Nurses/Physicians la Carnival Cruise Lines

The medical team on board consists of 1 or 2 highly experienced and skilled physicians and 3 or 4 highly experienced and skilled registered nurses, depending upon the size of the vessel. All medical staff at a minimum is BLS (Basic Life Support), ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) certified. We maintain a skill mix, which suits the needs of each vessel, and in doing so; we endeavor to provide consistently high standards of care and medical knowledge within the medical centers on board.

The ship’s physician is the head of the medical department onboard and is each crewmember’s primary care physician. She/he is also responsible for the health care given to each guest who attends the Medical Center for medical issues. The physician is responsible for maintaining registration with his/her own licensing body. The physician is responsible to the Captain as well as the shore side fleet medical director. The ship’s physician must be competent to perform the following:

  • Evaluation and treatment of medical, surgical, gynecological and pediatric problems
  • Suturing of wounds
  • Incision and drainage of abscesses
  • Interpretation of electrocardiograms
  • Reduction of simple dislocations. Splinting and immobilization procedures.
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support procedures and treatments (ACLS); including emergency airway management
  • Evaluation of ophthalmologic emergencies
  • Administration of thrombolytic agents
  • Basic x-ray interpretation
  • Proficiency in English speaking and writing.
  • A minimum of 3 years’ experience in the Emergency department or ICU with high level knowledge of advanced care medical equipment eg:  defibrillators, ventilator, C-pap, Bi-pap, etc.
  • Certifications: valid Advanced cardiac life support and basic life support,  for all  Dr’s PALS ( pediatric advanced life support certification)

There are three positions for Nurses on board. The nurses report to the ship’s physician as well as Fleet Chief Nursing Officer Shoreside. Each registered nurse is accountable for his/her own actions whilst providing health care to both guests and crew and is responsible for maintaining registration with their licensing body.

  • The Lead Nurse is an experienced ship’s nurse who is responsible for providing and co-coordinating appropriate guest and crew health care and is also responsible for the appropriate functioning of the Medical Center. The Lead Nurse is also responsible for facilitating supervision of the other registered nurses within the Medical Center.
  • Returning nurses and first contract nurses are experienced registered nurses who are responsible to provide appropriate health care to guest and crew and are also responsible to the Lead Nurse.
  • It is expected that the first month onboard is spent in the Medical Center learning all the specifics to working onboard the vessel. You are also expected to attend and participate in all classes as per the Orientation schedule provided by the Crew Training Center. Although you will have “free time” when in port this time is to be determined with discussions between yourself and the Lead Nurse or the Nurse Preceptor who is overseeing your orientation. You are expected to not be attempting to take any shore tours during this time, this is for when your orientation is complete.
  • There is a shipboard skills list of equipment that you need to confirm proficiency in as well as a 6 week evaluation, by the time this form is done it is expected you have been functioning with the basics of paperwork with little to no effort and without error for at least a period of 2 weeks. You will also need to be following all Carnival Cruise Lines Policies and Procedures as listed in the SMS & Carnival Look book.

All ship’s nurses are able to:

  • Identify emergent, urgent and non-emergent patients in a timely manner, in order to facilitate optimum levels of health care
  • Perform accurate and ongoing assessments of patients’ physical and psychological problems
  • Understand and react effectively to the needs of patients of all age groups (pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric)
  • Perform nursing care in a proficient, calm and professional manner during a crisis, increased workload or emergency situation
  • Initiate nursing intervention for non-urgent patients, such as but not limited to ice application, dressings, splints and bandages
  • Assist the physician with procedures/treatments, document nursing interventions/observations in a timely manner
  • Calculate correct drug dosage and administer medication as per physician’s prescription/order
  • Set up treatment rooms, check emergency equipment, maintain established par levels of medical supplies/medications
  • Be BLS (Basic Life Support), ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) certified as per guidelines
  • Co-ordinate crew medical care with shore side Crew Medical Coordinators/ship’s agents, as outlined in the Medical Center Manual
  • Adhere to and refer to policies and procedures in the Medical Center Manual and Safety Management Systems Manual
  • Educate patients in regard to health care, health education, medical procedures/treatments, taking medications and attending follow-up appointments
  • Perform venipuncture, simple lab procedures and start IV lines
  • Perform simple x-ray procedures as per physician’s prescription/order
  • Facilitate ventilator set-up, as per physicians prescription/order
  • Administer thrombolytic agents as prescribed/ordered by the Physician and demonstrate knowledge re care of a patient receiving thrombolytic therapy
  • Accept additional responsibilities as assigned by the Lead Nurse
  • Demonstrate simple computer skills, such as basic knowledge with Microsoft outlook, word and excel


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