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How should a new nurse prepare for an ED job?

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After graduating last December and spending the last eight months hustling in acute rehab, the call I'd been waiting for finally came last night: I've got a job in a busy ED! I'll start in about six weeks, and I have at least three months of orientation ahead of me. I'd like to make the most of my free time between now and then getting ready. I would appreciate any suggestions, whether from new grad or seasoned veteran.

Among other things, can you recommend any books to read? Or a great CEN prep manual? I'd really love to find something with an interactive CD if possible, as I loved studying for NCLEX that way. I've got an armful of ACLS materials for some light reading!

Thanks in advance for your help. I'm still trying to pull myself off the ceiling.

MauraRN

Has 14 years experience.

Congrats Freedom42!! I am a new RN starting in acute rehab/med-surg, was an LPN for 3 yrs in sub-acute care. I also want to be in the ED, but that won't happen here in Massachusetts, have to have experience. I did ACLS, PALS, BASIC DYSRHYTHMIA, TNCC (Trauma Nurse Core Course) and have begun studying for CEN, using Sheehy's Emergency Nursing, 6th ed. I have not started on the unit yet, doing the interminable orientation, hope to move out of acute rehab into ED within 2 yrs. Good luck and pm with any acute rehab to ED advice.

MauraRN

Thanks, Maura. I should have known good advice would come from someone with a head shot of Nurse Diesel!

You are the second person today to recommend Sheehy's. I'll shop around for a copy tonight. There's a TNCC course offered in my home town in about two weeks. Do you -- or other allnurses members -- think there's value in taking it before I start in the ED? Or should I wait until I have an opportunity to apply that knowledge immediately? Since I know there's quite a learning curve ahead, I'm looking to do anything I can now to make it a little easier.

Good luck in rehab!

BrnEyedGirl, BSN, MSN, RN, APRN

Specializes in Cardiac, ER. Has 18 years experience.

TNCC isn't even suggested until you've been in the ER for a year,...the hospital will pay for all the classes you need. Brush up on EKG interp., and if you can get your hands on the policies/protocols used in your ER it would help you be that much ahead of the game. Best of Luck to you!

SummerGarden, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 13 years experience.

congrats and welcome! i am new to the ed too from med surg. the ed is where i always wanted to be and where i knew i belonged! do not stress out too much about learning prior to your first day of work because the ed requires on the job training. thus, no one expects you to know much without prior ed nursing work experience; relax and have fun! along with the other references mentioned, try to join the ena and get a pda (if you do not already have one) with nursing references.

btw, i love it!!! i have bad and good days but my good days completely out number my bad days unlike the time i spent working in med surg! gl!:D

Edited by SummerGarden

Thanks, MB. Any PDA recs? What references do you find invaluable?

Is there anyone out there using study material on MP3? I love to walk and listen.

MauraRN

Has 14 years experience.

Some nurses think that TNCC is not worthwhile before working in ED, and that is likely true for most, but I am the type that likes to learn a little about a subject first, then dig in deeper if I am really interested. But that is just me, others may not get a thing out of taking a class like TNCC unless they can apply it to their current practice. I learned lots about head to toe assessments beyond my current practice population which is mostly geriatric with some multiple trauma younger folks beginning rehab. So I guess its up to you and your learning style. I used a palm pilot as my PDA for a few years until it was stolen out of my desk at work (my bad, should have known better). I loved it, got lots of good nursing software from skyscape.com. Take a basic dysrythmia class before ACLS, you will absorb more.

I am so excited for you!!

MauraRN:yeah:

SummerGarden, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 13 years experience.

thanks, mb. any pda recs? what references do you find invaluable?

is there anyone out there using study material on mp3? i love to walk and listen.

similar to med surg, pharmacology and taber's are a must! i also have references that are cardiac related now because i am spending more time reading my own strips and applying interventions. once i start spending more time training on the trauma side of the house i think i will be in need of others.:D

Larry77, RN

Specializes in Trauma/ED. Has 10 years experience.

I agree that I would wait to take TNCC after you have at least been involved in a few traumas. ena.org has CEN review books and I'm pretty sure some have discs. I agree with Sheehy's...every ED nurse should have one in their library. There is a book called "Emergency Nursing made easy" which has simple explanations for why we do what we do every day. Plus reading on this board will teach you a lot. There are tons of posts about commonly used drugs and procedures etc...

Good luck and welcome to the "wonderful" world of ED nursing :-)

Thanks. Sheehy's is on order, as well as Lippincott's review. Lots of reading ahead!

So from the looks of this thread a paramedic ought to be able to get his RN credentials and start to work in the emergency department with no problem.

Larry77, RN

Specializes in Trauma/ED. Has 10 years experience.

So from the looks of this thread a paramedic ought to be able to get his RN credentials and start to work in the emergency department with no problem.

I've worked with a few ex-medics, both good nurses and bad. One thought he knew everything but was dangerous, another was fantastic and ready to learn. Medics do not know much about chronic meds or disease processes. Also I think their charted tends to be lacking because they want quick and dirty.

Overall I agree that they have a huge advantage over nurses without any experience but EMS experience is NOT ED experience or Nursing experience.

I've worked with a few ex-medics, both good nurses and bad. One thought he knew everything but was dangerous, another was fantastic and ready to learn. Medics do not know much about chronic meds or disease processes. Also I think their charted tends to be lacking because they want quick and dirty.

Overall I agree that they have a huge advantage over nurses without any experience but EMS experience is NOT ED experience or Nursing experience.

Right. That's why I qualified my statement with "from the looks of this thread" since posters were bringing up such classes as basic dysrhythmias, etc. Agreed. Medics do not have as much exposure to chronic medical issues. That's why I, for example, am interested in nurse school (post B.S. and another career outside of the medical realm) - to learn more about that type of thing. Fortunately, no, EMS is not nursing experience.

I think people who think they know everything is just a personality trait.

Morning, all. Just a quick note to say happy Thanksgiving and again thanks for recommending Sheehy's. My copy arrived from Amazon last night. I'm planning to spend the afternoon drooling over it. I've been poring over this forum for the last few days and have learned a lot.

Thirty-nine days until I start in the ED. Bring it on!