- Emergency room nurses must handle a wide variety of critical situations.patient image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com
Emergency room nurses are registered nurses who focus on treating patients who come to the emergency room with critical conditions, according to the Education-Portal website. These conditions might include life-threatening injuries or illnesses. Employment of registered nurses, which include emergency room nurses, is expected to climb by 22 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage of registered nurses in May 2008 was $62,450, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Emergency room nurses must attend to critically ill patients under the supervision of doctors in emergency settings. They provide the initial assessment of patients and diagnose them. These professionals are responsible for documenting patient histories and taking vital signs such as blood pressure and temperature. Emergency room nurses also care for patient wounds and set up intravenous lines. They must prioritize injuries or illnesses and decide which ones are more serious and must be tended to first. They can work in various settings such as hospitals, urgent care facilities, helicopters, ambulances and even cruise ships.
- Emergency room nurses must be quick and able to respond to whatever medical situation arises. These health care professionals must have strong active listening and communication skills, and be able to adapt to constantly changing situations. Emergency room nurses additionally need stamina and an attention to detail. Additionally, they should be empathetic to patients and their families. They must work well independently and have good leadership skills as well.
- Emergency room nurses must first become registered nurses. This involves completing a hospital-administered diploma program, which lasts about three years, or completing a two-year associate or four-year bachelor's degree program in nursing. Courses in a nursing program cover topics such as nutrition, microbiology, ethics, physiology and anatomy. Students also get hands-on clinical experience working with patients of all ages. They then must pass the National Council Licensure Examination to become registered nurses.
- Emergency room nurses should be certified in this specialty area. They can receive certification by passing the Certified Emergency Nurse Exam administered by the Emergency Nurses Association. The test covers various emergency room situations, such as neurological emergencies, critical respiratory situations, wound management, substance abuse emergencies and serious gastrointestinal situations.