Thursday, September 15, 2011

being an ER nurse is really pretty cool

Whenever I take a class, I go back to just how interesting medicine is. It really is fun to learn new stuff, even if it is stressful sometimes. When I take a class related to emergency nursing specifically, I am amazed at what we do and often under really difficult circumstances. It makes me realize how much we have to know. When I think about the fact that we sometimes hold peoples lives in our hands, its humbling.

If I look at my job intellectually I think its really cool. I mean seriously not many people could do what we do. It takes a lot of skill. Here's the thing: Why does it feel so bad sometimes?

On a daily basis as an ER nurse, it is really difficult to maintain a perspective. Its hard to remember that we do a lot of good for a lot of people. People are greatful to us. The thing is, the difficult patients are the ones that tend to stand out. Lord knows, we see a lot of difficult patients.

Its because we are human. The vast majority of us really try to do our best. When someone is mean or abusive, we react like any other person would: We get mad, resentful. It hurts. We don't talk about this kind of stuff much in ER nursing. We're supposed to be tough, able to handle anything, We're supposed to be the kind of people who finish wrapping up the body of a person that we tried to save for the last hour, then move on to the next one in the blink of an eye.

If you say that those difficult patients don't bother you, you are lying. Of course they do. They wear on us. We wouldn't be human if they didn't.

So what do we do to be able to maintain a perspective? One of the best things we can do is go to classes within our specialty, go to conferences, in the case of ER nurses, go to the ENA convention. You have to get outside of your personal situation every once in a while, to realize how cool being an ER nurse really is.

I am always amazed at the knowledge of the nurses who present classes. It is really fun to see nurses who are dedicated to making our profession better. Getting together with other ER nurses who don't work in your ER, gives you a new perspective. My advice to anyone getting into ER nursing: Get out and participate in classes, join ENA, go to the convention. I know its not easy, who has the time? Make the time. It makes facing your shift in the ER tomorrow a lot easier.


Anthony Phipps said...

Thank you for the kind words about ENA and our conference.

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rnraquel said...

I totally agree. Sometimes I have to get outside myself and remind myself that it was once my dream to have "RN" after my name. Going to a cool class is very helpful in bringing back that feeling.

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