Newbie into the ER?

  1. Hello All:

    I am a newbie nurse considering trying the ER. I have some med-surg experience in hand, but think I want to try ER/ED if I can get in. My ultimate goal is to be a trauma- or acute care RN.

    My question to you readers is what is the best way to go about it? Would it be better to find a hospital willing to take a chance on me as is, or get some ICU or tele experience first?

    I want to be stretched vis-a-vis my nursing skills but do not want to jeopardize my patients or make life tough for my coworkers by being a liability because I am too new, inexperienced, etc.

    I have going for me some evidence I have a level head; I have acted in two situations in private life to save/aid someone - one was a Heimlich maneuver to rescue a choking diner, and the other was a seizure patient. I kept my head and did what had to be done. So maybe that tells me something. Then again, there are a lot more complex cases than those!

    So - I am considering these options. Please feel free, any of you, to reply here or e-mail me privately instead - whatever your preferences.

    Some of you may know I am looking into the military for nursing. If I join the active side, then this question answers itself, but if I go the reserve route, then I'll want the ER background so I can classify as an ER RN for the navy, army or whoever.

    Thanks and my best to all...

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  3. by   bill4745
    I strongly suggest 6-12 months in ICU or tele first.
  4. by   GilaRRT
    Nearly every area of nursing is a specialty and you will have a learning curve regardless. I have never seen the sense of the traditional "get a year of med/surge before moving on to a specialty" mantra? When I ask people why, I usually get the generic "learn time management or basic nursing skills comments." You do not learn those working in a specialty? You will be ill prepared to work in nearly any area of nursing as a newly minted nurse. I do not see any difference in letting a new grad go to ER or MedSurge. If anything, I think ER is easier than MedSurge in several ways. IMHO
  5. by   RunnerRN
    Take a look through the last few pages of ED threads. I know we've discussed this several times. The Cliff notes version -- find an ED that has a new grad/transition program consisting of at least 10 weeks precepted time. My hospital offers a 5 month program; it starts with 1 month of 40 hrs/week classroom, then 2 months with 16 hrs/week classroom and 24 hrs/week in the department, then another 2 months of 40 hrs/week in the department. I wouldn't trust a new grad to be hired into a department without a FORMAL orientation program.
    Good luck!

    PS-My personal feeling is that as long as you have a formal program, there is no need to spend time in an ICU or medsurg. When ICU nurses come to the ER they have to unlearn a lot of time management issues, although their assessment and other skills are usually impeccable. Medsurg also helps with the time management and assessment, but a lot of people can't tolerate the atmosphere on the floor.