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On being a nurse in the Emergency Room

Ryan McVay | Digital Vision | Thinkstock

Recently, many of you participated in scrubsmag.com’s “You Know You’re a Nurse When…” stethoscope giveaway contest. Although we were only able to pick four winners, many entries were so good that we wanted to share others.

Louise Eberle, RN, submitted the following essay on how she feels about being an ER nurse:

You are tired, extremely busy, slightly inundated, but have a sense that things are under control and going well. It’s approximately two hours before your 12-hour shift is completed. You pause for a few brief seconds and think about the nice hot shower you will take when you get home, and the good meal you will have with your family.

But back to reality.

Your ER is filled to capacity. Some of the patients include one with a GI bleed; one in status asthmaticus; a six-year-old girl who has been hit by a car and has a fractured femur; a 46-year-old male with an inferior wall MI receiving TPA, who just reperfused; and a woman stung by a bee and in anaphylactic shock.

You then receive a call from MICU, and they are transporting a patient in full cardiac arrest. You take a deep breath, and know with the help, support, expertise, teamwork and camaraderie of your fellow ER nurses and MDs, you will do fine. Without skipping a beat, you begin to prioritize, prepare and simultaneously gather all your knowledge, and move forward in anticipation for anything that comes your way.

Louise Eberle, RN

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