Emergency room nurses are nurses specialized in emergency and disaster situations. They are responsible for giving first or preliminary medication or treatment for patients on critical stage of their illness and injury. Emergency room nurses are noted for their speed, efficiency, ability to multitask and provide medical care. But how can one become an emergency room nurse?
Of course, formal education and training is required to become an emergency nurse. Emergency room nurses should have the skill to manage basic life support since they are the ones responsible for the patient while the doctor or the physician is unavailable. One interested in becoming an emergency room nurse should be a graduate from an accredited nursing school. The licenses should be legal and in good standing. Emergency room nurses should be willing to engage in nursing Practice Act.
It is important to have at least an experience in emergency medicine. He or she should also have the ability to lead in midst of crisis. An 80 percent should be at least achieved on competency tests. A current certification from Advanced Cardiac Life Support or ACLS should also be possessed by the soon-to-be emergency nurse. Emergency rooms are definitely fast paced environments. There would be physical demands that an emergency nurse should know how to cope with this. Some of these physical demands are:
1. Lifting 50 lbs.
2. Standing and walking for long periods.
3. Bending, leaning and stooping without any hindrance.
4. Good skill in stress coping
5. Fine motor skills
6. Paying attention to details.
7. Working accurately around frequent interruption
There would some emergency departments that would require the nurses to possess an RN degree. RN program is two year associate degree program. Advanced training such as the BSN or Master of Science in Nursing may be required for supervisory or administrative function related to the emergency department.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an increase of more than 27 percent in the next decade for emergency room nurses. The American Association of Colleges and Nursing noted that in 2006 there was an average understaffing of emergency room nurses by of 8.5 percent.
There can be three types of emergency nurses. In the United States, there is a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) who is a licensed registered nurse. A CEN has already demonstrated know-how in emergency nursing. The Certification is valid for four years and it can be renewed by passing another examination or completing 100 continuing education units in the specialty.
Meanwhile, an Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP) who are mainly located in United Kingdom. And ENP can independently assess, diagnose, investigate and treat wide range of common accidents and injuries. ENPs have undergone a training in advanced nursing which is completely medical in nature. Their training would include taking full medical history and examination, x-ray interpretation, prescribing, suturing and plastering.
Emergency Care Practitioner, also in United Kingdom, is a specialist nurse or specialist paramedic who works in the pre-hospital setting dealing with emergency problems. The primary responsibility of an Emergency Care Practitioner is to assess, diagnose and treat patient in the home in an emergency setting.
Emergency nurses are very much in sought-after. Healthcare professionals are being needed in numerous hospitals especially emergency departments are experiencing staff shortages. A lot can be asked from us if we are decided to become emergency nurses. It can be emergency nursing or other job, what’s important is continuous learning with whatever field we have chosen.