The ER is one of the most chaotic places in the whole hospital, and it can be overwhelming at times. From the frequent flyers that come through the door to the traumas that come in covered with blood, there is rarely any downtime in the ER.
The question is, though, how do you remain calm in the face of such chaos? How do the nurses and doctors who do it every day remain so in the zone?
They know a few tricks that the newbie nurse may not know. If they know them, they may not put them into practice. Here are a few of those tricks on how to stay calm in the storm.
Take things one at a time
You may feel overwhelmed by all of the things you have to do – a thousand things! Guess what? You can only do one thing at a time.
If you can only do one thing at a time, then you need to focus on only one thing at a time. This is one of those zen moments. One thing. That’s it.
When you do one thing, it helps to calm your stress. When you are overwhelmed, focus on one thing, the most important thing, then do it and move on to the next one thing.
Ask for help
You are not alone! This is sometimes a revelation to new nurses who feel like they have to do everything themselves.
This is not true. If you need help or if you don’t know something, then you need to ask for help. It is actually safer for the patient if you ask for help.
A nurse who does not ask for help is actually a dangerous nurse. There is no possible way you can know everything, and most seasoned people in the ER expect you to not know what you are doing.
Remember you are human
You are human. You are going to mess up, sometimes significantly. It will break your heart, but it will happen.
This is the hardest part of working in the ER or any nursing floor. You will make mistakes, but you have to learn to accept them.
All nurses are humans, and all humans make mistakes. This may mean that patients get hurt, and that is so, so heart wrenching for anyone who has worked in medicine.
You need to find a way to come to terms with your own humanness. You need to find a way to accept that you will make mistakes and accept that it will be part of your experience in the ER.