Travel Nursing: What does a Travel ER Nurse do?

Travel nursing is like living the best of both worlds, being able to help people who are in need and being able to go around to see different places, being given the opportunity to try and work in different specialties and hospitals or healthcare facilities around the country. Emergency Room (ER) nurses could care for different kinds of patients who come into the hospital’s department. There are a few ER travel nurse jobs that you could choose from. So, what does a travel ER nurse do?

What is an ER Travel Nurse?

Emergency Room (ER) Travel nurses are those people who work in the front lines of the hospital or healthcare facility that they work in. They should always be prepared to handle every and any cases that may or may not arrive in the emergency department and they are known to be natural problem solvers and could work calmly despite all of the chaos that is surrounding them on a daily basis.

Stabilization is the key when you are an Emergency Room Nurse. Things in the ER move rather quickly all the time so ER nurses should know how to move quick, have top-notch critical thinking skills, and have the ability to work with large teams of clinicians. They also have to deal with a lot of anxious family members and they have a tough emotional strain as they often may or may not see a bunch of patients who are at their worst.

There are a ton of ER nurses who chose this profession because of the intensity and the fast paced nature that the Emergency Room brings. They have to be adaptable, quick on their feet, and be ready to take any and every patient at any cost. Unlike the other departments in the hospital or healthcare facility, the nurses have no idea what illnesses or disease they have once the patients have entered the room, and since other times the patients that are brought in are unconscious, they also do not know what happened. Because of this, ER nurses have to work together, as a team, to try and figure out and build a possible story or hopefully come up with a diagnosis.

As an ER nurse, your patients would range from a 1-day-old baby, to 101 years old. There are going to be some shifts where you would have one teenager in the room, a new born in the next, a 95-year-old down the hallway and a 38-year-old next to them which is why it takes so much responsibility. They often compare being an ER nurse to being a chameleon, having to be adequate and knowledgeable about everything, at the same time, being expert on nothing.

How to Become an Emergency Room Nurse

A lot of the Emergency Room Nurses hold the following certificates:

  • Basic Life Support (BLS)
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
  • Stroke Certifications from NIHSS (NIH)

And there are a lot of Emergency Room Nurses who build their credentials using the following certificates:

  • Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course (ENPC)
  • Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)
  • Trauma Nurse Core Course (TNCC)

Also, with the cases of violence against nurses rising, a lot of facilities and hospitals across the country are searching for possible solutions to fix that, so many of the Emergency Room travel nursing jobs now require Crisis Prevention Training or CPI. You could negotiate this with your facility though, so you don’t have to worry.

What is it Like to Work as an ER Travel Nurse?

As an ER Travel Nurse, you are going to have to work alongside doctors and you get to build relationships with your patients from day 1. You are expected to be able to pick up a normal assignment and be completely independent, which would usually take up about 4 to 6 beds. You should already know the procedures and the only thing that the staff would have to teach you is give you orientation to the unit, learn where all of the equipment is, and get to know the staff.

Some ER Travel Nurse Advice

  1. Be Confident

As a nurse who is constantly thrust into a new environment, you have to show your skill but also be humble in aspects that you do not know. There are ways on being confident without coming across as arrogant.

  1. Be Adaptable

As an ER nurse, this job would be incredibly frustrating for you if you could not quickly learn and pick up on new methods and workflows.

  1. Don’t Compare Hospitals to Your Previous Ones

Every hospital and healthcare facility has their own procedures and workflow, and it is so much easier to just accept the new place as it is.

Who to Follow and ER Resources

  • STN: Society of Trauma Nurses
    • STN on Facebook
  • ENA: Emergency Nurses Association
    • @enaorg 
    • ENA on Facebook
  • Podcasts
    • EM Cases
    • EMCRIT podcast
  • Instagram Accounts
    • @nurselifeRN 
    • @nursesofinstagram 
    • @nursesabnormalities 
  • Instagram Hashtags
    • #ernurses
    • #emergencynurse
    • #traumanurse
    • #travelwithtnaa