trauma vs Emergency Nurse

  1. What is the main/bold difference in terms of job discription?
    or is it the same
    •  
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    It probably varies by definition depending on where people are, but in our ER the one working the trauma room that shift is the "trauma nurse". It's just an assignment designation, as opposed to the one working chest pain for the shift, or peds, etc.. But they all are ER nurses. To work traumas one must be trained in trauma, etc.

    Flight nurses also might be considered "trauma nurses".
  4. by   Flagellum Dei
    Like he said, a "trauma nurse" is most likely a specially trained ED staff nurse.

    There might be a (small) cohort of nurses who only care for incoming trauma patients. An example would be a nurse at a free-standing trauma center. Of course, there's really only one of those, so you're not talking about a lot of nurses.

    I wouldn't characterize a flight nurse as a "trauma nurse". Flight nurses deal with a wide variety of patients - including cardiac, neuro, trauma, obstetrics, pediatrics, neonatal (basically everything).
  5. by   neneRN
    In our ER, all nurse working in the Critical Care section (our main ER is split into Critical Care and Intermediate Care) must have their TNCC (Trauma Nurse Core Course)within the first year of hire. Once they've completed that successfully, they are allowed to care for the trauma patients. Every ER nurse gets rotated through trauma; we assign two different nurses each day as Trauma I and Trauma II. They still take their own patients, but leave their assigned areas when a trauma comes in. Trauma I is the primary RN for the patient and does assessments and assists the doc in procedures, putting in lines, chest tubes, etc. Trauma II puts in the lines, foley, and gives meds. For the newer nurses, we start them in the Trauma II role with a very experienced Trauma I to kind of show them the ropes. Once they are comfortable in that role, they try Trauma I with one of our stronger nurses as Trauma II.

    A trauma nurse is an ER nurse that gets assigned to care for the highest acuity trauma patients. I'm sure many hospitals do it differently.
  6. by   EricJRN
    Good question for our Nursing Career Advice Forum, so I moved it there. Good luck to you!
  7. by   Nubcake
    so basically it just depends on the hospital?
    and both trauma and ER nurses are considered as Critcal care unit?
  8. by   Tweety
    Quote from Nubcake
    so basically it just depends on the hospital?
    and both trauma and ER nurses are considered as Critcal care unit?
    Not necessarily a critical care unit, but the nurses who work trauma and ER definately have to be trained in critical care nursing.
  9. by   TraumaNurseRN
    Trauma nursing is a role in the ER where you take care of patients who meet certain criteria basd on their mechanism of injury and the level of care that is needed. For example, if you were in a car accident, wearing your seat belt and the vehicle you were riding in was minimally damaged, and you had no real complaints or maybe your knee hurt, you would not be considered a trauma patient. On the other hand, say you weren't wearing your seat belt and someone hit you on your drivers side of the vehicle, you lost conciousness, had obvious broken bones or even belly pain, your vital signs weren't very good and the vehicle had major damage you would be considered a trauma patient. The trauma nurse takes care of those patients. (Note: she may only be scheduled in that assignment once/twice a week, otherwise she will work somewhere else in th ER) This is a short and sweet definition, but gives you an idea...If it's bad.....your in the Trauma room, and more times than not, you have multiple, sometimes life threatening injuries. It's exciting nursing that's for sure......

close