Quote from Drey
Yeah, I hope to get on as an aide after I get certified. My local ER doesn't use techs. But, I think they also train us in EKG, splinting, etc., so I guess it would be about the same as a tech. The problem with that is I live in a pretty rural area. The current ER I volunteer in is decent sized (12 bed plus hallways), but nothing compared to a level one center. I'm concerned that the experience will not be considered "intense" enough for post grad employment.
Don't sell the rural facility short - small ER's in rural areas can be very intense at times.
I'm responsible for whatever walks thru that door, the good, the bad, the ugly. We aren't seperated out into cardiac, trauma and general rooms, our rooms are a free for all - whatever fits in that room, fits and EVERYONE helps out - we are not assigned rooms.
For example yesterday I had in room 1 a head cold for 2 days, in Room 2 I had an AMI, in Room 3 I had a broken femur, in Room 4 I had an open compound fracture, in Room 6 I had a rectal bleed and in my Pedi Room I had a child with a head lac who needed head CT's and sutures. There was just 2 of us and the doc with all of this.
We also don't have fast track rooms, so as a new grad, I'm not shoved into the fast track room and I am instead shoved right into the middle of the action about 99.9% of the time. A little overwhelming at times, very intense most of the time.
You rely on your gut, your co-workers and your docs to stablize whatever walks thru that door until you can find resources to get that person even more stable. We have to make very quick decisions because the closest trauma center is 55 miles by ground, 15 mins by flight. We are always fighting that golden hour rule where I work.
We also don't have the ability to close down d/t lack of beds, we have to take patients and can not divert. We can have them stacked in the hallways at times.
My experience in a small ER, I believe is extremly "intense".
OK, off my soap box about rural nursing.....back to your original questions - get tons of hands on, field experience. I took an EMT class before I went to NS and it helped me tons in the ER. Get a job as a aide, tech or whatever they call it in your ER that way you learn the paperwork, the flow, etc...which will make you more marketable when you graduate. For our flight crews they want 5-8 years of ER and ICU experience and whole bunch of certifications before they'll look at you.
And, we've had several of our RN's go on to become flight RN's, so the rural nursing thing has never held them back. :spin: