Always on Duty
Nurses are responsible, along with other health care workers or professionals, for the treatment and caring for the injured and acutely or chronically ill people.
Nurses attend to varieties of life and death matters in different health care settings. Emergency room nurses or ICU nurses specialize in rapid assessment and treatment, since every second counts in emergency cases. A nurse in this setting administers medication and assists physicians attending emergency room tasks related to medical care. Emergency room nurses are also responsible for keeping patient records.
Emergency nursing is a specialty of the nursing profession. Emergency nurses should always be ready to treat wide variety of illnesses ranging from throat infections to heart attacks or victims of severe trauma. The types of patients that show up in hospital emergency departments often depend on things like the weather, highway accidents, industrial accidents, fires and hundreds of unfortunate events. Emergency nurses are expected to care for patients of all ages.
Emergency nurses should be familiar with the policies of the facilities their working for, as well as procedures and protocols. The emergency department has a fast paced environment, as a nurse for this department, emergency nurses are needed to utilize their skills in time management. It does not only refer to prioritizing patients but also prioritizing the nurses’ time. Time management will enable nurses to confidently complete their duties. It is very important for an emergency room nurse to be able to do multitasking.
According to Nurses for Healthier Tomorrow (NHT), a coalition of nursing and health care organizations, there are three major roles an emergency nurse should carry out:
(1) Patient Care.
Emergency nurses should care for patients and families in hospital emergency departments, ambulances, helicopters, urgent care centers, cruise ships, sport arenas, industry, government, and anywhere someone could have a medical emergency.
Emergency nurses should provide education to the public through programs that promote wellness and prevent injuries. Some of the educational programs such as alcohol awareness, child passenger safety, gun safety, bicycle and helmet safety and domestic violence prevention are usually conducted by nurses.
(3) Leadership and Research.
Emergency nurses also may work as administrators, managers, and researchers to improve emergency health care.
For all of the demands of emergency nursing, an emergency nurse should be prepared at all times to provide patient care for almost any situation. Some emergency nurses tend to specialize in trauma, pediatrics, geriatrics and injury prevention. Nurses are not only attendants in hospitals and clinics, they may also be involved in medical and nursing research.
Another important responsibility of the emergency room nurse is to continually be aware of their working environment; maintain proper supplies and appropriate medical equipments necessary in caring for the patients. As part of their job duties, emergency room nurses engage in educational activities to promote the nursing profession and keep them up to date on today’s advanced diagnostics, technologies, medical equipment and safety techniques.
Emergency nurses are very much in demand nowadays. Emergency nursing is a profession that requires adept skill in caring for ill and injured people with speed, efficiency and leadership.
Doing all of these medical tasks while attending to other duties requires skill in multitasking. That is why emergency room nurses are always up on their toes, always on duty. With all the responsibilities and duties being performed by an emergency nurse it is essential not to lose the thing that made us go into this profession, compassion and love for life.