By Harriet Bascombe, freelance health issue writer
What Does an Emergency Room Nurse Do?
Although all nurses have important jobs, an emergency room nurse has a much higher level of responsibility than many other nurses do. Since many patients who come to the emergency room are suffering from life-threatening illnesses or injuries, it is important that an emergency room nurse can work quickly and accurately. Emergency room nurses work directly under physicians and are in charge of making important decisions, such as which patients should be treated first and which injuries are the first priority. They are also in charge of cleaning and sterilizing equipment, documenting important patient information and caring for patients.
The Dangers Emergency Room Nurses Face
Emergency room nurses have very fulfilling jobs and save many lives, but the job does not come without danger. Working in a high stress environment and working with patients can be risky, and working with certain medical equipment can cause injury. Here are a few potential risks that emergency room nurses face every day:
- Since emergency room nurses deal with those who are critically ill or injured, they also work with people who are very afraid and worried. Patients in a scary situation or grief-stricken family members may act irrationally, which could lead to violence and harm towards emergency room nurses and other emergency room staff. In many cases, the emergency room is the first contact that medical staff has had with sick or injured patients and they may not be fully aware of any mental health problems that a patient suffers from. This could lead to dangerous situations if a nurse is not prepared to deal with these mental health issues.
- Emergency room nurses run the risk of being exposed to bodily fluids that could transmit infections or diseases.
- Since emergency room nurses have to work quickly, if they are not careful they could easily poke or otherwise harm themselves with needles and other sharp objects.
- Responsible for the cleaning and sanitizing of medical equipment, emergency room nurses run the risk of developing respiratory problems after repeated exposure to chemicals and cleaning solutions.
- Working long shifts and running around on hard hospital floors can cause back problems and other problems for emergency room nurses. Back injury and strain can also be caused by lifting and assisting heavy patients.
What kind of health insurance plans do emergency room nurses have? Do hospitals give their emergency room nurses discounts on health services?
Benefits packages and health insurance plans vary based on the hospital where an emergency nurse is employed. Most emergency room nurses are offered competitive and reliable health insurance plans. Some hospitals offer free health insurance for their emergency room nurses and other hospital staff, while others offer it at an affordable rate.
If you are considering becoming an emergency room nurse and are curious about the health insurance plans and other benefits offered by a particular hospital, the human resources department should be able to answer some of your questions.