The life of an A & E nurse is one that most people will have various views on, including that it’s not an easy job. If you work in nursing and are thinking about switching to a more varied and challenging role or if you want to know more about a career in A & E nursing, read on…
A & E nursing offers a huge variety of work, absolutely no two days will be the same and anything can happen at any point. Preparation and willingness to move with the rapid changes in pace and tasks is vital. A & E nurses are exceptional in their ability to react and treat all patients with varying concerns. Whilst in practice, it is an impossible task for a nurse to ‘know everything’, the advantage of A & E nursing is constant learning; every day is an education from which something can be taken, developed and perfected in the future.
No pain no gain
As all medical professionals will understand, nursing is a physically taxing job. An A & E nurse will naturally constitute a certain level of unavoidable physical discomfort, preparing a few methods for dealing with this will work wonders. Due to the amount of time nurses spend on their feet, comfortable shoes are essential. Likewise, other bodily aches and pains are inevitable. Working out a few good stretches that can ward these off will be important and trying to develop a good posture will also help.
Frontline of the NHS
As in any nursing role, a career in A & E will involve its fair share of frustrations and patience-testing issues.
Many describe A & E departments as the frontline of the NHS, healthcare professionals working in that capacity are exposed to issues such as bed management, waiting times, satisfaction targets and many other factors.
Given the nature of patients visiting A & E often requiring emergency medical attention, there can be issues around verbal and physical abuse. Those under the influence of drink and drugs may pose problems, A & E departments at times regularly employ security staff and possibly even uniformed police to ensure staff and patients are in a safe environment.
Friendly face for patients
A & E nursing goes far beyond the traditionally accepted tasks of taking ECG’s and temperatures, administering injections or cleaning and dressing wounds. A & E nursing encompasses things such as assisting patients to use the toilet and helping them to turn on televisions and radios. While on paper these may seem easy and perhaps trivial tasks, they help patients establish personal links with their nurse. Visits to A & E are often an unexpected, daunting and frightening experience for patients, A & E nurses offer the face-to-face comfort and reassurance to make patients and their family feel more at ease.
A career as an A & E nurse may well be challenging, but every single shift, you have the opportunity to make a difference. It is one of the most potentially rewarding career paths a nurse can take.