Emergency Room Nurse Video: Becoming a Certified Emergency Nurse

Emergency Room Nurse Video: Becoming a Certified Emergency Nurse Transcript

Working in the fast paced environment of an emergency room is the ultimate challenge for a nursing professional. Assisting doctors and emergency room technicians, these nurses help patients in need of immediate treatment. On a given day, an emergency room nurse may see a case of stomach flu, victims of a car accident and everything in between. Every case is a new challenge that tests the skills of even the most experienced nurse. A bachelor's degree and registered nursing certification are required. A Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) certification can be beneficial, but is not always necessary.

Introduction

Emergency rooms are often the busiest department in most hospitals. Emergency room nurses help to treat patients suffering from a wide variety of illnesses, injuries and diseases. A well-rounded medical education and a broad set of skills are needed to succeed in this ever-changing environment. Nurses can prepare for emergency room careers by earning an optional Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) certification. A bachelor's degree and completion of the NCLEX certification examination are required for all careers in registered nursing.

Job Duties and Skills

The secret to success as an emergency room nurse is versatility. Emergency rooms treat patients with all sorts of life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Emergency room nurses need to be ready for anything. Respiratory and cardiovascular medicine, trauma and surgery, infectious disease and drug overdoses are just a few of the areas in which an emergency room nurse should be proficient.

Emergency room nurses assist doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of patients that are admitted to the hospital's emergency room. Their general duties include taking medical histories, administering medications, monitoring vital signs and responses to treatment, dressing wounds and providing other assistance whenever and wherever they can.

In a busy emergency room or trauma center, a nurse will be expected to balance a load of patients simultaneously. Nurses must be able to determine the severity of their patients' symptoms and determine who to treat first. These sorts of decisions must be made in an instant and mistakes can be costly, making emergency room nursing a stressful position. Because most emergency rooms are open 24 hours in order to best serve the community, many emergency room nurses are required to work nights and weekends.

Training Required

Prior to becoming an emergency room nurse, it is necessary to pursue the education and certifications required to become a registered nurse. Registered nurses are certified through a professional licensing exam known as the NCLEX-RN. Students are usually prepared for this exam through a bachelor's degree program in Nursing. These programs offer a general study of anatomy, physiology, patient care techniques, medical procedures, pharmacology and more.

An undergraduate degree program provides a general education in the skills needed to be a nurse. However, the specific skills needed for success in emergency room nursing are best learned either on the job or through continuing education courses.

Nurses interested in emergency room careers may earn the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) certification, offered by the Board of Certification in Emergency Nursing (BCEN). The CEN examination covers 13 areas of medicine, including cardiovascular emergencies, wound management, substance abuse and communicable diseases.

Career Options

Most career opportunities for emergency room nurses are found in the trauma centers of large urban hospitals. These locations are open around the clock and treat hundreds or even thousands of emergent patients each day and employ large staffs of emergency room nurses. Rural hospitals and smaller clinics also employ emergency room nurses but not in the numbers found in larger cities. In these lower-volume trauma centers, emergency room nurses may double as general practice registered nurses.

Emergency room nursing can be a demanding position requiring long hours and intense, stressful working conditions. Those who find the work too intense will still have a myriad of career opportunities, either in other nursing fields or in nursing education. Those who possess the CEN certification may also work in an intensive care unit (ICU) or other hospital departments that treat critical patients. A master's degree in nursing may offer career opportunities as a nurse practitioner or nurse manager. Additional certifications and licenses may be required for these positions.

Sources

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm
http://enw.org/FAQ.htm
http://www.ena.org/
http://www.insideout.org/documentaries/nursingshortage/nightnurse.asp

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