Hi all! I've been a nurse about 6 years but just got hired for a new job in the ER in a level 1 trauma center and I'm looking for suggestions for what to brush up on.. what sorts of things do you see/do a lot of in ER? I know they'll give me some protocols as part of training but I'd like to prepare if I can. I have a couple yrs experience in ICU and OR but I've never worked ER and I know it's a whole different world! oh and I should add I'll be working both adult and pediatric ER.
May 15, '14
Some of the most common things that I encounter on a daily basis are abdominal pain, chest pain, respiratory difficulties, appendicitis, muscular skeletel complains. Brush up on the hospital's protocols for each. Try to master your skill and knowledge for one problem a week and then move on to the next complaint. Utilize co-workers knowlege and skill. Do focused assessments and memorize questions that you need to know from the patient to get the most info you can quickly. If you are uncomfortable with doing a certain thing in a code, then get comfortable by doing that one thing every time a code comes in. For instance, I hated doing the meds and apparantly everyone else did too and I got stuck in that duty with every code. But I learned the meds quickly and I became very comfortable with assuming that role in a code. Ask co-workers alot of questions . I am fortunate to work in an ED with superior nurses with tons of knowledge and I am always picking their brains.
May 15, '14
P.S. Remember ICU and OR are controlled environments. In ED you have less control because you don't know what kind of thing you'll be dealing with until after the enter the door. Give yourself one full year to decide if you really like this type of nursing. It's much different than floor nursing. We have to know something about everything and intervene quickly. It took me about 6 months before I was half way comfortable with what I was doing. I felt so inadequate many times but now I wouldn't think of doing anything else. Make sure you know normal lab values inside and out ,and which Xrays and Ct's need to be ordered for what type of injury, etc.