Emergency nursing, also known as trauma nursing, is the care for critical or emergency status patients. These patients are at the most critical phase of their illness, usually the initial phase of acute trauma or illness, and require immediate attention and action. Nurses working in this field must have the ability to recognize the most life-threatening problems and get needed care to the patients in a fast manner. Every second counts, and the nurse is relied on to make rapid assessments and initiate treatment immediately.
Emergency nursing requires a diverse number of skills, among them efficiency, professionalism, and caring. In order to provide the utmost quality care to patients of all ages, the emergency nurse must possess both general and specialized health care knowledge. They must be prepared to treat a wide variety of problems — from illnesses such as a sore throat, conditions such as a heart attack and injuries such as drowning or poisoning. Patients must be stabilized, assessed and treated with minimal information in a high stress environment and in a decisive and quick manner.
Emergency nursing does not only take place in the emergency room of a hospital. Emergency care may take place in transport units such as ambulances and helicopters, cruise ships, inpatient urgent care centers, sports arenas, industry, or any place were a medical emergency may occur. Specialization is rare in emergency nurses since such a wide variety of patient situations can arise. However, a few specialization areas include geriatrics, pediatrics, injury prevention and trauma.
The roles of emergency nursing not only include patient care, but also education, research and leadership. Emergency nurses educate the community about wellness and injury prevention. Some education topics they promote include gun safety, child passenger safety, alcohol awareness, bicycle and helmet safety and domestic violence prevention.
Want to become involved in emergency nursing? You will need an advanced nursing degree, RN to BSN degree, or LPN to BSN degree. Or you can learn more about these programs from the University of Phoenix:
» Bachelor of Science in Nursing
» Master of Science in Nursing