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Assessment/ treatment/ implementation/ evaluation of patients who present to A&E. Triaging patients who present to A&E and prioritising their care Liaising with medical staff/ multi-disciplinary team to ensure that patients receive a high standard of care. Supporting the shift manager in her role to ensure patient flow through the department.
Essential Criteria: 18 months' experience at grade D in an acute care setting and A&E experience Desirable criteria: Intravenous cannulation course Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum Advanced Life Support.
I spent my first 3 years as a nurse working on medical wards within the NHS which I believe gave me a good knowledge base for working in A&E. I then decided to move to Canada where I spent 3 years working in a community hospital, gaining surgical/ medical/ obstetrical/ A&E/ ICU experience as a staff nurse and as a Nursing coordinator. Working in Canada was the best move I ever made; it gave me the opportunity to develop my skills as a nurse/manager/leader in areas that I would never have had the opportunity to within the UK.
It allowed me to continue to develop my skills as an A&E nurse. I can explore different career opportunities available to A&E nurses e.g. minor injury courses, suturing & specialist practice courses at degree/masters level. To develop my leadership skills.
The unpredictability of working in A&E. The challenge of looking after patients in a fast-paced environment. The variety of illnesses from Myocardial infarction cut finger- fractured bones- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
I spent 3 years in Canada working in a community hospital where I was given the opportunity to develop as a nurse and to work with some amazing people who taught me so much. The courses and conferences that I have been able to attend where I have developed an increased knowledge. Having mentors and supportive members of staff in every job I have had.
I would advise a colleague to gain experience in medical/surgical nursing on a ward, this gives you a good knowledge foundation, which I believe you require for A&E. Be prepared for a working environment that is fast-paced and never the same. Be prepared for difficult situations and learning something new every day.
I think my assessment skills have improved since I started in my current position. My knowledge base continues to expand on a daily basis. I have found dealing with a variety of people from different backgrounds with differing illnesses/ situations has improved my communication skills. I have learned that you need to be adaptable in certain situations. As an A&E nurse you come to expect a certain amount of confrontation from the general public but you also have to learn the appropriate way in which to deal with it. I think this skill will continue to evolve with experience, taking into account that there are no right or wrong answers.
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