Emergency Room Nurses – Career Profile

As an Emergency Room Nurse, You become a part of the Emergency Response Team that works together to not only provide individual care, but also to provide fast and accurate stabilizing care to individuals in a crisis situation.

Being a professional nurse means caring for the overall general health and comfort, as well as, caring for and nurturing other individuals. Meeting both their physical needs for safety and good health, as well as providing comfort and ease for their emotional needs.

Being an Emergency Room Nurse is an empowering position that allows you to work along side other qualified health care professionals as a member of the Emergency Response Team, providing quality care to patients in a fast paced environment.

Emergency Nurse

Tasks At Hand

Patients who come to the Emergency Room have a variety of diverse health care needs that must be addressed in a timely manner. As every patient is different, an emergency room nurse is responsible for prioritizing each situation in relevance to importance. Triage is one of the first responsibilities that every ER nurse must be familiar with in this occupation. Triage means to sort or place in order of importance or extreme. Both physical and psycho social elements have to be taken into consideration when determining the needs of an emergency room patient.

The Emergency Room Nurse is the First one to Prioritize Injuries and Make the Decisions of which injuries are more serious and must be attended to first. Less critical injuries, that could perhaps wait would be attended to after patients who need more serious attention for a critical injury or emergency are treated. Although ER patients may arrive at the facility at the same or different times, an ER nurse will use their expertise in deciding which emergency constitutes a quicker response. For this reason, as well as others, an ER nurse must be able to make quick and accurate decisions, have experience in emergency medical care, conflict resolution and also demonstrate confident leadership qualities.

The ER nurse must be familiar with their facilities policies, procedures and protocols. They must be able to respond timely to emergency situations and assure open communication with not only patients and their families, but also with other emergency medical professionals in order to provide and ensure proper and accurate medical therapeutic intervention.

Working in such a fast paced environment, as a emergency room nurse, you will need to utilize your skills in time management. Not only prioritizing injuries, you will also be prioritizing your time while working in the emergency room. Finding yourself in an ever changing environment with many duties that you are responsible for, you will never be bored. Managing your time will allow you to confidently complete your duties in an organized manner. You can take pride in knowing your quick thinking and decision making abilities will provide quality care in your health care facility, even while multitasking.

Emergency room nurses work directly under physicians assisting the doctors in providing the best possible medical service to patients. As an emergency room nurse you will initiate an accurate ongoing assessment of each patient; identifying the unique problems and concerns of each individual. You will legibly document and compile a patient history regarding medical complaints, surgeries, and prescription medications. Collect information on current injuries, symptoms and evaluate the needs and concerns of the individual patient. The patient analysis will also note any allergies the patient may have, their tetanus status, height, weight and other vital signs such as current temperature, blood pressure, respiratory and any history of activity or illness prior to their chief complaint; and prior to their physical examination. Your extensive training as an emergency room nurse will enable you to formulate a comprehensive nursing care plan to present to the Emergency Care Physician.

You will document the diagnosis and ongoing treatment plan of the patient; as the emergency room doctor that you assist, provides you with orders, tests, and procedures for the patient. Often the emergency room nurse will assist in administrating these procedures as well as provide IV therapy, cleaning and bandaging wounds, administering medications or injections and contacting other staff members when necessary for other procedures.

An emergency room nurse may assist in moving patients, taking blood labs and must use care and compassion while treating or informing patients of their condition. They may help physicians during exams and treatments, and monitor and record patients conditions, evaluate patients response to treatment and notify the doctor when appropriate. The information collected will be used by the emergency room nurse to identify factors related to discharge and advise the patient and family on how to continue their proper health care after leaving the hospital. Upon discharge the ER nurse will provide referrals to other health care individuals for follow up treatment to ensure continued care.

As a highly trained health professional emergency room nurses are responsible to comply with their facilities safety regulations regarding infection control, hazardous material, electrical safety and all other policies, protocols and procedures that protect the patients the staff and the community. As a health care professional, the emergency room nurse will always respect the privacy of each individual; however they have the responsibility and authority of reporting any suspected abuse to the appropriate agencies, such as child abuse or neglect.

Another important responsibility of the emergency room nurse; is to continually be aware of their working environment; maintaining proper supplies and appropriate medical equipment necessary to care for patients. As part of the job duties, emergency room nurses often engage in educational activities that promote their profession and keep them up to date on today's advanced diagnostics, technologies, medical equipment and safety techniques.

Teamwork in the ER

Medical treatment in the emergency room can take minutes to hours. Injuries range from the critically ill to minor cuts and bruises. Whether it's broken bones, rape victims, heart attacks or lacerations, you never know what you are going to have to be prepared for in this career. Car accidents, gun shot wounds, dog bites or ear infections, you will find yourself working with all ages of people from all different backgrounds. Going to work as an emergency room nurse is always an adventure! With each new day brings exciting opportunities to grow and meet the health care needs of the community.

Emergency response personnel are a cohesive team committed to a high level of expertise in all disciplines of emergency care. As an emergency room nurse you are contributing to the process of this integrated emergency service of high quality care in a fast paced setting. You will be working with highly trained individuals who constitute a scope of professional health care providers that are committed to the pursuit of high quality and timely care to over 100 thousand new patients every year. The staff team will consist of doctors, physicians, specialists, consultants, emergency medical technicians, registrars, senior house officers, medical assistants and other specialty nurses and personnel.

Training and Requirements for ER Nurses

ER nurses have professional skills that enable them to manage basic life support needs and stabilize patients till the attending doctor or physician is available. This requires team leadership abilities. Formal education and training is required to become an emergency room nurse.

  • Graduation from an accredited school of nursing
  • Hold a current nursing license
  • License must be legal and in good standing
  • Experience in emergency medicine
  • Achieve at least 80% on competency tests
  • Current certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support ACLS
  • Meet health requirements for your state
  • Leadership in crisis intervention
  • Current in Nursing Practice Act
  • Engage in educational activities
  • Advanced Diagnostics Equipment Operation

Working as an emergency room nurse you must also meet the physical demands of working in a fast paced emergency medical facility on a daily basis. This includes:

  • Full range of body motion
  • Being able to lift 50 lbs
  • Have normal range of hearing and vision
  • Ability to stand and walk for long periods
  • Bending, leaning, and stooping without hindrance
  • Work accurately around frequent interruption
  • Good stress coping skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Be able to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Trained in conflict resolution
  • Attention to detail
  • Overall good health

Salaries for Saving Lives

The ER nursing market continues to be in high demand! Employers want educated, trained, passionate, and dedicated nurses now more than ever before! The need for these positions continues to grow.

Competitive salaries and accommodations are given for extra training and experience; including transportation, medical, dental, vision, 401K, life insurance, prescription drug coverage, direct deposit, and license reimbursement. There are always many opportunities for advancement.

A professional emergency room nurse can save hundreds of lives each year and make an incredible contribution to the hospital or facility in which they work! Now that is something that you can be proud of; making a positive difference in the lives of your community!

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