A day in the life of an A&E nurse

Some A&E departments are at capacity and hospitals are busier than ever. With increasing demand and pressure on nurses and other emergency professionals we’d like to say thank you for their hard work, commitment and compassionate care during moments of need.

Eleni, a Pulse Nurse who has worked in A&E for nine years gave us some insight in to what a typical day at the office looks like for her.

What does an average day on an A&E ward look like?

Every day is different, some days it can get a little crazy ranging from minor injuries to very serious conditions and having to think fast on our feet. Common emergencies can be heart attacks, or a road traffic accident or a simple fall someone might have had at home; you can never predict who’s going to come in. A lot of people come through A&E and it’s our job to make sure they are all seen as quickly as possible.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Overflow stations. As A&E nurses, we must be able to meet breach time (maximum time it takes to be seen in an A&E department) whilst giving quality care to patients, being able to achieve this is great but can also be very challenging. Sadly one of the challenges we sometimes have to deal with is verbal abuse from patients. A&E can be a stressful environment where emotions run high for patients and family members so it can be tough to manage at times.

What is the most rewarding part of your day?

Making sure the people we see are well again and back on the mend. I always appreciate patients who have been waiting to be seen still praising the care that we give. Positive feedback from them can be as simple as someone saying thank you.

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If you could change one thing about A&E what would it be?

The breach time – In my opinion A&E departments always need more staff. Looking after everyone whilst ensuring you look after yourself can be extremely difficult. Alerts are in place based on how long patients have been in the department so pressure starts to mount for staff if the waiting time is creeping up to the four hour mark.

What would you say to someone looking to become an A&E agency nurse?

For new nurses I would say the inductions at hospitals are very good and a great way to help you learn the ropes. Being an A&E nurse is not easy; there is a lot of pressure so you need to make sure you have a good work to life balance. The job is really rewarding and you’ll soon thrive off of the busy environment.

For nurses’ thinking of agency work, go for it! It makes a nice change to a normal rota and you get to pick and choose when you work to suit you. Working in different hospitals you get to build your experience, learn from others and become exposed to a lot of procedures. I tend to know where and when I need to be places in the next week so I can plan my personal life around my schedule.

Do you want to join Pulse?

If you’re thinking of becoming an agency nurse contact the team today or register and a member of the team will be in touch shortly.

Don’t miss out, browse through our latest A&E nursing job opportunities to begin your career with Pulse.

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