For a new ER nurse, it is important to make sure that you have prepared enough for the position. It is a difficult job, and you will essentially become a “jack of all trades,” when it comes to your occupation.
The following tips for a new ER nurse that will help improve success:
- Safely is the most important thing. Even when busy, safety measures cannot be skipped. Raise bed rails, keep sharps in the proper place, and clean all hazardous materials before leaving the room. Find your rhythm and slow down a bit if you feel like you may forget a safety measure.
- Keep the family informed. As busy as you may be, it is ideal to keep the family of the patient informed as much as possible. It will help to reduce stress on both ends, and repeating what is happening will help you remember. The family will be much happier if they are informed, even if it is just that the lab is taking a bit longer to provide results. They will feel that they aren’t ignored, which can easily be felt in such a fast-paced environment.
- You are going to see people die, and you need to know how to deal with it. It is part of the ER environment. Even if everything is done correctly, there are times where it just won’t be enough to save the patient. You will need to deal with it, and there are resources available to help staff when these situations arise. Take advantage of everything offered to help you cope.
- Have thick skin! You will be dealing with patients that are in pain, uncomfortable, and unhappy. Unfortunately, nurses get the brunt of the attitude that comes with their symptoms. Family members that accompany those in pain to the ER are stressed and scared. It is a stressful environment for all involved. Positive communication is necessary to de-escalate the tense environment. Don’t take what patients and their loved ones say to heart.
- Find a way to relieve stress. Being an ER nurse is stressful because of the environment. Find a hobby, get a massage, or simply now when to say NO to picking up a shift. It is important to take care of yourself, so you don’t become a patient! Figuring out what helps you de-stress after work is essential for success within the workplace.
- Watch your tone. Sure, this is something you may have heard from a parent a time or two in the past, but it is just as important within your position as an ER nurse. Some people that you see may be incarcerated, others may have been hurt due to an irresponsible choice. Your job is to treat the issue, regardless of the parsons position or what led them to your facility for treatment. You have to come to work with a clear mind, and positive attitude for all patients.
- Learn to prioritize. There will be many times that patients come to the ER, simply because they can’t get their ideal appointment slot with their primary physician. In the next room, there may be someone with a minor cut. In the middle of juggling these two patients, a stroke or cardiac patient may be rushed in. You will need to learn how to prioritize patients. A great way to do this is to observe an experienced triage nurse in action!
- Knowledge is important. In this field, things are ever changing. To be successful, you will need to put in effort to continually learn and grow within the position. Learn everything you can!
Most importantly, it is important to take care of yourself. Nurses often become overwhelmed and begin to feel “burnt out.” After all, as a nurse, you give your all to your patients throughout your shift. When you get home, decompress and take some time to relax or do something that you love (aside from your job).