what makes you a good ER nurse? - page 2

Just curious...What is it about your personality or skill level that makes you just right for the ER?... Read More

  1. by   LeesieBug
    As a brand new nurse, I would say tenacity...

    the fact that I keep coming back for more when I want to tear my hair out from learning all this stuff and dealing c some very difficult clientele!

    Without the will to keep at it I'd never get any good:wink2:
  2. by   NurseDiva76
    I think it's a combination of things. I am very fast, organized, and efficient (i.e. multi-tasking) and have the memory of an elephant. I am skilled at procedures and knowledgeable about disease process/trauma. I have an outgoing personality and great sense of humor, which helps me get along with patients, co-workers and physicians while also being able to shield myself from the heartache and the ********. When I go home, I'm able to shake it off for the most part.
  3. by   Spacklehead
    Being a great team-player and critical-thinker has worked for me. Also, having that gut-feeling when you know something just doesn't look or sound right about a patient and having the ability to communicate that to the doc.
  4. by   nuangel1
    Quote from Jen2
    Assertiveness not aggressiveness. being blunt not mean. The wheels are always turning in my head. I work with the doctors to figure out what is going on. I actually go and review the films with the docs. I assess by eyeballing someone from across the room, and then more detailed later. The biggest thing is a sick personality and a twisted sense of humor. I have yet to meet a ER nurse that couldn't put a drunken sailor to shame.
    :yeahthat: also
    i feel i am assertive as needed .i am a very strong pt advocate .i don't hesitate to ask the dr a question r/t pt med treatment etc.i am very knowledgeable ,good communicator and team player and i can juggle many tasks at once.
  5. by   teeituptom
    For me a good golf game helps
  6. by   nursebearfeet
    add/adhd
  7. by   Victoriakem
    Quote from nursebearfeet
    add/adhd
    don't for ocd! i swear most of the nurses i work with have it or say they do, because we are so picky how certain things are to be done & charted.:groupwelcome:
  8. by   AfloydRN
    I am super OCD in organization and prioritization of care. I can multitask like the wind.( I have kids). Reading as much new info as you can get your hands on will help. Go to every educational expo you can.You must really know yourself and what your limitations are. You definetely have to have a sense of humor. You will need it on a daily basis. Sometimes it's all you have.I have ben an RN for quite a while and my complete head to toe is under 1 minute.
  9. by   scrmblr
    Quote from Victoriakem
    Don't for OCD! I swear most of the nurses I work with have it or say they do, because we are so picky how certain things are to be done & charted.:groupwelcome:
    I thought nurses with add/adhd belong in ER and OCD nurses belong in ICU
  10. by   mtedards1
    I have read all of the thoughtful replies to the question, "What traits does a successful emergency room nurse possess?" and I am trying to look critically at my abilities to see if there is any hope for me. Would you say that initially you had your doubts and/or that you felt you were incompetent? I've been in the ED now for six months and feel that I learn several new things each shift, have an excellent rapport with patients, and am generally making progress . . . . at least I thought I was until my manager told me she thought I was struggling and forgetting things I had been told (though I had never been told these things and confirmed this with other new grads in the ED). She went so far as to suggest that I had made a "near miss" medication error only I pull up my own medications and only give medications that I pull up and only after having them checked by another RN. When I asked for specifics she told me that that was not the point. I am most certainly a far cry from being a truly competent ED nurse but didn't think I was so far off. I am rattled now and seem to be making one mistake after another since her little "pep talk." Any advice?
  11. by   dianabay
    She went so far as to suggest that I had made a "near miss" medication error"

    Does anyone know What a "NEAR MISS MED ERROR" is?

    You are still learning; do not be hard on yourself. It takes time and experience to feel "confident". Aside from this manager, do you enjoy the work, the type of environment?

    I have been a RN since '85 and have managed new hires and other staff members. A good manager would give you the specifics of a med error so you may learn from it and prevent simialar occurences.

