More than 136 million people in the United States visited the emergency room last year — and ER nurses were there to provide care to each one of them.
While working as an emergency room nurse isn’t for everyone, it’s an important role that will always be in demand. Learn more about what it takes to become an ER travel nurse.
Because of the fast-paced nature of emergency rooms, it’s important for nurses who work there to act quickly and efficiently — and to stay on their toes. Emergency room nurses should be fast learners, good at multitasking, and able to stay calm no matter how hectic the job gets.
Though these nurses should be ready for anything, they frequently treat those who have been in accidents, women in labor and stroke or heart attack victims.
To treat these issues, ER nurses should know how to start intravenous lines, transfuse blood, set bones and stitch wounds. They should also have extensive experience with and knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and rescue breathing.
Since emergency nurses often work with patients in critical condition or experiencing a lot of pain, effective and compassionate communication with patients and families is crucial. They also need to communicate with nurses in other departments of the hospital, especially intensive care unit nurses, who often see the same patients.
Life as an emergency room nurse
Emergency room nurses do not just work in hospital emergency rooms. They also work in ambulances, helicopters, emergency care centers, combat zones and sports arenas. Taking ER travel nurse jobs allows you to work around the country in a variety of settings.
More than 50 percent of nurses say they work shifts longer than ten hours. These days include high-energy tasks like resuscitating patients and simpler jobs like switching out bed sheets and checking patients’ vitals. It’s all important.
Like other specialties, emergency nurses are in charge of assessing the patient before a doctor sees them. They take care of them throughout their stay and explain precautions to take to avoid returning to the emergency room.
Emergency room nurses first need to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing and pass the NCLEX. After two years of working as an ER nurse, they can certify through the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. General emergency, helicopter nursing, pediatric emergency and ambulance nursing are additional certifications.
On average, ER nurses earn a salary of $44,000 to $57,000, but this ranges among different positions and experience levels.
Note: Basic life support (BLS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification is required for all nurses RNnetwork places. Travel nurses must also have at least one year of clinical experience.