5/18/11

Advice to Nurses Entering ER for the First Time?

We'd like to poll the community with a question that has come through the email a few times. For those nurses who have worked or are currently working in the ER, what kind of advice and expectations can you give to new nurses in the unit?

Please offer some helpful advice in the comment section below.

10 comments:

  1. I would say #1 get used to the abrasiveness of staff. Typically ER nurses and doctors are type A attitudes and dont often think of how their words can hurt others. This was one of the biggest challenges I faced (and sometimes still do) and I am one of the type "A" personalities. Getting to know the different types of personalities and even taking a test (online) to see which one the new employee is would be helpful.

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  2. I don't care how dumb it makes you feel; ask, ask, ask when you don't know. Better to look dumb than to kill a patient.

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    1. Agree...I've learned an awful lot over the years asking questions and researching things. I always encourage staff to do this. We can all learn from each other.

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  3. #1 Introduce yourself to everyone, even the cleaning staff in case of emergency you have to ask people for help and it's better knowing their name than just "Hey, you?!"

    #2 Listen to your gut's feeling, if something is not allright about a patient tell your colleagues about your feeling and let them take a look.

    #3 Not everything is about numbers and vitalsigns, the "nursing-perception" of a patient and his signs and symptoms cannot be replaced by any monitoring equipment

    #4 Find a way or ritual to get "out the door" and leave the work behind. I suspect that I feel better and more relaxed if I don't think so much about work and leave all the ugly things that happen behind.

    I'm not an ER Nurse, but as a SICU Nurse I think I have something in common

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  4. SICU Nurse with some great feedback, thanks!

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  5. If you work at a teaching hospital, listen to the attendings as they discuss the patients with the residents - you will learn that way!

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  6. Worked in the ER for a month... was not a good fit.
    Advice,for anyone, and myself if I had to do it over again: Learn to shut my mouth about things that don't matter.

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  7. Picking your fights is certainly a good way to survive.

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  8. do not be offended by all the abrasive, seemingly cruel attitudes of the staff and patients/family. Dont worry you will be just like that in a few years too.
    Some nurses are just not ER material, u will figure this out on your own, some one will tell u ur not or u will hear it through the grapevine. Its okay...just have the good since to transfer to another department.
    ACTING AS IF U ARE CONFIDENT WHEN U ARE NOT MANY TIMES HELPS WITH THE NEWNESS OF EVERYTHING. I DONT MEAN ACTING LIKE U KNOW THINGS U DONT. U COULD KILL SOMEONE LIKE THAT. BUT SAY U GO TO START AN IV ON A CRABBYPANTS PATIENT IF U ACT LIKE U HAVE DONE IT A MILLION TIMES U MAY FOOL THEM AND U.
    GOOD LUCK!!! ALL IS OK AS LONG AS U DONT KILL ANYONE.

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