The Emergency Department (ED) nurse is unlike any other. The population in the ED is highly diversified by both age and disease process. The ED cares for all ages and populations across a broad spectrum of disease, injury prevention and life-saving measures. For example, a person can come in unconscious, the next with an earache. The scope of emergency nursing practice encompasses the standard nursing process: assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation. In addition, emergency nursing practice also requires a unique blend of generalized and specialized assessment, intervention, and management skills due to the dynamic, unpredictable and complex environment that operates twenty four hours a day. Providing optimal patient care requires the coordination of many different teams and services within the health system. As providers of care, nurses assume responsibility for helping clients promote, restore, and maintain health and wellness. It is the job of the nurse to assess the patient, analyze their needs, develops nursing diagnoses, and plan, deliver, and evaluate the nursing interventions. Generally, it is the nurse who spends the most time with the patient; therefore they have the best opportunity for observing, communicating, and identifying problems in the plan of care. The nurse is able to make decisions based on physical assessment and direct observation of the patient.
One of the nurse’s most important roles is to protect their patients. Nurses act as advocates in many situations; for example, by communicating the needs and concerns of patients and ensuring they understand their treatments. They are responsible for thoroughly understanding their patient’s health problems, histories, and potential problems.
As the patient’s care coordinator the nurse must coordinate the patient’s care plan with the various health care providers in addition to managing their own time. When patients first arrive in the emergency department, and depending on the...
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