As a registered nurse, you can pursue a wide range of specialties. From OR to ICU to PACU, there is a specialty for everyone. Each specialty requires its own set of skills and characteristics and this especially rings true for those who work in emergency nursing.
Working as an Emergency Nurse isn’t for everyone. The fast-paced and demanding environment can be exhausting, however, the need for emergency nurses continues to rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were over 145 million visits to Emergency Departments in the U.S. in 2016.
What is it really like as an emergency nurse? We sat down with former ER nurse Jaclyn B., who worked night shift for over six years, to get a first-hand look.
There’s no denying that working in the ER can be challenging. Working under pressure, coping with death and being prepared to treat and stabilize any patient that comes through the doors are all things aspiring emergency nurses should be able to handle. Nurses should also be ready to be exposed to graphic trauma.
Even though working as an ER nurse can be difficult at times, it can also be extremely rewarding. Jaclyn enjoyed treating a diverse population, making no two days the same. Guiding patients and their families when in crisis and working as a team to improve a patient’s medical, physical and emotional wellbeing, made the low times worthwhile.
There’s not one set of skills required for ER nurses, but there are certain of qualities that could help you be more successful. An ER nurse must be able to think on his or her feet and make sound clinical decisions, all while remaining calm. They must be able to easily and quickly adapt to change easily and have excellent coping skills. Above all, ER nurses should be able to do all this while exuding great empathy and compassion.