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Nurses are the backbone and workhorses of the emergency room (ER). They work in many specialties and perform many tasks in their daily duties. Some are certified in a particular specialty while others are not, but they all are the center of ER operations. You’ll not only find RNs in the ER, but also Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) as well as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).
CNAs are the people you will likely encounter first when you visit the emergency room. CNAs will make the initial triage assessment and take your vital signs and other information like your medical complaint and medical history. That information is then reviewed by a nurse, usually a RN, who will then verify your triage level and determine what needs to be done at that point. Since many people visit the emergency room without life threatening emergencies, if you are put at the lowest triage level, you will most likely have a long wait if there are a lot of other people waiting to be seen that have conditions that are of a more life threatening nature that will be seen ahead of you regardless of what place in line you are.
Given the fact that an emergency room is a critical care setting, RNs who work in the ER gain valuable required time needed for certification in a particular specialty field of nursing. Some of these specialty fields are Trauma Medicine, Cardiology, Surgery, Mental & Behavioral Health and various Pediatric specialties. The hands-on training that a nurse receives in the ER are not only just a requirement for specialty certification, it is also invaluable in their careers as a learning experience.
It also helps build all of the qualities that make a good nurse even better. Life in the ER is often fast paced and a nurse will help build her physical and mental stamina skills there, as well as learning from the more experienced nurses on how to deal with many other situations that may arise in the course of a nurse’s career.
They will learn to build and improve other skills such as empathy, compassion, assertiveness, team work, interacting with physicians and patients and family members of patients.
Nurses in the emergency room will also work with a wide variety of medical equipment. Some of that medical equipment may be high tech, while other equipment may be low tech, but still a vital tool in the capacity of saving a patient’s life. They will also work with many different physicians in the ER, and these Physicians’s specialties range in almost all areas of medicine.
ER nurses are registered nurses who have earned their BSN or AN in nursing and taken and passed the optional Certified Emergency Nurse exam. While RN’s work in the emergency room, having the Certification of Certified Emergency Nurse places that RN a step above the standard RN in the ER. Some of the required training for ER nurses are: Neurological, Orthopedics, Cardiovascular, Maxillofacial, Gynecological, Gastrointestinal and Psychological Disorders.
Work in the ER is demanding and at times very fast paced and unpredictable. Attention to detail, high stamina and quick thinking and decision making are needed and honed attributes that they need to be successful.
While it is not necessary to have the ER certification, those that do have it, earn more money and are given more responsibility due to their increased training and knowledge, in most cases.
Pay for Emergency Room Nurses varies on a variety of factors, but the typical salary numbers are $54,000.00 to $84,000.00 annually, and the median annual income is right around $68,000.00.