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How will I know when I am ready?

Posted

Specializes in ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg.

I had an opportunity to interview for a job in the ED, but already accepted a job on a tele unit, so I turned down the interview. I've been working on a tele/step down unit for the past 18months and the change to the ED just didn't seem right yet, that is one of the reasons I decided to stay in tele.

I don't know if it was the right call though, the decision to stay in tele for longer, since I really want to work in the ED. It is my goal unit. I am getting kind of tired of floor nursing. I just felt like I needed a little more time on the floor with more predictable patients and to strengthen my ability to prioritize and practice nursing skills (trying to build up my IV skills).

How will I know when I'm ready to move on to the ED? For any of you who started in another specialty, how did you know you were ready?

wyosamRN

Specializes in ED, OR, Oncology. Has 6 years experience.

You will learn valuable skills and some critical thinking ability on tele, but if you want to learn to be an ER nurse, be an ER nurse. You mentioned IV skills- how many are you starting a shift on tele? You'll learn those skills in the place where you use them constantly, not to mention the fact you'll be surrounded by the people who start a ton of IVs, which means they are great resources (dont think of only RNs, in many places ED techs are likely to be the goto for really difficult sticks). I do think there is some value in getting your feet wet somewhere other than the ED, but you've done that, now its time to dive in. Make sure to evaluate the orientation program at places you are interested in, there are many threads in this forum with good information on that.

zmansc, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency.

It is like knowing you are ready to swim, only after you have been swimming and feel comfortable in the water do you know your ready to swim. After you have trained to the ED, and worked there for a while and start to feel comfortable with most of your patients (never with all), will you know you are ready to work in the ED.

WonderRN

Specializes in ED. Has 5 years experience.

You should jump on in. You'll never know if you're ready until you do it! Skills come with practice and experience!

doubleshotespresso

Specializes in Emergency.

I am a new grad and started in the ER, many of my preceptors are nurses who came from various floors (medical, surgical, CVU) and they all said while they did learn valuable skills on those floors, nothing really prepared them for the ER. All have mentioned the speed and ER-specific flow took getting used to and nothing on the floor really prepared them for it. Some nurses feel you need to have experience to work in the ER but most of my preceptors feel that all floors are really a specialty and the best way to orient and work in that specialty is just get there and get started. My advice is to get to the department you really want to be in, you will strengthen all skills on the job :-)

Racer15, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED. Has 5 years experience.

I was hired into the ED as a new grad. Almost two years in and there are still days I don't feel ready, lol. Regardless of experience, there will be times where you have to rely on coworkers. That teamwork is why I love what I do. We're a big ol family and support one another.

I don't think you'll ever feel 100% ready! But you're going to have to be confident and take that step for you, because it's what you want! Don't wait around for that fear or anxiety to go away! Jump in now while you're eager to work and to learn! Go for it! I believe in you!

I worked medsurg for 6 months before going to the ER. I've now been an ER nurse for 7 months. Working on a floor helped me start my career and get some basic things down, but I knew the ER was what I ultimately wanted.... So, as terrifying and intimidating as it was, I took the plunge. The GOOD thing is that floor experience makes you ten times more sympathetic to the floor nurses when you're sending the patient upstairs. If ER is what you want, do it! You never know when the chance may come again. Good luck :-)

If ER is what you want, do it! You never know when the chance may come again. Good luck :-)

I was offered an ER job before I was ready... Your advice is why I took it. Much of success in life comes from seizing opportunities when they present themselves.

amzyRN

Specializes in ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg.

I worked medsurg for 6 months before going to the ER. I've now been an ER nurse for 7 months. Working on a floor helped me start my career and get some basic things down, but I knew the ER was what I ultimately wanted.... So, as terrifying and intimidating as it was, I took the plunge. The GOOD thing is that floor experience makes you ten times more sympathetic to the floor nurses when you're sending the patient upstairs. If ER is what you want, do it! You never know when the chance may come again. Good luck :-)

Thanks for the encouragement! I did decline an opportunity that presented itself, but I will take the next one that presents itself.

AngelNurse2b

Specializes in High-risk OB, Labor & Delivery. Has 5 years experience.

Everyone’s encouragement on this thread is reassuring to me, as I have just made the big jump from floor nursing to the ED this week. Just like you, I worked tele/step down for 18 months then high-risk OB for 3 years, but I have always wanted to be an ER nurse. So I took the plunge and transferred to ED. I’m SO glad that I’ve worked on the floor for a bit before transferring because ED feels a like floor nursing on hyper-drive.

I was offered this current position before I was truly ready, but wanted to jump on this opportunity because I feel eager to learn and grow. The only thing I would have done differently to prepare (if I had the time) is take the ENA online course before starting this position.

All the best to you in your new position!! You’ll feel it when you’re ready.

tech1000

Has 2 years experience.

Your IV skills will come when you start putting them in EVERY SINGLE PATIENT that walks through the door. So trust me, you'll learn in the ER! We don't expect that a newer floor nurse is even going to be anywhere close to good at IVs. That's just how it is. Take the job! You will learn and be fine and the floor isn't going to prepare you for everything anyway!