What The Emergency Nurse Should Do

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The emergency department is a specialist department where patients come for their first point of care. The emergency nurse should have specialist expertise in assessing and identifying patients’ health care needs in crisis situations. In addition, an emergency nurse should establish priorities, monitor and continually assess acutely ill and or injured patients, they must support and attend to families and teach patients and families within a high pressure, time limited care environment. In the emergency department a fifteen year old girl presents with a head injury, laceration to her right thigh and grazing to her face. Her first point of contact with the emergency department is triage (Farrell, 2005, p.2158). The emergency nurse then needs to determine the clinical urgency of the patient. The emergency nurse would do a primary survey maintaining vital signs and then continue to a secondary survey of the patient, to uncover any other serious threats. The nurse shall then prepare the patient for any diagnostic tests, contact family, make sure pain is under control, monitor and document their findings (Laskowski – Jones, 2006, p.54). A patient presenting with a head injury can pose a lot of complications and the nurse needs to assess and monitor the patient thoroughly. Management of traumatic brain injury focuses on stabilisation of the patient and prevention of secondary neurologic damage due to high intracranial pressure. Assessment of the brain injury hinges on evaluation of the Glasgow coma scale, GCS and examination of the pupils (Chesnut, 2006, p.1). Nurses make important clinical decisions everyday and these decisions have an effect on the patient’s healthcare and the actions of other health care professionals, as the emergency department treats patients with various complex needs nurses need to rely on sound decision making skills and assess monitor and

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