Med/Surg to ER

  1. I have been working at Surgical/medical floor for about a year since I graduated from nursing school, and thinking about going to ER.
    I always have a passion to be a ER nurse but I did not feel ready a year ago....but now I am not happy about what I am doing.
    Do you think I should have more experience before go to ER?
    Some people I spoke to suggested to go to telemetry first.
    Any advice?
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   kaycee
    I think as long as the ER where you want to work has a good orientation program and critical care course you should do fine. Hopefully they will also have nurses who are good preceptors to help you. You will need ACLS,PALS,and possibly others depending upon what level ER you want to work. I believe if you go where your passion lies, you will always excel. Good luck!!!

    Lynne
  4. by   BlueBear
    I had 4 plus years on an ortho/med-surg floor and then went to the ED. I had to take arrhythmia interpretation first, and once I was in the ED I had to take ACLS, PALS, and I just finished TNCC. I will do ENCP next year. I think it is definitely do-able without a tele background, but it would definitely be to your benefit to have tele. So much of the ED revolves around cardiac monitors! When I started orienting, I didn't even know how to turn the thing on, never mind change settings etc. But, it can be learned, it just might be a little harder for you early on. Just make sure you do your arrhythmia interpretation course FIRST, and know that stuff inside and out. It definitely helped me. Good luck!
  5. by   CEN35
    med surg first????? i went right out of school to the er!!! you'll be fine, or you won't! i have come to the conclusion, it's not the experience (totally), or what you learn, it's the person. some people are cut out to be er nurses, and some people are not. there's only one way to find out!

    don't let fear choose your destiny........

    success is never final......

    failure is never fatal.........

    you can do it.........

    me
  6. by   massEDgirl
    Went to the ED 8 years ago from med/surg.......agree with cen 35 totally...I have seen ICU nurses with tons of experience not make it as an emergency nurse.

    You definately need the desire......but some tele experience wouldn't hurt.....might make the transition a bit smoother.
  7. by   Y2KRN
    Hello,

    Rick gave you some great advice! I worked med-surg for a year because that is what I was told to do, had ventilator experience but,no tele. Went to the ER last July love it and can actually recognize changes on the monitor. Most of all remember treat your patient not the monitor. I had a guy who registered as asystole on the monitor while I was in the room. He was talking to me and in no distress, while I was checking his leads three techs came in trying to lay him flat and start cpr. The leads were missplaced. The techs were looking at the monitor not the patient. You will know when a patient is not doing well just by experience and observation.

    I say go to the ER you will know if it is your niche once you get there!! Good-luck to you!

    Y2KRN
  8. by   CEN35
    denise,

    where have you been?

    i haven't seen you in ions???

    how is the er bit going for ya now?
    i remember when you were a lil worried yourself! :chuckle now you sound like the old dinasour..lmao! :chuckle

    me

  9. by   cesca
    Thank you very much for your advice, everyone!

    Many people I spoke to said same thing as CEN35 wrote,"some people are cut out to be ER nurse", and not experience.
    I like the story about "treating patient not the monitor" from Y2KRN.

    anyway, I have not get ER job yet, but I am still looking for.

    Thank you again!
  10. by   flaerman
    The whole beauty of nursing is that if you don't like one part you can always do something else. A year of med/surg was good to get basics down and if you still have the "passion to be an ER nurse" then go for it. With the current nursing shortage it has become easier to transition into ER and other critical units, a good preceptor will help you with your transition and we ER nurses tend to stick together. I work nights and we have a great team who work well with each other and we don't belive in leaving anyone struggling or drowning. If you can't find anything locally there are lots of opportunities elsewhere. Here in central florida there are always ads for ER in the local papers.

    SO, "GO FOR IT".

    My only regret is not having done it sooner, don't want to do any other type nursing now or ever. Paul
  11. by   ruby321
    Go for it!! Don't be scared away, it took me 2 mos (no ER experience) to get the job! I took ACLS, BTLS, and kept coming back & bugging the supv., finally she said, "I can see you really want to do this!" 1 1/2 yrs later, I love ER, have just transferred to a trauma center! So keep on banging on their door! You'll get the job! Ruby
  12. by   CruiseRN
    I worked for 2 years in Med/Surg post graduation...I always knew I would end up in ER though. I got lucky and went straight to ER from medsurg which was unheard of in my ER. We were a level II inner city trauma center and very busy. Some of the older nurses gave me a hard time but I stuck it out. Now I've been working ER for 5 years and still love it. I do mostly travel and cruise ship nursing now but still love to go home to my old ER.

    I am currently working in ICU at my old hospital. I've always wanted that ICU experience. It has been a wonderful experience in the ICU even though I have always known I was made for the ER. But there is so much to learn in ICU. Looking back I do wish I would have went to tele or ICU first before ER because it really helps with learning cardiac etc.

    But I agree with one of the letters above.....I have seen so many nurses with years of experience not make it in the ER. You have to be a fast thinker and fast on your feet. But you should go for it. If you haven't found the right job yet....then while you're waiting go ahead and get ACLS...and start on all the other certifications like PALS. Take classes like Lethal Arrythmias, pacing, interpretting EKGs etc.
    Good Luck
    Kristy
  13. by   jmcclellanprofrn
    Listen here kid, the best thing Nike ever introduced was the slogan "Just Do It"! I think it's great you have some M/S experience, they always make the best nurses. They have better assessment skills. I've worked just about everywhere, except L&D and NICU, the ER is the greatest! Patients are mostly in and out, you seen them get well before your eyes. Plus you have a lot more freedom, usually a shorter lunch, but we can all stand to loss a few pounds! Do you like rollercosters? Sometimes the ER is like that. It's fun, exciting, intense, and very, very real. You are going to touch the lives of many more people than you will in any other hospital department. No offense, M/S nurses, they're a quarter/dozen, but ER nurses are a whole other breed. Be prepared to think and act quick. This is the greatest choice you may make in your life.

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