What kind of people make a good ER nurse?

  1. Hi, I don't normally post here. I normall post on the student nurse boards and just a lurker on other boards. I have been thinking about what I want to do after I graduate next year. I have a serious interest in Peds, a interest in mother/baby/OB, community/home health and lately a interest in ER. My question for those of you who are a ER nurse what kinds of people you think make a good ER nurse. They say some people were cut out to do certain things while for some it would not be such a good fit. What kinds of personalities do you feel are best? Do you have/need to be all bubbly to be a ER nurse. I am slightly shy but I am also outgoing and can be outgoing. What are traits of the an ER nurse. I hope I make sense if not let me know and I will try to clear it all up.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Jazzdog
    ER nurses are as varied as nursing jobs. In our ER, a majority are "goofs" (meant as a complement). They realize Life can't be taken too seriously. They can manage life and death situations flawlessly. There is a smile on their face more often than not, even when feces is hitting the fan. If you ever saw the show M*A*S*H, you know what I mean.
  4. by   peaceful2100
    Jazz Dog that makes sense! I do realize in this life that sometimes there are things that can't be taken too seriously. I will have to just wait and see. I usually smile through anything. Like I said I am a little bit shy, meaning if I am at a party I usually don't try to make myself center of attention but I do know how to mingle.
  5. by   neneRN
    I think a good ER nurse has to be calm (at least outwardly) and be thinking one step ahead. By this, I mean that you have to possess the ability to size up a situation (sometimes in seconds) and based on your assessments anticipate what needs to be done NOW. Definitely need a warped sense of humor and the ability to take things in stride. You can't let the pt that just coded affect your ability to care for the next pt coming in. Team players are great- it amazes me sometimes how we (the ER nurses) will swarm in on a pt with everybody knowing what needs to be done-and get a pt completely worked up (labs, IV, EKG, X-rays, assessments) so quickly. Of course there are many times, when everyone is busy and you need to do all of this on your own. I love the ER- can't imagine ever working anywhere else!
  6. by   CEN35
    tonya,

    thinking in seconds doesn't come overnight. so don't let that concern you.

    bubbly? i don't know to many bubbly er nurses, they are usually to busy to be bubbly. however, everybody else is right, if you take it all 100% seriously you will do yourself in, in no time flat. humor is a neccesity, and you will find there are times when even patients and/or their families appreciate the right kind of humor at the right time. (not to mention the co-workers) :d

    there was one thing that one of my instructors told me in school. it doesn't matter how urgent the situation. if you panic and find yourself, trying to think of 101 things to do at once, it will do nobody any good.
    the best thing to do? even if you think it is taking too much time? stop - think - and formulate a plan.......sounds long, but could be done in 5-15 seconds. i have seen people stumble around in a panic, for minutes. the best way to do this? just always think: airway, breathing, circulation - and if one is not there, fix it and move on - if you can do that it will be alright!

    skills can be learned quickly - one or two times hands on, and you'll rarely have a problem. thinking in a bad situation takes time, but you'll get there if your determined.

    me



  7. by   shanaRN
    I have been an ER nurse for a year now and I can't imagine being anywhere else. In school it seemed like everyone in my class wanted to do OB/Mother-Baby. For some it passed. I just knew ER is where I needed to be.

    You need to be able to just roll with things as they come. Remember to keep your cool. The previous nurses are right, you can't let one of your patients get to you so that you can't help treat the others. As time progresses you become disenchanted and things just don't surprise you anymore. A very good sense of humor will go avery long way!

    By the way, thanks for deciding to become a nurse, we need more and more of us everyday!!!!
  8. by   rnkim
    Originally posted by peaceful2100
    Hi, I don't normally post here. I normall post on the student nurse boards and just a lurker on other boards. I have been thinking about what I want to do after I graduate next year. I have a serious interest in Peds, a interest in mother/baby/OB, community/home health and lately a interest in ER. My question for those of you who are a ER nurse what kinds of people you think make a good ER nurse. They say some people were cut out to do certain things while for some it would not be such a good fit. What kinds of personalities do you feel are best? Do you have/need to be all bubbly to be a ER nurse. I am slightly shy but I am also outgoing and can be outgoing. What are traits of the an ER nurse. I hope I make sense if not let me know and I will try to clear it all up.
    if you are shy,you will get over it working in the er
    i have been doing it for 10 yrs and love it
    you never get bored ,you take care of different problems from a drunk to delivering a baby, from an headache to a psych emergency.
    go for it... it never gets boring and you meet the greatest of all nurses there.
    good luck, kiml
  9. by   kkrnkk
    ED nurses generally have very good clinical skills, a sense of humor is a must and sometimes ED nurses can have the most sickening sense of humor than in other area, you must be able to think on your feet and be calm in chaotic situations, having worked in the ED for 6 years and precepted many new grads as well as students, I would have to say the most important thing is to THINK before you do and ask if you are unsure, the skills will come, but common sense is not taught. A good ED nurse needs to have "thick" skin and I don't mean uncaring or uncompassionate, but able to go with the flow and not get upset when you get yelled at or talked to abruptly in a stressful situation. Typically, ED nurses need to be assertive, outgoing, friendly and knowledgeable in many areas as they treat pts of all ages.
  10. by   peaceful2100
    Thanks for your comments everyone! My school does not have a formal ER rotation. HOWEVER, I do believe the nursing elective I am taking next semester which is Issues in critical care, I believe we will spend a very short time in the ER, so at LEAST I can get a peek of what it is like.
  11. by   CEN35
    np
  12. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heat of texas

    Well people who make good ER nurses are generally crazier than the patients they take care of. I know I am.

    Doo wah ditty
  13. by   Jackie_FutureRN
    I would just like to thank all of you nurses too! I have been thinking of maybe becoming an ER nurse for a while now, but I didn't know if I had what it takes to do so. Listening to you all describe everything about ER nurses almost exactly describes me! I now have a more confirmed opinion that this is really what I want to do.
  14. by   rnkim
    i know you will do a great job.
    good luck to you
    kim

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