My heart is set on the emergency field but...

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    Hey there! So a little background info: I start nursing school in a couple of weeks. I did emergency veterinary medicine for 3 years and absolutely loved doing it, but despite what people say doing what you love doesn't always pay the bills which is important too.

    Anyways- I have my heart set to be an ED nurse, and I hope nursing school just aids my desire to do so; however I am concerned about a couple things. 1. Children coming into the ER. I have a four year old and I'm afraid that will hit too close to home. 2. People dying- I know, I know kind of silly but I'm not sure how I would handle it. Pet pts died all the time and we euthanized so many as well. As hard as it was pets can be replaced but someones child/parent/spouse cannot...

    I know I have time to figure it out but do y'all have any advice on how to get over these stresses or do you think I should consider a different field all together?
    Last edit by Joe V on Jul 27, '12
    Joe V likes this.
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  3. 20 Comments so far...

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    I would hate to say you get used to dealing with death and children, but you do. You learn how to cope with your feeling related to it. I have worked ER for the last 7 years and have two young children. In the ER you will laugh and you will cry, it is part of the job and you area person with feelings. Keep in mind you loved er vet medicine. The human ER is much much different than dealing with animals. Keep you options open and explore what to do. You just started school you will have exposure to many different areas.
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    If you think you want to work ER, try to get a job in one as a tech while you're in nursing school. You'll either conquer you're fears or realize that it isn't for you and find something else. Good luck!
    Crux1024, amygarside, and Kasandra like this.
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    You will eventually get used to the emotional impacts that come with your chosen field. You will also be able to have coworkers who can help you and guide you when you start working in the ER in the future. Don't worry too much. Good luck on nursing school!
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    Not to sound completely out of line here but i was a vet tech for years worked er and regular practice and yes you put them down and they die all the time but they CANNOT be replaced. Having that mind set would have caused me to loose my job. If that is your mindset than yes you absolutely should consider another field i have one more semester of clinicals and i have noticed that as different as it is it is also the same so if your mind set was pets could be replaced than no its not for you.
    itsnowornever likes this.
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    I work in the ED and I find it is very easy for me to separate myself from death and children. I feel empathy for them but I am able to stay detached from situations enough to not take my work home or get depressed. I never would have thought I was cut out to be this way. I guess you never know what you are capable of!
  9. 1
    No body wants to deal with children, they are different and it's always unnatural for a child to die (not so hard for someone who has already lived their life) but there are alot of difficult things that happen in the er you just have to learn to cope! but it does get easier...really. I would be more concerned if it didn't bother you somewhat, don't worry too much about having those feelings, at least you do care!
    Crux1024 likes this.
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    Thank you all for your responses. I'm sure it will just be something I have to experience to know if working in an ED is right for me. I will def. give it my all to accomplish this goal. And thank you for your advice about becoming a tech before hand to gain experience. Your responses have been super helpful.

    To Veron...: I'm not sure what you mean by being a poor tech by having that as my mindset. However, I can assure you I was a very competent and compassionate technician. Also I am not sure how you disagree with being able to replace a pet but not person. It's simple- you can get a new dog if yours dies but if your mother dies, there's not a shelter where you can pick up another. I know each pet has a special place in our hearts but you can get a new pet to have an equally special part.
    Crux1024 likes this.
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    Best advice I ever got as a new nurse dealt with a horrifically sick child. Kid came in, was soon intubated, naked on the bed and all I could think of was my son, about the same age. I was brand new, standing in a corner completely frozen and shocked when a kind, very experienced male nurse encouraged me to start a 2nd IV. He took my shoulders and said "focus on the TASK, don't look at the big picture here, don't look at his little body. Your focus is on his arm where you're starting another line to helpmmake him better." it really helped and years later I always think of that when I have a sick kid, make sure someone is watching/monitoring the patient as a whole, and focus on my tasks! Or be the watcher so another nurse can focus on everything but the fact that this is a child. As far as dying goes, you get used to it. Not in a callous way, but as a certainty in life. We all die, it is a process and sometimes it happens tragically and/or too soon, but it is always an honor to be the nurse who fights like hell to prevent it, and/or enables a pt/pts family to let go with dignity and comfort.
    Crux1024 likes this.
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    so your saying the marine who has ptsd who has to put his dog down that traveled with him can just go to the shelter and get another one to have equally as special meaning? nope not at all. That was the most recent case that came in before I left. Or how about the women thats dog saved her and her 4 month old from a breaking and entering that left her husband dead. Nope. I don't think you can just go get a new pet and it be equally as special.


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