5 THINGS I ACTUALLY LIKE ABOUT NURSING ┃ NEW GRADUATE ER NURSE

Hello all. Recently, I shared five things I dislike about my nursing job. I only thought it fair that I share five things I actually like about my nursing job. Keep reading if you are interested!

I HAVE A BIT MORE FREEDOM OF PRACTICE.

In the Emergency Room I can do things that other specialities may not be able to do (Please let me know if I am wrong). I will give an example that happened to me not too long ago. I had a patient who came in with cellulitus-like complaints of the left arm. The pt. had a cardiac history, so I know I need them on a five lead for me. They are immunocompromised and more than likely have an infection; the doctor is going to want cultures.

After getting the patient hooked up to the heart monitor, I started an IV, drew blood and two sets of cultures. I also put the order in for a rainbow (labs), urine and two sets of cultures. By the time the provider had seen the pt. and had put in the order for what labs they wanted their labs were resulted and released (aside from the cultures). This sped up the patient’s care and also helped me avoid getting swamped with other tasks for my other three patients. This is just one example of something I could probably never do if I took my other job offer to a Peds Med/Surg floor. In the ER, you slowly learn to anticipate what the provider will order which I know will improve with time.

I NEVER KNOW WHAT IS COMING THROUGH THE DOOR.

I love the fact that I never know what may roll into my rooms. I also love the fact that I don’t have the same person for days. Granted you will have the same patient multiple times (usually a person with a chronic disorder or a psych patient), but you never know when they will pop up. Some days this comes to bite me when I have four patients, two need blood, one is septic and the other has chest pain with an extensive cardiac history. On a really rough shift, one of your patients may end up on a vent and you provide care for them as well as three other sick patients. Or you might have Psych patients. You just never know what the ER is going to give you.

THE PROVIDERS ARE KIND.

99% of the MDs, NPs and PAs that I work with are very good to the nurses and have your back when patients act out. They usually hear you out if you have a concern and are usually willing to explain their rationale if you ask kindly. Now, if we have residents working, I bug the residents for everything and leave the attending alone unless something very serious is happening (or I need to pass over an EKG).

YOU LEARN. A LOT.

The ER is such a face-paced environment with so many working parts you learn to coordinate care very quickly as well as provide safe and efficient care. On any given twelve hour shift I could go through eight to thirteen patients. Each of these patients are a learning opportunity. Not to mention that there are my job also offers the option to pursue certifications (CEN, TCRN, etc.), for free as well as ultrasound IV classes. The learning never ends.

I DON’T KEEP MY PATIENTS FOR A LONG TIME.

This has changed a lot since COVID, but for the most part it is pretty rare that you hold a patient for an extensive amount of time. Some exceptions are when the hospital is out of beds (We are seeing a lot) or the patient is awaiting placement. As I mentioned, these situations are pretty rare which makes this patient population tolerable.

Those are the five things I actually like about my job. Thanks for reading!

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