I’m an emergency department nurse.
In the emergency department, people’s emotions are very high. A lot of them are angry and frustrated. They think they are getting the short end of the stick. So, communication is very important. And that’s what’s gone by the way side. If people would just talk with each other a little more, instead of looking at their smart phones. Smart phones make us stupid. I get frustrated by staff members who are on their phones in the department. It takes away from the human aspect.”
My favourite area of the emergency department is triage, where people come in. I like hearing their stories and that they need my expertise. I like that I can direct them in a way of “This is what’s going to happen today. It sounds like it’s a kidney stone. This is what we are going to do. We’ll give you something for pain; if you get nauseous we’ll give you something….” And answer a few questions in that 5 minutes. I really like that – it makes me happy to be there.
“There are a lot of good things I have seen in my 25 years. And there are a lot of not so great things. Mostly we have become so much busier. It seems very task oriented. And the human element of emergency nursing, for sure, has gone. You really can’t develop many relationships.”
I don’t think we learn enough from our mistakes.
“We hear about other people’s mistakes, but we don’t hear about our own. It is really easy for people to say ‘This patient was just at that other hospital and they did this?!’ You hear about the bad other hospitals. But no one ever says ‘Do you know that we sent home a patient with meningitis?’ ‘Did you know that we sent home a person with pertussis and he wasn’t on treatment?’ We never hear about what we do. It is too bad.”
The thing I enjoy the most about my job is when people say thank you.
“When they walk past the triage desk again, and they look at me and say ‘Thank you, you were right – it was a kidney stone!’ The best! It keeps me going for months and months.”