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Got a PCA job in the ER


Specializes in Emergency, critical care, cardiovascular. Has 5 years experience.

I was just offered a PCA job in the ER at a level 1 trauma center. I am pretty excited about it! It is for a PRN position. I am a little worried that I won't be prepared when I actually get on the floor, seeing as the orientation is only two weeks long. I love that it will be PRN and will allow me to choose my shifts that I want 6 weeks in advance; which is a major bonus in my mind. If you can share your experiences as a PCA in the ER or on another unit, I would appreciate it. I just felt like sharing this because I'm so excited! :D


What is your background? Any previous tech or medical experience.

As a former ER tech and now a nurse, all I can say is if your sitting and the nurses are doing stuff, you need to get up and help.

Your job as a ER tech is to do whatever you can to make their job easier.

Every ER is a little different as to your responsibilities, but usually they include restocking, vital signs, moving patients around, cleaning rooms and any other grunt work.

Once you get into the grove of things, you will be able to anticipate the Dr's and nurses needs and have them done before they get into the room. I always enjoyed when the nurse came into the patients room and I had done everything I could (changed pt into gown, placed on monitor, BP cuff and pulse ox on, EKG done, IV started and blood drawn, urine collected etc).

Just remember, take pride in your job. It is very important and even if nobody tells you thanks or realizes what you do, you know you did it and helped others.

The previous poster hit the nail on the head.

Look for every opportunity you can to help somebody. The ER is awesome.

I love the rush of a trauma, stroke, anything high acuity. Use your intuition to anticipate what will be needed, as said.

You're going to love it. It will take you some time to master the flow of things. Keep your head up, and keep thick skin in the ER.

You'll run into tough situations, brush them off and grow from it. Don't take anything too personal.

Congrats on your achievement! I have recently set my sights towards the ER, and I am even considering it for my preceptorship. If you wouldn't mind sharing the steps you took towards getting hired, I would love to speak to you about it.

NICUmiiki, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU/PICU Flight Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

I love working in the ER. The most important thing I think you have to master is being aware of what's going on around you. You have to be ready to decide where you are needed the most and roll with the flow. There is no schedule or due times and everything is stat. Sometimes you are bored, and sometimes it's a full moon and the synthetic marijuana dealers had a good night. You will deal with psychotic patients, angry patients, patients who live in bad nursing homes, and very sweet patients all in the same hour. You won't give baths, but you will clean butts. It's all part of the job.