By: Kelly A. Rath and Diane C. McLaughlin
On Behalf of the NCS APP Leadership Section
“The brain is the organ of destiny. It holds within its humming mechanism secrets that will determine the future of the human race.” Wilder Penfield, Neurosurgeon
Despite historically considered “born” in the beginning of the 20th century, and many reports of early neurosurgery being performed centuries before that, neurocritical care itself is a relatively new specialty. The Neurocritical Care Society was founded in 2002, with the field being recognized as a neurological subspecialty in 2005.1 Fewer than 1500 neurointensivists hold this credential worldwide despite a growing need, with some estimating 10-15% of all ICU admissions being due to neurological conditions – not accounting for the number of patients admitted for other reasons that develop neurological problems.1
The field of critical care as a whole has been relentlessly challenged over the last two years as the world has grappled with the COVID pandemic. Neurocritical care providers have stepped in to help manage critically ill patients admitted without primary neurologic problems, but as the pandemic has evolved COVID patients have become prevalent within all specialties, while pre-pandemic patient volumes for stroke have rebounded. This influx of critically ill patients has caused leaders to make frequent schedule adjustments due to absences and staffing shortages, reappropriate resources, and battle overwhelming burnout on a personal and institutional level. care unit within a 60-minute drive.2 The expansion of the neurocritical care team to include advanced practice providers, pharmacists, nurses and occupational, physical, and speech therapists have helped in expanding the reach of the specialty. Multidisciplinary neurocritical care team efforts have continued to demonstrate improved outcomes in neurologically injured patients.3-6
These dramatic times have led to an increased need for peer support and group brainstorming to maximize resources and inspire healthcare workers. To answer this need, the Neurocritical Care Society’s Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Leadership Section is proud to announce the creation of a new section for all NCS members titled Managers and Rising Leaders. This section is open to all multi-disciplinary team members of the society who hold formal or informal leadership positions, and who wish to improve upon their leadership skills through collaboration and networking. The goal of the group is to connect leaders to discuss current challenges, solutions and areas of need. Potential topics of discussion include leadership coaching, conflict management, and quality improvement.
As Dr. Penfield said, “the brain is the organ of destiny.” If neurocritical care leadership is part of your destiny, consider joining this section. If you would like to join, please login to the NCS website, under "NCS Community" find Join a Section then look for Managers and Rising Leaders.
- Korbakis G, Bleck T. The evolution of neurocritical care. Crit Care Clinics. 2014; 30(4):657-61.
- Ward MJ, Shutter LA, Branas CC, Adeoye O, Albright KC, Carr BG. Geographic access to US Neurocritical Care Units registered with the Neurocritical Care Society. Neurocrit Care. 2012;16(2):232-240. doi:10.1007/s12028-011-9644
- LanghorneP, Ramachandra S. Stroke unit Trialists C. organised inpatient (stroke unit) care for stroke: network meta-analysis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2020;4:CD000197.
- KramerAH, Zygun DA. Do neurocritical care units save lives? measuring the impact of specialized ICUs. Neurocrit Care 2011;14:329–33.doi:10.1007/s12028-011-9530-ypmid:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21424177
- KramerAH, Zygun DA. Neurocritical care: why does it make a difference? Curr Opin Crit Care 2014;20:174 - 81. doi:10.1097/MCC.0000000000000076 pmid:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24553337
- McNettMM, Horowitz DA, Le Roux P, Participants in the International Multidisciplinary Consensus Conference on Multimodality Monitoring. International multidisciplinary consensus conference on multimodality monitoring: ICU processes of care. Neurocrit Care 2014;21 Suppl 2:215–28.doi:10.1007/s12028-014-0020-x