If you’re considering becoming an emergency room nurse, there are a lot of factors you need to understand to ensure it’s the right profession for you.
ER nurses treat patients coming through hospital emergency departments at virtually all hours.
From heart attacks to strokes to gunshot wounds, motor vehicle accidents, fractured bones – you name it – ER nurses see it all. Emergency nurses must learn to quickly triage patients based on immediate observation and acute assessment skills, then treat symptoms in order of life-threatening priority.
So if you’re thinking of pursuing this career path, here are 5 examples of the qualities needed to be a successful emergency room nurse:
1.) A Strong Professional and Emotional Foundation
To work in a hospital ER, you have to be a registered nurse (RN) and will treat patients of any age. To work in this field, you’ll need to be ready to spend long hours on your feet and be able to move and lift patients if necessary. The biggest challenge, however, is you’ll sometimes treat patients who may be critically ill or injured. This means you should have a strong disposition and be able to detach yourself emotionally to some degree.
2.) Clinical Skills
An ER nurse needs to perform their duties swiftly and efficiently to prevent delays in care and to protect their patients. A high level of skill is needed to perform treatments and therapies, manage complex machinery, and immediately recognize important changes in a patient’s condition. Patient assessment is another vitally important skill for emergency nurses – with the ability to interpret lab and other diagnostic information in relation to the patient’s condition and the plan of care.
3.) A Calm Attitude
Performing emergency nursing procedures in a sometimes chaotic environment calls for being able to keep a level head in order to follow instructions from physicians and other ER providers. There are definitely downtimes, but for many ERs, loud noises, quick directives, and high tension can be present. Learning to remain calm and continue to perform your ER duties is something you must master with time
4.) Learning to be Assertive
Emergency nursing skills encompass more than just administering IVs or finishing your charting quickly. While practical ER nursing skills are essential, learning when and how to speak up is important to your role as well. Oftentimes, you’ll be the only advocate that your patient has. Therefore, learning how to voice concerns and ideas, especially to other professionals, is part of the job.
Being flexible is a key skill for an ER nurse. Patients’ needs can change quickly, and you must be able to respond immediately to those changes. A nurse may need to accompany a ventilator patient to X-ray, then come back and start an intravenous line on a person with fragile veins. The mix of patients in the emergency department can also change from minute to minute. As a nurse, you’ll need to keep all the changes straight to prevent medication errors and other problems.
i4 Search Group – Recruiting Healthcare Heroes since 2019. i4 Search Group is a permanent placement recruiting firm specializing in healthcare recruiting across North America. If you’re a nursing, allied health, or any other healthcare professional looking for your next career move, visit our website and see how our experienced team of professionals can help you find a great career position in 2021!