Nursing Skills Important for Emergency Room Nursing 2021
In this video I will talk about 3 of the most crucial skills for a nurse to learn working in the emergency department. After a few months of working in the ED, I have realized how important these skills are in making a difference in people’s lives.
The first skill that is important for an ER nurse to have is critical thinking and prioritization skills. Now I know on the floors you have to have this as well, but in ER it is even more important. You have 4 very acutely ill patients that you have to decide who to treat first and why. Not only that, you have to think about the medications they have taken and make sure you do not give them an extra dose of medication they have taken before they’ve come to the hospital. Then you must also think of possibilities that could make the patient deteriorate and obviously prevent them from happening. So in the ER you typically will get four people with pending tasks to do every hour, but it is up to you to determine which one is more important than the other and document what you have done. Now your training does significantly help you on how to decide who to care for first but it is a never ending cycle of having that level of engagement with your patients. So you could probably imagine by the end of a 12 hour shift, you are completely zonked.
The next skill that you just simply have to be good at is inserting IV’s and foleys catheters. Now, like I just mentioned, you have to be able to prioritize and effectively critically think about what to do next. So imagine if you aren’t having success with a foley or an IV and you need to drain their bladder or give them fluids to resuscitate them. That would be terrible, you need to do it quickly and effectively and move onto the next task otherwise you won’t have time to chart and can’t help the next person you will be in a never ending cycle of being behind on both tasks and charting. Now I mention these two skills in particular because they are extremely common and you almost have to do it for like every other patient.
That last skill that is crucial for an ER nurse is understanding the bigger picture and the pathophysiology behind diseases and disorders. Often times, the physician is helping other people so it is up to you make sure that someone that comes with abdominal pain must be kept NPO until assessed, or needs to have neurovitals done if they’ve recent fallen and lost consciousness. Stuff like this are important for an ER nurse to think of as you can really do more harm to them if you are not realizing the different procedures and steps necessary for their stay. That is why I mentioned “the bigger picture” because based on their complaints, you have to understand what could potentially be done for them during their stay and optimize the transition into that. For instance if someone is in with a general weakness and a fall type prognosis and they can’t transfer onto another bed, place a sling underneath them so that when they come to take them for a CT scan of their head, you do not have to go in the room again.
Anyways those are some skills that I think are very valuable to have for the ER but I am curious of you work in other departments or floors what are the most important things that you must consider during your shifts. I hope you enjoyed todays video, thank you so much for watching and I will see you in the next video!
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