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cannot be exact. The major difference I have seen is that ER focuses on the chief complaint while the floor nurses do a full assessment. Coordinating consults and orders and med and procedures and even feeding patient - none of that takes place in ER to the same degree
The facility I work in the ER nurses take whatever walks through the door and treat the immediate need then discharge them, transfer them to a larger facility, with more specialized care, or they are admitted to the floor. Our Medsurg floor takes care of patients from age 28 days to 102 yrs old! We take care of medical and surgical patients. Our ER and medsurg nurses are very busy. The main difference I see is the ER nurses triage, initially have no diagnosis, and provide immediate treatment for patients with sudden illness or trauma. Our medsurg nurses have an admitting diagnosis, treat patients before and after surgical procedures, and treat medical patients with multiple comorbidities. Hope this helps answer your question.
We do EVERYTHING! Every aspect of nursing.....every specialty, all rolled into one. The patient spectrum can go from lets say; people who are generally healthy(and maybe shouldn't have been admitted) all the way to a critical care pt(with everything but the ventilator). Peds... psych....hospice... if you can name it a med/surg nurse has had it.
So in that aspect ER and med/surg are the same.
Only difference is time with each pt. ER is treat and go.