.

What kind of training intensivist have?

An intensivist is trained in special skills for handling critical patients or patients in the critical care unit. 

An intensivist is trained in either adult or pediatric intensive training, which has different parameters.

They have a specialty in cardiac, pulmonary surgeries, and medicine, which include most of the respiratory issues that an intensivist came across most of the time.

After doing fellowship and residency, they get further certified in critical care medicine or intensive care medicine in either adults or pediatrics.

Institutions rewarding :-

In Pakistan Multiple renowned institutions like 

Aga Khan Medical College is also providing a program in ‘CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE’ after residency.

Dow University of Health Sciences is also providing degrees and certifications in ‘CRITICAL CARE’ specialty.

In the United States, 

Stanford University is providing fellowship in ‘ACUTE CARE MEDICINE’ and ‘CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE’.

The University of Toronto has a fellowship program in critical care medicine as ‘INTERDEPARTMENTAL DIVISION OF CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE (IDCCM).

In Pennsylvania, a reputed institute, Geisinger medical center is giving fellowship experience to residents in ‘CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE’.

The University of Pittsburgh is also providing a fellowship program in ‘INTERNAL MEDICINE’ and ‘EMERGENCY MEDICINE IN CRITICAL CARE’  

American College of Physicians is also providing programs in ‘CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE’.  

Not just Pakistan and the United States but worldwide countries are providing fellowships and experiences in critical care, acute care, intensive care in adults and pediatric both with setting up models and projects and physicians and health care providers like nurse, technicians or technologists are involving and taking part with great interest.

Why Intensivist differ from general physicians?

General physicians do work on all the body systems usually they are primary care doctors as for an intensivist they are specialized in certain skills that handle certain complex patients and provide care to critical patients in a certain environment.

Intensivists don’t go for specific body parts but usually trained for critical patients and unwell conditions. 

They have to make last moment decisions and often leads a team for doing measures for that critical patient and oversees all the condition going on with that critically ill patient and what other medication and services he/she needs.

What time required to become an intensivist?

For a certified fellowship of becoming an intensivist is of about 3 to 4 years and for doing certification in critical care medicine altogether, it takes about ten years with a further degree and certified training in skills and medicine.

Job description for an intensivist:-

An intensivist gives primary care for the post-operative, critically ill, and traumatic patients who need life support and specialized care.

They give care to patients with distress and having cardiac and respiratory issues.

The patients having breathing problems also come under an intensivist as it gets complicated and needed life support on getting worse. 

An intensivist can give quality treatment to ICU patients because they have specific knowledge for handling such patients.

They provide care to :

  • Intensive care patients.
  • Pediatric intensive units.
  • Medical intensive care units.
  • Surgical intensive care units. 
  • Neonatal intensive care units.

As per their specialities. 

What type of procedure an intensivist can perform?

An intensive can lead or perform any procedure needed for the critical patient like :

  • Dialysis 
  • Intubation
  • Ventilation
  • Tracheostomy
  • Central venous access
  • Arterial cannulation
  • Drainage procedures
  • Echocardiography in ICU
  • Echocardiography in ICU
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Intensivist Compensation:-

According to the famous website, MEDSCAPE’s survey of 2019 shows that around 20,000 physicians participated in this survey, which includes intensivist and critical care physicians.

The salary  told by the intensivist which provided care in 2019, hours spent handling patients  given was :

  • Cardiology = $430k
  • Surgery = $362k
  • Critical care = $349k
  • Pulmonary = $349k
  • Pediatrics = $225k.

Generally an intensivist makes $144k per year and the highest can go about $257k.

According to another web page, ‘HEALTH CARE WORK SALARY,’ the yearly salary for an intensivist in the United States of America is an average between $202k to $392k.

What is an intensivist nurse practitioner?

Nurses are very crucial to the health care department. They are the backbone of hospitals providing sudden and emergency care to patients. Every patient has a nurse or team of staff who take care of them provide proper treatment and medication as per the directions given by a physician—minute to minute monitoring and management of the patient.

An intensive care nurse seeks an important role in an ICU model as they have to monitor critical patients. They are highly skilled in giving care to patients with life-threatening diseases.

They worked with tertiary care teams and prepared for all practices.

An intensive nurse focuses on giving care to patients of cardiac arrest, shock, trauma, sepsis, brain injury, stroke, respiratory distress, organ failure, etc.

Salary of an Intensivist nurse practitioner:-

The average salary of a nurse practicing in ICU or critical care setup makes about $86k to $125k given by the website ‘PAY SCALE’ excluding profit and bonus.

Pediatric Intensivist :-

A pediatric intensivist gives care towards critically ill infants and children in the health care system and monitoring their life support and basis of life. They supervise the care of children in emergency conditions by providing proper treatment saving their lives and providing care in heart, lung injuries, or abnormalities.

A pediatric intensivist is a need for all the hospitals worldwide as they know the proper handling for child and infant and have ultimate knowledge for seriously ill infants and children who have less stability and low mortality rate. They care for many things regarding the child patient. They supervise all the procedures regarding that infant and manages all the services. 

They have the authority to perform sudden surgeries or procedures required or needed by the patient.

Salary for an pediatric intensivist:-

Average of about $305k is made by a pediatric intensivist in the US  per year, given by ‘COMPARABLY’.