The emergency department of any hospital can be a chaotic and constantly changing environment. Emergency nurses face a wide variety of challenges on a daily basis, caring for patients from the very young to the very old and dealing with countless medical conditions, both mild and acute. This type of work isn’t for those who crave routine; no two days in the emergency room are ever alike.
Due to the urgent nature of their work, emergency nurses must be exceptionally skilled and talented. They must quickly obtain complicated medical histories, assess the information, and then make wise decisions, as well as multi-task and prioritize under duress. They should have a good sense of humor and a reasonable amount of stamina, as well as being fast on their feet. Also key is the ability to remain calm no matter what they see or experience.
In an emergency room setting, you may encounter patients who are on the verge of giving birth, others who are in cardiac arrest, others who have been in car accidents, or even some with gunshot or knife wounds. You must have the medical knowledge and the emotional strength to handle all of these situations and more.
Emergency nurses do not only work in hospital emergency rooms. They may also work in emergent care centers, research institutions, in-flight nursing in helicopters or airplanes, at poison control centers, with the military, at crisis intervention centers, in prisons, or even for corporations for businesses. A career as an emergency nurse can be both rewarding and exciting.
Emergency nurses make about $63,000 annually. Many hospitals offer internship and training programs for recent nursing school grads to help them become emergency nurses.