Adrenaline-Rich Nursing Jobs in Hectic Emergency Departments

Competition is Fierce for Trauma Nurse Jobs

For adrenaline-hungry nurses there may be no better workplace than an Emergency Department (ED), more informally called an ER. Here, first-line medical illnesses and minor to major traumas are triaged and managed. Each day brings a whole new patient population. This is one of the main differences between ER-Trauma nurses and other hospital nurses—patient care is brief; the job is as much about setting as it is about patient care.

Emergency Room.

ER Nurse Roles

The design model of an ER is developed to quickly and efficiently triage, or classify, patient complaints, funnel patients to appropriate physicians, quickly assess and manage patient conditions, and ultimately discharge or admit patients based on healthcare rubrics.

A large part of patient care in the ER directly involves a team of nurses. Triage and initial assessment are critical roles. Nurses determine the urgency of care, interface with an attending physician, coordinate subsequent tests—radiologic, laboratory, pathology--with auxiliary hospital staff, administer medications and fluids, and monitor the patient’s condition during the ER visit. ER nurses typically rotate between medical, trauma/orthopedic, critical care, observation, and pediatrics areas of the department. Each poses varying degrees of patient care challenges and involves different sets of nursing skills. Nurses in a critical ward may be assigned the care of one patient, while those in a medicine unit may be responsible for multiple patients at one time.

ER Environment

The risk in a variable environment like an ER is that at any one time the facility may be empty, and at the next it could be full with a two-hour wait list.

The ER environment is well recognized; most people have visited an ER within their lifetime and plenty of television dramas have been set in fictional ERs. But the environment of an emergency department can differ widely from facility to facility.

EDs that are attached to well endowed hospitals may serve as the entry points for busy trauma centers, a classification which can bring in even more critical cases from far and wide.

Required Emergency Nursing Degrees, Courses, & Training Credentials

Emergency Nurses often come to their jobs from other specialties. Most ER nursing positions are competitive and require RN licensure. The environment offers exciting opportunities to test skills and engage in cutting edge medical treatment. But if you consider the range of patient complaints presented in an ED setting, then it is no wonder that nurses are required to have basic knowledge of almost every medical specialty: gastroenterologic, obstetric, orthopedic, cardiac, and neurologic. Depending upon the facility, ED and Trauma nurses may be required to become Certified Emergency Nurses. Other common credentials include Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support.

Flight Nurse: Hot Job

Flight Nurses are a sub-specialty of ER and trauma nursing. These jobs are often ultra-competitive and go to the best of the best in trauma and critical care nursing. Flight nurses must be able to take their expertise out of the larger ER/hospital context and react precisely when removed to a remote accident or disaster location. Flight nurses quickly assess, manage and transport patients, and maintain medical and emergency support while in transport. Their job is not too dissimilar to that of an EMT, but with increased capabilities, responsibilities, and physical challenges. Required flight nurse credentials include: Certified Flight Registered Nurse.


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