Do you think nurses aren’t taught enough about general emergencies/basic info about emergency medicine?

Posted

Random question, do you think we don’t get enough training on basic emergency medicine/situations? For example, when you’re in a focused speciality, you know so much about your particular specialty but when a patient comes along with another issue do feel like you know enough basics to provide proper care? For example, I’m a peds cardiac nurse and I know a lot about my specialty but if someone is my family is having neurological issues, I’m almost no help. It feels kind of pathetic to be honest. Because of it, some family members like to make rude comments saying nurses don’t know anything and I’m useless when someone is having a medical issue because I don’t know anything. It’s so frustrating to be so belittled all the time, especially because I’m the only one in the family who is in medicine.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 30 years experience. 2,776 Posts

What type of care were you "supposed" to provide for your family at home? I have no problem telling someone that their question is not in my area of knowledge. Sometimes I offer to research it for them, other times I refer them to the person who's actually getting paid to provide their care.

Also, if you're being belittled "all the time" you need to grow a spine and tell some family members just where they can go and how to get there.

You're only a rug if you let people step on you...

0.5GPA

0.5GPA, ADN, CNA

Specializes in New Grad 2020. 96 Posts

Do you mean like in terms of if I’m at the park and encounter someone having a stroke/seizure/MI/serious Injury with lots of blood loss? Yes in general I think so. I’d like to know more about that first responder type of stuff. I’m not done with school yet (almost) but I doubt in a lot of cases I’d be useful outside of the job. (I say that real loosely due to not being professionally active yet)

if you mean like specialty specific like kid stuff but you are a Geriatric Oncology nurse? No maybe not. I understand that type of stuff you learn as you go.

Also, who cares what your family thinks? You should not care about what other people think. What you think about you is what matters. Unless they have real experience with or in nursing what do they know?

I know it is easier said and done though.

Edited by 0.5GPA

Lunah, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 14 years experience. 33 Articles; 13,707 Posts

Hard to say since that is my niche — paramedic, then ER nurse. But it honestly doesn't make me deeply knowledgeable in every area of nursing. I know a little about everything and a whole lot about nothing, hahaha. Your family needs a reality check. Would you go to a dentist for pneumonia treatment? To a podiatrist to fix your teeth? To a cardiologist for behavioral health? No. That is not the way it works in nursing or in medicine. We are extremely complex beings, which leads to specialties.

CharleeFoxtrot, BSN, RN

Has 11 years experience. 840 Posts

22 minutes ago, Pixie.RN said:

Hard to say since that is my niche — paramedic, then ER nurse. But it honestly doesn't make me deeply knowledgeable in every area of nursing. I know a little about everything and a whole lot about nothing, hahaha. Your family needs a reality check. Would you go to a dentist for pneumonia treatment? To a podiatrist to fix your teeth? To a cardiologist for behavioral health? No. That is not the way it works in nursing or in medicine. We are extremely complex beings, which leads to specialties.

I always tell my patients when they ask why they need to go see a specialist "You don't ask the guy who paints your living room walls to do a portrait or vice versa, each is good at what they specialize in."

Oh, and OP? Next time your family starts that silliness stare them right ithe eye and say:

"I work with little kids with big heart problems. Just because you are acting like a 5 year old doesn't mean I'll know what you problem is. (keep that level stare going until they break eye contact)

brownbook

brownbook

Has 37 years experience. 3,413 Posts

All good responses. All I ever say if the problem is outside my area of knowledge is I've never worked neurology, L&D, oncology, ortho, etc., or whatever their issue pertains to.

I love to say take off all your clothes and I'll examine you.

It's great to know CPR, and ACLS now covers strokes. I often joke to my family...I think a girl scout with a first aid badge would be better than I in an emergency. I would love to, (maybe be careful what you wish for), but to deliver a baby...of course with a healthy mom and a successful outcome.

I know not to move a seriously injured person, and to apply direct pressure on bleeding. Still a little hazy on what to do with broken bones?

Lunah, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 14 years experience. 33 Articles; 13,707 Posts

2 hours ago, brownbook said:

I know not to move a seriously injured person, and to apply direct pressure on bleeding. Still a little hazy on what to do with broken bones?

Usually you control any bleeding if it's an open fracture and splint in position, unless pulses are compromised — then you need ortho and probably vascular pronto. Hopefully not out in the wilderness if that happens!

Guest219794

Guest219794

2,453 Posts

Yes, I think nurses aren’t taught enough about general emergencies/basic info about emergency medicine.

I think first aid is a basic skill everybody should have, and nurses could easily channel their knowledge to be really good at it, especially with a little training.

brownbook

brownbook

Has 37 years experience. 3,413 Posts

Some basic first aid in nursing school wouldn't hurt.

Everyone one ideally could be taught some basic information. A short course in highschool, a short course along with CPR for pregnant women.

After I posted of course I got what could barely pass for a first degree burn on a hot pan. I do know how to treat them. Which I learned from Google, not nursing school. I'd be hazy on a second degree burn.

JKL33

6,370 Posts

19 hours ago, stacylethani said:

Because of it, some family members like to make rude comments saying nurses don’t know anything and I’m useless when someone is having a medical issue because I don’t know anything. It’s so frustrating to be so belittled all the time, especially because I’m the only one in the family who is in medicine.

I can't imagine willingly spending time with such people, but if I did I am quite sure I would understand that their nonsense has nothing to do with me. They prove themselves ignorant, not to mention mean. Why would you possibly feel pathetic?

BrisketRN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience. 916 Posts

There's no way to know everything. Nursing has such a broad spectrum of specialties. My family members sometimes ask me questions that I don't know the answer to. I'll tell them I don't know and sometimes try to help find the answer if I'm feeling really nice.

Your family members are jerks. Maybe they should figure their medical problems out on their own.

That being said, you could also get your CE by taking some quick courses on emergency medicine.

~Shrek~

~Shrek~

341 Posts

Do you think a Pathologist who has been out of med school for 30 years knows what to do if his cousin calls him/her to ask his /her advice on giving birth? Can a Neurologist be consulted as to what to do when a patient gets MDR TB? Without consulting their textbooks/ classroom materials? In general, no. Same with nursing. That said, I would love more training as to what to do in emergency situations.