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What is Emergency Nursing?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Emergency nursing is a nursing specialty which revolves around providing care for patients in emergency situations. Emergency rooms, ambulances, and helicopter transport services all have need for nurses who have trained in this specialty, and emergency nurses can also work for clinics which provide critical care to people such as students or employees. Employment prospects in emergency nursing are generally very good, as there is a critical demand for nurses in many regions of the world, and emergency care often relies heavily on nurses.

A number of specific skills are required in emergency nursing, including the ability to work in a chaotic environment, the ability to identify and respond to emerging patient needs, and the ability to communicate rapidly and accurately with patients and medical providers. Usually, the emergency nurse is the first person a patient sees when he or she enters a hospital for emergency medical treatment, and the nurse must make a rapid assessment to determine the patient's condition and to coordinate care. The actions of the nurse in the first few minutes of admission sometimes make the difference between life and neath, putting emergency nurses on the front lines of medical care.

In addition to assessing patients, emergency nurses also perform a variety of routine medical procedures, from assisting doctors with airway stabilization to drawing blood for testing. They monitor the vital signs of the patient, and chart changes so that the medical team can be kept apprised of the patient's condition. Emergency nurses also communicate with the patient and any family members about the patient's condition and the treatment plan. When the patient graduates to care in another section of a hospital or clinic, the emergency nurse works to make the transition as smooth as possible by providing accurate and up to date condition on the patient.

Work in the field of emergency nursing can be very demanding, both physically and emotionally. Emergency nurses deal with a variety of cases, some of which are very complex, and their workdays are rarely boring. They often encounter unusual medical conditions, difficult patients, and family members who can be challenging to work with. They also encounter patients with catastrophic injuries, which can be emotionally traumatic as nurses cope with disability and death in the emergency room.

Hours in emergency nursing can be very erratic, as emergency care is needed at all hours of the day. People who are interested in emergency nursing with dependable hours may want to consider working in school or office clinics, which are open at specific hours to provide treatment to people during the day. For people who don't mind long shifts and night work, emergency room and patient transport work can pay very well, and it can be quite rewarding in addition to challenging.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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