Emergency Room Registered Nurse
What does an ER Nurse Do?
An emergency room nurse is a registered nurse who provide care to patients that are in urgent medical situations. Most of the time they work in the emergency room at hospitals or clinics, helping patients needing urgent care. A patient could walk into the emergency room with a wide variety of illnesses or injuries, which means an ER nurse needs to have a vast knowledge on how to treat a lot of these illnesses and injuries. ER nurses are on their feet for long periods of time and their hours vary a lot from daytime shift to graveyard as well as working the weekends.
Emergency Room Nurse Duties
Here are a few duties that an emergency room nurse may have to carry out:
- Triage (assign degrees of urgency and order of treatment) to patients so those who have more critical issues get care first
- Take patients vital signs
- Administer medication to patients
- Record their patients’ symptoms
- Help other doctors with medical procedures or other tasks
- Provide education/information and support to patients and families
Skills they need to master and acquire while being in the emergency room consist of remaining calm under pressure, being able to think and react quickly in life or death situations, work well and communicate with fellow doctors and their medical team, and be understanding with their patients and help with grief their patients family may have.
Difference between ER Nurse and Trauma Nurse
A common misunderstanding that people have is mixing up an ER nurse with a trauma nurse. Both careers have similarities but it’s important to know that they’re not the same thing. An ER nurses’ job is to treat conditions that patients enter the emergency for, such as wounds, broken bones, and other problems that aren’t necessarily life-threatening at the moment. A trauma nurse works in the ICI where patients need immediate care and have generally have life-threatening issues. Trauma nurses possess advanced skills in life support, as well as CPR and the use of a defibrillator.
Requirements To Become an Emergency Room Nurse
First step to becoming an ER nurse is to acquire a degree through a nursing program at a college or university. A Bachelor of Science is what most employers look for, but there are some that will accept an associate of science in nursing. The next step is to acquire a nursing license, which they’ll have to take the NCLEX-RN and contains 265 questions and can take up to 6 hours to complete. After becoming a registered nurse, they will want to look for work in an emergency room to gain ER specific training needed to become an ER nurse.
Emergency Room Nurse Salary
An emergency room nurse salary can have multiple factors that determine how much they make per year, such education, certifications, and how much experience you have. But the average salary for an ER nurse in the United States as of 2021 is $77,700 but can range from $69,400 to $86,300.