    This "near miss med error" is ver suspicious; her evasiveness about the details is even more suspect. I consider this a serious allegation; one she should have to prove.

    Write her a letter asking for specifics of the "Near Miss" med error. Quote her terminology. Keep it professional and factual. Inform her that IF you made a mistake, you wish to learn from it, which necessitates knowing the details. Ask her to kindly respond IN WRITING.

    Why do this? As a manager, she most certainly has documented her own version of this "near miss" med error. Without details, you can not even defend yourself. Without something in writing, it's a she said, she said. This letter will let her know:

    a) IF you made a mistake, you are willing to learn from it
    b) You are willing to STAND UP for yourself
    c) You are NOt as naive as she may think

    A good manager does not shake the confidence of her staff but compliments your areas of improvement as well as giving constructive, objective crticism, specifics about the areas requiring improvement, and suggestions as to how you may improve.

    I once had a manager like this who made me question whether I was "cut out" for the chosen area-- Maybe you are not; but this particular manager is not a good guage in deciding this. Later, I had a great manager whom displayed all the qualities I listed above, and never again questioned my choice.

    If she does not respond, or attempts to respond verbally, write her another (equally professional letter) asking for the details and reiterating your desire to learn from any possible mistake.

    I hope this helps; Please let me know how it goes.

    Di
  12. by   baby_gurl0604
    Quote from mtedards1
    I have read all of the thoughtful replies to the question, "What traits does a successful emergency room nurse possess?" and I am trying to look critically at my abilities to see if there is any hope for me. Would you say that initially you had your doubts and/or that you felt you were incompetent? I've been in the ED now for six months and feel that I learn several new things each shift, have an excellent rapport with patients, and am generally making progress . . . . at least I thought I was until my manager told me she thought I was struggling and forgetting things I had been told (though I had never been told these things and confirmed this with other new grads in the ED). She went so far as to suggest that I had made a "near miss" medication error only I pull up my own medications and only give medications that I pull up and only after having them checked by another RN. When I asked for specifics she told me that that was not the point. I am most certainly a far cry from being a truly competent ED nurse but didn't think I was so far off. I am rattled now and seem to be making one mistake after another since her little "pep talk." Any advice?
    Don't get rattled. I felt the same way when I first got out of orientation. I was very, very unsure of myself, and looking back at some of the mistakes that I made (I accidentally bolused an entire bottle of propofol over 15 minutes instead of Keppra...yeah I cried and almost quit that day) I realize how far I've come.

    It sounds to me like your manager is not being very supportive of you. You have only been there for six months! Of course you are going to struggle and make mistakes. Is there anyone else there you can talk to/confide in?

    If you truly love ER nursing, my advice would be to not give up, just take one day at a time, that's all you can do. Look at the mistakes you make and learn from them- unfortunately, they can often be the best teachers in life. Like in my case, after making that med error, I became extremely careful with all medication administration and still am to this day. Remember, you are still really, really new at this, and at this point, no one should expect you to perform in the same way a seasoned ER nurse would. Don't be afraid to ask questions or look stupid, either. To me, the nurse who asks the questions is a lot more trustworthy than the one who thinks they know everything. Being a SAFE nurse should be your #1 priority. So keep looking out for your patients, and know that everything else is going to come with time.

    And be good to yourself- when you are off, go out and have fun, do other things to take your mind off of work. Enjoy your new career and know that it really does get better- there is a huge learning curve just within the first year as a new nurse, and in a few months, you won't believe how far you've come!
  13. by   obliviousRN
    What makes a good ER nurse?

    The realization that "some dude" will never be caught because he does not exist.


    For example: "I was just sitting there minding my own business when some dude walked up and shot me."






    Ok seriously - I like the one that someone said above about a sense of humor and a thick skin. ABSOLUTELY! Could not exist in the ER without it. And unfortunatly you have to very quickly rid yourself of the idea that you can "help" everyone that comes in. Some people you just plain cannot help. Period.

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