"When Minutes Matter" - Thank You Emergency Nurses
Recognition of Emergency Nurses and all they do through my experiences as a nurses, mom, patient and friend!
About 5 days after our daughter was born, she stopped breathing during a bath. I had been a cardiac critical care nurse for a number of years at that time. You would think that I would know exactly what to do. I will tell you exactly what I did...I ran around crying in a very tight circle while my husband who is a doctor did CPR. After what seemed like forever, EMS and Paramedics came with a NICU team to take her to our local hospital (where both my husband and I worked). As a nurse, I have always been awestruck by what Emergency Nurses do each day, but I will say that I have never been more so than I was that day. I rode with our baby girl and her NICU nurse in the ambulance. I found myself waiting on the nurses every word for reassurance. Watching her care for my sweet girl was a surreal experience as I knew exactly what she was doing and why, yet I was helpless and trusted her literally with my everything. We arrived in the Emergency room where we were greeted by familiar faces of friends and colleges. I needed them to cry with, to calm me, to help me think clearly as my husband was finding someone to watch our 17 month old son. Pediatrics is not my thing, so heart rate monitors alarming with rates outside of adult parameters sent me into a panic. I had dealt with these nurses with adult critical care patients and knew their skill set. I was thankful to know those skills did not depend on the age of their patients. We were transferred to a tertiary care hospital by another NICU transfer team. Exhausted both emotionally and physically (I was just 5 days postpartum), I was able to sleep in the ambulance...another testament to the confidence I felt with the transport team. We spent a few more days at the hospital for what was thankfully just reflux. I have never been able to forget all of the "feels" that went along with that day. Each Emergency nurse that worked with my daughter also worked with me as a mom, a patient, and a nurse. Our family will forever be grateful.
Fast forward several years to my new routine of picking up my oldest from kindergarten. As I was driving to get him, I witness a head on, high speed collision. I see the car fly at least 50 feet in the air and watch the driver eject from the car and land a few feet in front of my van. I slam on the brakes and get out to help. The young man is not breathing. I am in shock and trying to sort out what I am supposed to do. I have my kids in the van, the man is not breathing and bleeding from everywhere, and there is drug paraphernalia that flew from his car all over the road. (This makes me think harder on what to do...what if he has infections related to IV drug use). As I go back to my car to get gloves and CPR barrier, I hear voices start to approach the scene. Like a golden angelic glow...I see 3 faces of Emergency room nurses that I work with coming to help! It just so happened that at that very moment 3 nurses who were all ER trained were in that exact spot! They were calm and collected. They surveyed the scene, gave instructions, worked together, told me how to help...all until EMS arrived. That man lived despite so many life-threatening injuries thanks to those nurses. When you come upon an accident, you don't have to stop to help. You are either a person who jumps in head first or shys back knowing someone trained is on the way. Emergency nurses are the engrained to stop and help no matter the situation, lifestyle of the person in need, race, color, religious preference, age etc.
Emergency nurses have one of the broadest and all-encompassing roles in nursing. They care for newborns, temperamental toddlers, children, teens, adults and elderly. They educate and nurture pregnant mothers, the frightened parents of children, and concerned loved ones. They provide end of life support to the patient and family members who sometimes anticipated this time and others who are thrust into it by life circumstances. They provide critical care at a moments notice for however long is needed to get the patient to the next level or care. During any given shift, Emergency nurses may be responsible for an inmate with an armed guard at bedside, a gang member who has been shot or stabbed in a street fight, a teen in a car wreck with parents on the way, a toddler having seizures with a fever over 104F, a 50 something year old man with new onset rapid afib and rising troponins with EKG changes, an intoxicated addict, a kid with a broken arm during a football game, and on top of that, a stream of people who visit the ER for ear aches, stomach bugs and pink eye. They are cursed at by families wanting quicker care. They take the attitude of those of us ICU and floor nurses whose units are already full to capacity as they are trying to transfer their care. They have to remember that radiology has not yet picked up the patient for their CXR to rule out pneumonia and that the lab needs the second set of blood cultures. They need to read cardiac monitors, bandage wounds, start IVs, monitor chest tubes, airways, run a code, and monitor sedated patients. Without even a thought, Emergency nurses seamlessly navigate from patient to patient, family to family and room to room, working with different doctors and orders along the way. They have one of the toughest, most exhausting yet rewarding and heroic roles in our community and healthcare today.
Thank you so much from this fellow nurse, mom, wife, family member and friend. You are appreciated!Last edit by Joe V on Oct 10
About Sarah Matacale, BSN, RN
My name is Sarah Matacale. I have been a nurse for over 20 years trained in Cardiac and Intensive Critical care, Hospice and Clinical Documentation Specialist. I live in the south east with my husband, 3 kids, 2 rescue dogs and 2 rescue cats. Enjoy!
Joined: Jan '17; Posts: 47; Likes: 379Oct 10Joined: Apr '03; Posts: 276; Likes: 298Thank you! Even though I am no longer working, thanks latex allergy, I appreciate your words for ER nurses. We always felt like the Red-Headed stepchild in our hospital. Thank you again for your most kind words.Oct 13Occupation: RN MICCU Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Mother Infant Child Care ; Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 26; Likes: 16Beautiful thank you to these angel nurses!! Thank you ER nurses and thank you for recognizing them!Oct 13Joined: May '16; Posts: 780; Likes: 1,184I wholeheartdly agree that ER nurses are exceptionally brave and juggle so much. I greatly admire them.Last edit by BeenThere2012 on Oct 13 : Reason: TypoOct 27Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 47; Likes: 34This means the world. Thank you for your recognition of the least-appreciated RN specialty I can think of!
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