Nine Tips for Nurses to Perform At Their Best in the ER

Nurses can perform their best when they work in an environment that matches their skills and abilities. Some nurses are better suited to work in a more relaxed environment like a general ward. Still, some are better suited to working in the Emergency Room – a high-stakes, dynamic, and anxiety-inducing environment.

Nurses working in Emergency Rooms are experienced by spending years in every medical facility department.

Sometimes, nurses from other areas find themselves working in the ER, whether a part-time job or a temporary assignment.

This depends on factors like staff shortage or a general emergency. Either way, nurses need to be ready for whatever comes their way.

Nurses who aren’t used to working in the Emergency Room may feel overwhelmed at times. General nurses sometimes lack the experience needed to cope with the challenging environment of an ER. In addition, they also lack info on all drugs and procedures used in a specific situation.

Regardless, general nurses need special training, higher education, and experience to feel at home in an ER. If you’re a nurse looking for some tips to perform at your best in the ER, keep reading to learn more.

  • Training & Education

Nurses should know what they’re doing when treating victims. While many of them have experience, they must ensure they’re updated with the latest in the world of medicine.

Attending seminars, classes, and workshops and performing medical procedures in different departments would be an excellent idea to start with.

As far as education is concerned, various online programs are available for nurses interested in updating their skills.

For instance,  online FNP programs are great for nurses who seek additional training to perform complex medical procedures and handle emergencies with little to no assistance. Online medical courses are also a good way to get the relevant ACLS certification and acquire the skills you’ll need.

  • Focus on saving lives

Lives are at stake, and nurses need to try their best to save as many lives as they can, which means being on your toes at all times.

In the ER, you need to assess victims as soon as possible, provide the necessary treatment, and monitor victims regularly once they receive treatment.

ER nurses must communicate effectively with other healthcare professionals. Working in tandem with other health professionals increases the odds of saving lives.

  • Cope with stress

Even for a few minutes, walking away from the patient is not an option, which means whether it’s a treatment plan or bandaging a wound, you have to be on your toes and cope with the added stress.

Since nurses are responsible for the lives of victims, walking away from the patient, even for a few minutes, is a bad idea.

  • Be Indepedent

The Emergency Room is one place where nurses need to work autonomously. They need to treat victims as soon as they enter the ER without waiting for someone to yell or scream for assistance.

Be the first one to treat and the first to ask for assistance. Quick decisions could decide whether a patient is treated or taken to the morgue.

  • Fewer Breaks, more Work

Patients cannot be left unattended for any reason. It means nurses need to make sure they grab a meal only after they have addressed the needs of the patients.

If you are hungry, grab an energy bar if another nurse is ready to take your place. In essence, the entire team should ensure patients receive the necessary treatment without delays.

  • Be Resourceful

Not only do nurses assess patients, but they also need to provide treatment as soon as possible by ensuring they use the equipment at their disposal correctly.

Nurses must be trained in using all the equipment in the ER, whether it’s the oxygen machine, the x-ray machine, medicines, injections, bandages, gloves, or the incubator.

Why? Because the longer patients wait, the closer they are to losing their lives.

  • Ask for help

Sometimes, you may find it hard to provide treatment on your own and need the help of other nurses in assessing victims, providing treatments, and monitoring patients.

It would be best to ask for help from those on duty to work as a team. At times, you can even ask physicians for help if you feel your hands are tied.

  • Communicate well

As an ER nurse, you should know what other medical staff is doing to assess the situation better and provide treatment.

For example, doctors may need to be present during surgeries to communicate effectively with nurses. At the same time, nurses should ask doctors what they’re doing to provide effective treatment for victims.

  • Watch your health

When giving treatment, nurses need to make sure that they are in good health. If you are sick or in pain during duty hours, it’s better to ask for a replacement and inform your superiors.

Working while you’re sick will only make things worse and increase the chances of medical errors.

As a nurse, your health matters too, which is why you must take care of yourself by taking admission in a gym, having a healthy diet, and taking time off when you want.


Regardless of the department and their level of experience, nurses play a vital role in the world of healthcare.

They need to ensure they perform well when treating victims to ensure positive outcomes by assessing the situation and providing treatment as soon as possible.

Communication is crucial when working in a stressful environment to help provide feedback to doctors and work well with other medical personnel present in the ER.

Knowing how to manage time, health properly, and complex medical processes are essential because this can be the difference between life and death.

If you’re a nurse interested in working in the ER, the tips mentioned above should give you a general idea of what to expect.