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ED tips/crash course/advice?

by emm13 emm13 (New) New

My nursing experience is in two specialties: cardiac step down and outpatient pediatrics (two totally different worlds!) I am being reassigned to the ED for awhile as my state is nearing our Covid peak. I’m getting a couple orientation shifts. I think my experience gives me a good baseline for the ED, but I know I’ll have a lot to learn. What should I brush up on ahead of time to make this transition easier??

I currently have experience w/

Cardiac: MI, pre and post CABG, Cardiac drips, tele/EKG, vascular surgeries, chest tubes, etc

Pedi: telephone triage (usually respiratory symptoms), POCT (strep, flu, etc), nebs, minor injuries, etc...I call it my “coughs and boogers job” 🙂

What should I do a little reading on before starting in the ED?


Specializes in ER/Trauma/TNCC. Has 5 years experience.

Be flexible.

Work on your PRIORITIZATION skills! (In the ER, everything is a STAT order. When you have 4 patients with 5 different STAT orders, you need to be able to prioritize what needs to get done first. And don’t worry, you will continue to learn and perfect this one every day)

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And NEVER do something for the first time alone. Ask someone to come in with you, even if it’s just moral support you need.

Don’t be afraid to question things if they don’t seem right. (MD orders something on the pts allergy list) In the ER, everything is fast paced and mistakes are made easily.

TRAUMA SHEARS!! No matter if they were $5 at the bookstore or $75 Leatherman shears, don't FORGET THESE!