By Nurse Diane
While working in the hospital, we were frequently moved to other areas to work when the staffing was short. One of my favorite areas to work in was the Emergency Department. This department is constantly moving. You never know what is going to happen when the next patient comes through the door. I’m sure you have seen television shows like ER and House. The action is fast paced, and people are bleeding and having tubes pushed down their throat, and they are getting paddles ready to shock you back to life. While this kind of activity may happen in the larger cities, here in my small town, we never experience anything that critical.
The nurses in the Emergency Department have to be knowledgeable in every area, and every medical problem - from heart attacks, to women in labor to cuts and broken bones. When you go to the hospital for an emergency, you are frightened and anxious. You rely on the medical staff there to take care of the problem, and fix it and make you all better.
This anxiousness also calls for alot of patient nursing care. People often take out their anger on those who are there to help them, only because they are the closest ones available. The Emergency department is quickly becoming more like a battle ground instead of a hospital. Drug addicts come in, hoping to steal drugs, fighting family members want to include nurses in their fights, as well as unruly patients. The security at the Emergency Departments has become tighter than Fort Knox, just to keep the nurses and other staff safe.
Many people come to the ER with just a cold or virus. These nurses treat these patients with importance as well. While the work in the ER is stressful and tedious at times, there is still no place in the hospital these nurses would rather work. On the site lifeinthefastlane.com, these examples of Emergency room nurses were listed.
You know you’re an Emergency Nurse when:
- You see stress as a normal way of life;
- Your idea of a good time is a code at shift change;
- You occasionally park in the space with the “Doctors Only” sign, and knock it over;
- You have recurrent nightmare of being hit and run over by a portable X-ray machine;
- You silently diagnose people as you walk through the shopping center;
- Your most common assessment question is “what changed tonight to make it an emergency after 6 years?”;
- When checking the level orientation of your patients, you aren't sure of the correct answer yourself;
- You have competitions with patients presenting with urinary retention, who has the largest bladder volume;
- Your sense of humor seems to get more “warped’ each year;
- You think transdermal meal patches would be a good idea;
- Your family members must have a fever over 104° or be missing a limb with active bleeding in order to receive your sympathy;
- You believe the government should introduce a permit to be able to reproduce; and
- You believe “to stupid to die” should be a diagnosis.
This is Emergency Room Nurse's Week. If you or a family member have to experience the Emergency Department at your local hospital, please be kind to the nurses there. They are only there to help you, they can't make tests return any faster, or move along the other patients any quicker. They will show you the same time, courtesy, professionalism and care as they show to the patient before you, and the ones who come after you. Even if you aren't feeling your best, they will try their best to make you feel better. Show your gratitude to an Emergency Department Nurse today.