can i handle ER nursing?

  1. how can i decide whether or not i will be able to handle ER nursing. i'm starting college in the fall, and i'm almost positive nursing is for me, and if i choose to do nursing i would like to be in the ER. but when do you know if it's the right place for you?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    You do not need to pick an area to specialize until you graduate, you will get clinicals in most of the area offfered. I suggest that you concentrate on your schooling. You can always get a job later on while you are in your last year of school as a student extern and explore the different areas more closely.
  4. by   KatieBell
    I think it's a good idea to go into school with an open mind about where you will eventually work.

    Most students I have met have changed their minds a few times. SOme were so dead set on one thing they actually seemed to actively avoid experiences that didn't fit in with their mind set.


    As far as ED goes. There is no way to if it is the right place without trying it. All sorts of people work in the Emergency Department. And while bad accidents and bizarre things get the press, I think it's worth it to remember that many ED patients are treated and released, one of the major complaints in any ED is the un-glamourous Abdominal Pain...

    One thing that can help you is to either work or volunteer in an Emergency Setting. It will give you a good idea of how things can be and if you would like to persue this...

    Best Wishes
  5. by   TazziRN
    Best way to check out the ED is to be in MedSurg and ask to float down. That will give you hands-on without being committed and risking having to back out of a position. You really should get MS experience anyway. I went straight into the ED fresh out of school and in looking back, I regret it. I know what to do in crisis situations but I don't know what the norms of chronic diseases look like. I once jumped on a pt who was wheezing when all he had come in with was a sore foot, because I didn't know what COPD norm was like. After so many years I've learned, but it took me a long time to get there and there are still things I don't know about chronic conditions because I don't see the norms.
  6. by   Ginger35
    Hi Kristen,

    This is kind of a tough question to answer. If you are really interested in the ER, I would second the advice regarding working as like a tech as needed or as a volunteer. In my experiences as a nurse, every department has different kinds of dramatic issues associated with it. The ER, you will definitely see lots of drama - depending on the size of ER you are working. However, it would be a good way to get exposure to what the "typical" patient visits in this setting are.

    However, as an RN, I must admit that I started in a nursing home, then to a cardiac telemetry unit and then on to the ER. I think it is wise to get floor experience (acute care) first before going to the emergency room.

    Sincerely,
    Ginger
  7. by   MTBanRN
    I believe that as you leave you will be able to focus on what you are best at or would like to do most. It is not necessary to have a speacialization right away is correct. School will be tough enough.
  8. by   JMBM
    I agree. Just keep an open mind. The ED might look great now, but you'll be seeing thousands of new things in school. You'll get a chance to do clinicals in several different specialties and maybe get a chance to observe many more. My advice while in school is to soak up as much as you possibly can in every area you study - and be sure to take time to have some fun.
  9. by   joeys
    The majority of new grads going in ER from my experience do not do well, unless the nurses they are working with encourage them and help them to learn the skills needed to survive. Some of the more experienced nurses take new grads under their wing and create some of the best with them.
  10. by   MrsWampthang
    I blame the TV show ER for making ER so attractive to new or potential nurses. ER is not the only area of nursing that is interesting. Not everyone is cut out for ER either. If a new or potential nurse has never had any type of emergency experience before, i.e. EMS or ED tech, then go do another type of nursing first and find out what bedside nursing is all about. Develop skills both professional and personal that will help deal with patients of all types and sizes. ER is not all glamour, excitement, and fun. Sometimes it is discouraging, boring, frustrating, and/or extremely stressful. I guess these posts from new or potential nurses that want to work in the ER right out of school hit a nerve with me. I worked in the ER for four years, right out of school, but I was a medic for 12 years prior to that so transitioning to ER came more easy to me than it did to some other new grads. I now work in an LTAC, and I couldn't be happier. I love knowing my patients because I have had them for several shifts in a row. I love not having to worry about what is going to walk in the door next. I love not having to deal with the stress of having a boss that was the village idiot when it came to running a department. (whole 'nuther story) I didn't realize how bad I felt until I wasn't in that environment any longer, and realized how much better I felt. I guess it would have been different if I had had a decent boss, but the woman that runs that department is truly a village idiot and the main reason I left. But I digress. Anyway, sorry I got off on a tangent. Just know that there are other areas of nursing, not just ER, that are just as interesting, and challenging to go into.

    Pam

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