The Critical Care Selective exposes the student to a broad experience in the care of critically ill patients. It occurs in a licensed critical care unit (e.g., a medical intensive care unit (ICU), surgical ICU, cardiac care unit, neonatal ICU, pediatric ICU, or similar unit), is full-time, and involves “on-call,” overnight, or after-hours experiences.

4th Year Students at Phoenix Children's ICU photo

Goals of the rotation include:

  • Perform and document a complete history and physical exam on the critically ill patient; interpret laboratory and pertinent data; provide an assessment and critical care treatment plan.
  • Provide 24 hour patient summaries of critically ill patients at daily rounds, including previous and upcoming treatment plans, including the following:
    1. Identification of Problem(s)
    2. History and pertinent finding on Physical Exam
    3. Differential diagnosis of each problem, including interrelationships
    4. Identification of significant hemodynamic parameters
    5. Identification of significant laboratory values
    6. Formulation of management plan
  • Demonstrate understanding of the management of ventilatory support measures in critically ill patients (including weaning).
  • Demonstrate understanding of hemodynamic management and therapy in the critically ill patient, including the application and appropriate use of invasive monitoring modalities.
  • Demonstrate understanding of neurocritical care and the management of traumatic brain injury, intracranial hemorrhage, and other intracranial pathology.
  • Demonstrate ability to manage critical infectious processes, with emphasis on the prevention and treatment of nosocomial infections.
  • Demonstrate ability to diagnose and treat metabolic derangements in critically ill patients, including renal failure, electrolyte abnormalities, and acid-base abnormalities.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to the concerns of patients and their families surrounding critical illness, including quality of life and end of life issues.
  • Demonstrate appreciation and respect for other professionals by appropriately responding to consultative and support services.