It is hard to imagine a hospital without an emergency department today. Yet, in the early 1900’s Emergency Departments were nonexistent. Typically hospitals had one or two “accident or emergency rooms” in the entire building. I once spoke with a retired nurse named Betty, who recalls the days “when the ER was just one room. There was not even an ER doctor; you had to call in the primary doctor for orders when a patient came in.” It was not until the 1970’s that full size Departments of Emergency medicine started to emerge. It was about the same time that the Emergency Nurses Association was formed. Yet, nearly 40 years later, on August 2011, emergency nursing was finally declared its own specialty by the American Nursing Association (ANA).
If you have ever worked in the Emergency Department, you know just how unique a place it can be. Some may call the ED chaotic, but most of us like to think of it as organized chaos. In many hospitals, the ER is nick-named the “front door;” as in 70-90% of patients admitted to the hospital typically arrive through the ER. Emergency nursing has essentially become the front line of hospital nursing. But how can we develop and grow front line nurses when so many nursing programs still do not include emergency nursing as a part of their curriculum? Most of your ER nursing skills are obtained through on-the-job training. When I became a preceptor, I started looking for ER orientation tools to help guide our young ER nurses. Alas, no such tools existed. So I sought to create such a tool.
The source of my inspirations comes from a colleague and dear friend that I precepted many years ago. I was determined to not send her to the front lines of nursing without the proper tools. I started putting together a packet of the most common ED diseases processed and interventions. However, I overlooked just how broad the spectrum was for ER patients. Needless to say, my “packet” quickly blossomed into a book. I also had some helpful feedback from several new ER nurses, veteran preceptors, and colleagues to create what has been described as a “boots on the ground” approach to emergency nursing orientation.
Whether you like to learn through storytelling, questions and answers, tables, pictures, or just plain facts, you can find your learning style(s) in this book. Fast Facts for the ER Nurse not only prepares you for the most common injuries and illness you will see, but also is full of realistic tips and tricks of the trade. This second edition has been updated with the new 2010 American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines, updated Stroke care, and suicide assessment. Many new graduate nurses lack a strong knowledge base in cardiac dysrhythmias. This is why a new appendix was specifically added to include the various EKG dysrhythmias. New chapters include Triage, Environmental Emergencies, and Endocrine Emergencies. Let’s face it, in the ER you have to act fast and think on your feet; you need just the facts, Fast Facts. From its useful tables, illustrations, and real life stories to the updated materials, new chapters, and appendixes this ER orientation manual has it all.