What did you do in the ER today?

  1. I am a nursing student and will soon be starting my last year before graduating. I am interested in the ER, but it is really hard to pin down exactly what the job consists of.

    I have looked at a lot of old posts that talk about how a lot of the work is determining priority. But it is hard to understand what is usually seen or done in the ER because "no day in the ER is the same".

    So, in order to get a better understanding of the variety of situations an ER nurse encounters, I was hoping you guys could answer my question:

    ER nurses, what did you do in the ER today?

    I would appreciate any answers!
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   EDnurse92
    Today I...
    - inserted 3 foleys
    - assisted with a STEMI and two strokes
    - helped Narcan a heroin OD patient back to life just for them to leave AMA
    - admitted and then transferred a patient to a level one trauma center who came in after an accident. he had a brain bleed.
    - helped assist with two lac cleaning/dressings
    - did a whoooole bunch of ECGs
    - assisted with a pelvic exam

    I love the ER. It's the best place in the hospital.
  4. by   Racer15
    -Went in with the doc to tell the mom of a young child that he had a brain tumor.
    -Got yelled at by a frequent flier because the doc was not going to give them narcotics.
    -Had to place three IVs on a demented pt that kept ripping her line out after a doc decided to order IV potassium on an already agitated pt with a potassium of 3.4
    -Stroke alert pt
    -Dressed a two year olds bug bites so she wouldn't scratch them.
    -Gave IM morphine to a kid with a pretty bad wrist fx so he would tolerate x-rays.
    And then the run of the mill chest pains and belly pains.
  5. by   gemmi999
    Today I:

    - Managed the rapid treatment area because we were down 1 tech and 1 LVN. Yay, 8 pts at a time with "low" priority status, meaning they didn't need a bed.
    - Held down an kiddo when the doctor was pulling beads out of her ear
    - Medicated a bunch of ppl, dipped a bunch of urines, performed a bunch of EKGs and UHCGs
    - Cleaned a few lacs
    - Started a few "difficult" stick IVs
    - Triaged
    and covered lunches.

    Oh, and had 3 nursing students following me around like a bunch of ducks because I'm the one that will explain why/let them do things/etc.
  6. by   gonzo1
    Squeezed endless bags of blood into a trauma pt who still died on the way to OR.
    Started bunches of IVs. Swabbed throats for strep cultures.
    Lots of EKGs
    Told a pt with a concussion they were in the ER after a car accident 400 times. Fortunately, no serious injuries.
    Placed a couple foleys
    Did a "rape" exam
    Held pressure on a bleeding femoral artery until the doc could sew it up
    Good question, and I look forward to reading all the replies
  7. by   MHDNURSE
    A lot will depend on what type of hospital you work in. You will see all sorts of stuff in the big city trauma hospitals, whereas the smaller, community hospitals are sadly frequently used as a substitute for a doctor visit (ear pain, strep, etc.).
  8. by   Kinda Flustered
    I have been reading all the replies and they have been very helpful! Thank you guys so much I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!
  9. by   Kinda Flustered
    Is "lac" short for laceration?
  10. by   ICUman
    Quote from gonzo1
    Did a "rape" exam
    Thought only a SANE nurse could perform these?
  11. by   gonzo1
    There's still a lot of "little" ERs that don't have SANEs.
  12. by   That Guy
    3 stroke alerts
    1 medical activation - heroin od not responding to narcan
    1 post arrest, didn't make it for long
    2 psych, 1 needing 4 points
    3 GI/ABD
    1 eye abrasion.

    It was a long day.
  13. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from ICUman
    Thought only a SANE nurse could perform these?
    Nope. It's preferable, but not required.
  14. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from gonzo1
    Told a pt with a concussion they were in the ER after a car accident 400 times. Fortunately, no serious injuries.
    I had a patient who fell from a horse whose brain seemed to "reset" every 2 to 3 minutes. I finally just wrote her a note about what happened, put it on a clipboard, and put the clipboard in her hands. When I saw the "where am I?" panic set in, I would direct her to the clipboard. It was a challenge getting her to complete her CT scan, she would reset just as we were getting ready to scan her and we would have to explain over and over why she needed a CT! Lol

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