What kind of people make a good ER nurse? - page 2
Hi, I don't normally post here. I normall post on the student nurse boards and just a lurker on other boards. I have been thinking about what I want to do after I graduate next year. I have a serious... Read More
Aug 21, '02Occupation: allnurses Asst Community Manager, APRN Specialty: 25 year(s) of experience in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU ; From: US ; Joined: Apr '00; Posts: 53,374; Likes: 26,208Skills can be taught, but a sense of humor - the sicker the better is an absolute must.
(I say this after working last night with Pelvic Barbie mounted on my computer). Don't even ask!!
Aug 24, '02Occupation: ER RN Specialty: ER,ICU,L&D,OR,ETC ; Joined: May '01; Posts: 5,588; Likes: 566Howdy yall
from deep in the heat of texas
Those with good IV skills are essential. Nothing worse than being partnered with a nurse who cant start their own IVs.
doo wah ditty
Aug 24, '02Occupation: ED staff nurse From: US ; Joined: Nov '01; Posts: 1,150; Likes: 232I used to think that you really needed experience else where in the hospital before working in the ED, now I am convinced that other places teach you to think "wrong". ER nurses need to be able to think on their feet, they need good assessment skills and they need to be able to function with some autonomy. CEN is right, all of this comes with time. Watching and listening to other ED nurses is the only way to learn this kind of stuff. You learn what to do for given situations. A sense of humor is definitely neccessary, the more twisted the better ) Wendy
Aug 8, '03Occupation: Clinical Educator, ED Joined: Aug '03; Posts: 13I think this answer will vary person to person, but know that there are very STRONG personalities that migrate to ER nursing. If you have a thin skin, ER is not necessarily for the faint of heart. This is not to say of course that all ER nurses are mean, aggressive and non-compassionate. It is NOT true. I consider myself very assertive with a hunger for fast paced emergency medicine. There is nothing I love more than taking care of a very, very sick patient. I love the challenge of multi-system trauma. I love taking care of the patient's family after all is said and done. Giving the family information is key to all patient care. However, you will always run into the RN that is "burnt out" after many years and whose attitude may scare you away from ER.
Please know that we are not ALL "burnt out" and that most of us still care a GREAT deal about helping our patients'. The key is to take as many classes as you can, read at home, become an ENA member and get active now so that you can truly decide if this is for you. Take ACLS as a nursing student. I did and benefited greatly! Let me know how things go.
Aug 8, '03Occupation: RN in Trauma Center Joined: Jul '03; Posts: 84; Likes: 17I love working in the ER. The environment is generally chaotic and often you find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster. In a matter of seconds, you go from consoling a family that just lost a loved one to aggressively treating a trauma that just rolled in from the EMS bay. Through all the sad scenarios and unfortunate situations you will witness as an ER nurse, the only trait that will save your sanity is the ability to "let it go". When I hang my stethoscope in my locker at the end of my shift - I leave all the raw emotions I encountered during my shift there as well. Often ER nurses are labeled as "insensitive" when in fact it is a developed coping mechanism. I can't jeopordize other patient's quality of care because I am an emotional wreck from a previous patient that day.
Also with experience, you will realize you have developed a sixth sense. Based on the patient's general appearance, complaint and your assessment - you will already know what procedures need to be done to rule out or confirm what you suspect is going on with your patient. Often during "busy" moments, the ER Doc will say, "Do what needs to be done and I'll sign the orders." Ofcourse I would never take it upon my self to administer meds or advanced interventions without first approaching the MD and chasing him rattling off lab values or other significant testing results to at least cover myself with a voice order. This is the kind of autonomy you often hear nurses describe. If you develop a good rapport with your physicians and they know they can trust you, it is very rewarding to know you were able to make a difference for your patient.