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The Role of the RN in the ER (Emergency Room) - Essay Example

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The Role of the RN in the ER (Emergency Room)

Emergency nursing globally is undergoing rapid changes and is intensifying in relation to possibility and complexity of practice (Fry and Burr, 2001). Today the health care set ups are in a continuous phase of change that calls for better independence in decision-making and patient management (Beetson, 2004). The changes in RN roles especially in the ER are a result of increased public and political demands to set up higher benchmarks in the medical field (Gardner et al., 2007). Subsequently, emergency departments are focused to undertake initiatives to successfully meet government lay-down key performance standards and benchmarks that determine the performance of the healthcare units. Role of Registered Nurses In different parts of the world today the ER nurses have adapted their responsibility to incorporate tasks that were formerly undertaken by medical staff. For instance, suturing wounds, plastering fractures, and recording of electrocardiograms, X-raying of patients with potential fractures, and cannulation of patients are important tasks that ER nurses undertake (Neades, 1997). In recent years the educational qualification of an Emergency Nurse Practitioner in addition to sound nursing practice based on all aspects of nursing is an essential criterion. However, in general the requirement is formal post-basic education in holistic assessment, physical diagnosis, prescription of treatment and promotion of health. The Emergency Nurse Practitioner is a key member of the healthcare team directly available to members of the public (Neades, 1997). Hence in several health care set ups it is expected that the nurses must be an independent practitioner who is able to assess, diagnose, treat and discharge patients without reference to a doctor. Since this job comes with high responsibility, there are several guidelines provided by the government as well as the health care set up. Additionally, the nurses must be able to make independent referrals to other healthcare professionals (Neades, 1997). A variety of roles such as identification and management of minor injuries, preliminary scans, pain management, recommendation to other health professionals, and health promotion activities are the role of registered nurses. According to the Royal College of Nursing the role of registered nurses in ER include, several investigative tests (such as X-rays), preceding to the patient being seen by the specialist (Neades, 1997). It is a well known fact that the role of nurses is not restricted to the health care units but is also extended into the society. For instance, the health promotion aspects are also highlighted, signifying how their knowledge and skills can be further utilised to care for vulnerable groups in cases of emergencies. In order to reduce the over-crowding in the emergency rooms to some extend, the Nurse Practitioner may undertake advanced roles such as the assessment and treatment of injuries, as well as developing a health promotion and accident prevention role within the community (Neades, 1997). It is believed that the ER nurses may have a positive role in primary care delivery and reduce the work load of the doctors. Diverse needs and the function of NPs will vary between institutions and around the world. For example, registered nurses are qualified nurses with additional education at a graduate or masters level and successfully fulfilled a registration examination proving ...Show more


The Role of the RN in the ER (Emergency Room) (12 March 2012) The Role of the RN in the ER (Emergency Room) Introduction Emergency Rooms (ER) are the most important places where the Registered Nurses (RN) is seen to take up more specialised and sophisticated roles and put forward their skills specific to their area of expertise…
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