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I'm not an ER nurse.

Posted

Specializes in emergency. Has 8 years experience.

Well, technically, I am... but I shouldn't be. I have worked in this ED for 3.5 years--1.5 as a PCT, 2 as an RN. I keep waiting for things to get better. The work was ok when I was a tech (which is why I applied there when I graduated from nursing school), but I really do not enjoy my job as a nurse there.

I feel like I know a little about everything but not enough about any one thing. I second guess myself CONSTANTLY--beyond the basics, I don't feel that I trust my own judgment.

The pace is relentless and I'm mentally and physically exhausted.

I feel like I'm not getting any better.

I keep my patients safe. I communicate with the charge nurse/physician promptly (maybe too much?). I care about my patients. But I'm not the super sharp, super fast ER nurse. With 3-5 sick/critical patients or 8 fast track patients I feel like it takes all my effort to do the minimum. So at the end of the day, I've worked myself to the bone AND I feel that I didn't do enough for my patients. It's an awful feeling.

The management and educators in my department say that I'm doing fine. I'm never in trouble, and the auditor says my documentation is great. So why do I feel so down about my job and my work?

I you have any advice, I'd appreciate it. If not, thanks for listening. I need to get this off of my chest.

One1, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Pre-Op, PACU, OR. Has 3 years experience.

Maybe the ER is just not a good fit for you? Have you thought about switching to another specialty that would be less stressful?

Maybe a slower paced environment would better suit your practice style. ED can be difficult for the most experienced of nurses. The great thing about nursing is there is always another field you can go into. Don't feel like ur stuck; and don't be unhappy in your job. Try another area that you will feel like the competent nurse I'm sure you are. Good luck!

OBigdog26, MSN, RN, NP

Has 8 years experience.

I went from ICU to the ER. I liked ICU more than the ER. I know exactly what you mean about the pace. Nothing is ever easy in nursing. Just hang in there. Take your time when working and do things outside of work to help you release some stress- like working out.

If your not happy working there, then consider other areas of nursing.

exit96

Specializes in RN. Has 3 years experience.

I just completed week 4 of orientation. So far so good. I wonder if you had floor experience prior to ER?...I am not qualified to say much d/t my limited experience there, but I was med/ surg RN prior, and I, in my short time in ER do not know why they would hire someone without med/surg experience. No offense, I am just seeing now how a solid background is essential, and most beneficial. My $.02

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

I just completed week 4 of orientation. So far so good. I wonder if you had floor experience prior to ER?...I am not qualified to say much d/t my limited experience there, but I was med/ surg RN prior, and I, in my short time in ER do not know why they would hire someone without med/surg experience. No offense, I am just seeing now how a solid background is essential, and most beneficial. My $.02

My manager hires new grads & experienced er rns. She generally doesn't like non-er rns, says it takes too long to untrain them from the floor to think emergent. In my limited 5 years, i'd have to say i agree with her. Non-er rns don't seem to last or mostly don't move as fast or turn on a dime like new grads who're properly oriented. My $.02

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Well, technically, I am... but I shouldn't be. I have worked in this ED for 3.5 years--1.5 as a PCT, 2 as an RN. I keep waiting for things to get better. The work was ok when I was a tech (which is why I applied there when I graduated from nursing school), but I really do not enjoy my job as a nurse there.

I feel like I know a little about everything but not enough about any one thing. I second guess myself CONSTANTLY--beyond the basics, I don't feel that I trust my own judgment.

The pace is relentless and I'm mentally and physically exhausted.

I feel like I'm not getting any better.

I keep my patients safe. I communicate with the charge nurse/physician promptly (maybe too much?). I care about my patients. But I'm not the super sharp, super fast ER nurse. With 3-5 sick/critical patients or 8 fast track patients I feel like it takes all my effort to do the minimum. So at the end of the day, I've worked myself to the bone AND I feel that I didn't do enough for my patients. It's an awful feeling.

The management and educators in my department say that I'm doing fine. I'm never in trouble, and the auditor says my documentation is great. So why do I feel so down about my job and my work?

I you have any advice, I'd appreciate it. If not, thanks for listening. I need to get this off of my chest.

It can take time to develop an ease in this environment. I would not put a nurse with less than 4-5 years in triage for it takes that long to a handle on things. ((HUGS))

ChristineN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

My manager hires new grads & experienced er rns. She generally doesn't like non-er rns, says it takes too long to untrain them from the floor to think emergent. In my limited 5 years, i'd have to say i agree with her. Non-er rns don't seem to last or mostly don't move as fast or turn on a dime like new grads who're properly oriented. My $.02

It was an attitude like this that I got past over for ER positions. Despite being an RN for 4 years, the manager told HR he had no interest in hiring experienced RN's that do not have ER experience. That manager eventually got replaced and the new manager gave me a chance. I am thriving in the ER, and I personally can not imagine starting in the ER as a new grad, I think it would have been overwhelming. I have the time management skills necessary to keep up, and have developed my assessment skills.

My manager hires new grads & experienced er rns. She generally doesn't like non-er rns, says it takes too long to untrain them from the floor to think emergent. In my limited 5 years, i'd have to say i agree with her. Non-er rns don't seem to last or mostly don't move as fast or turn on a dime like new grads who're properly oriented. My $.02

What I notice is that some new grads "ATTEMPT" to follow in the foot steps of more experienced ER nurses when it comes to prioritizing; however, the experienced nurse has the intuitive assessment skill-set that the new grad lacks. The veterans know why they can skip this step or leave a specific task last to be completed or better yet even ignore certain issues bc of a developed nursing sixth sense and I respect that talent.

I do not respect the opinions of strict managers and other folk who would not hire a nurse from a different specialty just because they may appear to be not as fearless. New Grads are naive and may be better new hires in a sense of being easily manipulated into the culture of that unit. But I'm pretty sure there's nothing like having an expert resource in the clique out of the jack of many trades whenever a rare case should present. (Didn't Angie work as a NICU and L&D nurse before she started with us? Get her a** in here now!.) It's good to pull apps from different backgrounds.

But what do I know about managing ER staff?

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

I said "generally" not "never".