what are the duties of the ER Rn?

  1. Today I did shadowing with a RN in the Med-surg floor. Basically, we spent the whole day going room to room giving medication (usually thru IV), she also check weight on one patient and checked a bandage on another..... and then she went back and did documentation on a pc.
    Would this be similar duties of an RN in an ER setting? I need to know so i can decide on getting into pta or rn program... thanks.
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    About northmississippi

    Joined: Dec '09; Posts: 409; Likes: 162
    from US


  3. by   dthfytr
    I think you'd be better served doing a web search on the topic. Since the ER deals with any and all problems that walk, are carried through, or left just outside the door, the answers to your question border on infinite.
  4. by   LETRN
    Ditto above, I would be here all day if I detailed everything

    In a nutshell, administering meds (sometimes mixing my own drips), assisting the ER physician with laceration repairs and lumbar punctures, running a code, monitoring critically ill patients, splinting, and on and on. I love the ER, such a huge diversity...and you get to learn a little about everything.
  5. by   ImThatGuy
    Generally, they work triage or one person is assigned that role depending on hospital size, do focused histories and assessments based on the patient's chief complaint, chart (paper or electronic), and then keep doing that. Eventually, the doctor will see the patient, do an even more focused assessment, write an order for a med or procedure, the nurse will administer it or help do it, chart, and then send the patient on their way or arrange for admittance to a floor bed.
  6. by   lckrn2pa
    Start your own IV's
    Draw your own blood plus any redraws from "hemolyzed" (read lost) specimens
    Collect U/A's and some cases either do you own dip stick or run the U/A as a POC test yourself.
    Check in the line ambulance patients waiting on a bed
    Move people out of you room so triage can bring back that "I gotta have a bed now" patient
    Walk grandma to the bathroom
    Get the drunk a lunch box
    Tell the Doc/PA you'll get that accucheck after walking grandma back to bed from BR
    Do your own EKG's
    Mix most of your own drugs cause it take's pharmacy 4 hours and 9 phone call reminders to mix a gram of Rocephin
    Check the restraints on the tweaker in the hall
    Wake up the security guard that is supposed to be watching the tweaker
    Go out to the lobby/smoking area/parking lot to find the family for grandma cause now she's getting a little agitated. only to find they went home and didn't leave any contact info
    Walk back in grandma's room just in time to see her vault over the side rails into the floor (grandma's do bounce)
    Finally find help to get her back in bed
    Go clean up the tweaker who decided to have a BM in his pants instead of letting somebody know he had to go
    Help hold the 2 month old febrile seizure baby for his LP, IV start, draw blood and straight cath for the septic work up
    Get the gangbanger that got shot up by "some dude" while "I was just walking down the street" prepped for OR
    The Helicopter crew just landed with the meth lab explosion guy that's a crispy critter get him squared away and to the burn unit
    Finally see one of the 4 techs assigned to your side of the ER and ask them to roll grandma over to CT scan to be told "I'm busy stocking the trauma rooms". Well, I've been in the trauma bay for the past 2hrs with the GSW and the Burn guy and haven't seen you in there doing any stocking.
    Just get told the helicopter is going out on a 5 car MVA with 3 red tags

    And all this before midnight

    Good times
  7. by   canoehead
    The physical tasks that you see are only half the job. The real skill comes with prioritization, assessing, and coordinating all the resources.
  8. by   mybrowneyedgirl
    lckrn2p.. said it just about exactly right. Keep in mind, that while this is tedious and sometime a pain, I LOVE working ER and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. If you get bored easliy or are ADHA, then ER is the place for you!