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As an ER nurse, you’re drawn to the excitement of not knowing what each shift will bring, or the adrenaline rush of caring for people dealing with acute conditions that need immediate attention. Here are 5 tips for ER nurses preparing to travel:

#1: ER Travel Nurses Need to be Fast Learners

Life in the Emergency Department is hectic, and no two emergency departments are the same.  You need to be able to adapt to your new facility’s way of doing things quickly. If you’ve been successful in the ER department before, you’ve probably already honed this skill to a fine point. If you’re thinking of traveling as an ER RN, make sure you are comfortable catching on quickly, learning from your mistakes, and asking the right questions!

#2: Communication is Key for ER Nurses

As mentioned in the previous point, you must be comfortable asking questions and learning from your fellow nurses. You also need to be able to communicate the status of your patients quickly, allowing you to properly assess what’s a priority at the moment.

#3: Invest in Yourself

As a nurse in the Emergency Department, you will become familiar with the patient population. It’s common to see patients with mental health problems, disabilities, or chronic illnesses, which can be difficult to treat. This can stress you out — that’s why it’s important to make sure you’re caring for yourself. That can come in many forms: physical exercise, like yoga, running, or working out, is a great way to keep your mind clear. Find time to connect with your co-workers: they also know what you’re going through and can lend a shoulder to you. If you have hobbies, make sure you’re giving yourself time to enjoy them. The level of care you provide comes from the level of care you give yourself!

#4: Help Educate your Patients

One of the most rewarding things about being an ER nurse is educating patients on how they can reduce the number of subsequent ER visits for similar or chronic conditions. Your unit manager will love seeing your commitment to bettering patient outcomes and easing future stress for the patient. They’ll also appreciate your effort in attempting to decrease the workload. Remember to be patient with these folks as they don’t have the same knowledge that you do. If you want to do more to help the patients you see, try to connect with educators and other nurses at your facility that can empower you to help patients manage their conditions on their own.

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