An emergency room nurse's day, or shift, involves making lightening-fast decisions to stabilize patients, according to the University of Arizona College of Nursing. An ER nurse assists with patient evaluations, collects samples, administers medications and keeps careful records. These nurses work closely with other members of the health team such as attending physicians, respiratory specialists and ER assistants, reports WBUR.
At the start of her shift, an ER nurse attends a briefing by the nurses ending their shift, according to eMedCert. In the briefing, the ER nurse receives her patient assignments and learns about their conditions. People usually go to the emergency room due to suspected heart attacks and strokes They also go to the ER for treatment of injuries, both mild and severe, due to accidents and other traumatic events. These are the types of patients an ER nurse is assigned, and she monitors their progress until her shift ends or until they are released from the emergency room. She also readies herself for the chaos that sometimes ensues when new patients come to the emergency room.
A physician assesses new patients who come to the emergency room. The ER nurse works alongside the physician to stabilize patients, according to WBUR. This may involve taking blood samples or starting intravenous drips to administer fluids or medications. The ER nurse also enters all information about the patients' treatments and medications into their medical records, which is a critical step in preventing mistakes, explains the University of Arizona College of Nursing.