I used to wonder what happens inside the Emergency Room of hospitals, what it would be like for a patient, for a doctor, and most especially for a nurse. As a nursing student, and as part of our program I was given an opportunity to have a clinical experience inside the Emergency Room. I had a three hour experience inside the emergency room. Inside the emergency room, I took care of a patient who was admitted for food poisoning. My job was to take care of the patient and to assist the doctor. But the focus of the experience was primarily to take care of the patient.
Our patient was there because of food poisoning. He was being administered with Flagyl (metronidazole) , an oral synthetic antiprotozoal and antibacterial agent. I helped in the medicine administration. I removed the Nasogastric tube, which was passed through the nose and down through the patient’s nasopharynx and esophagus into the stomach. The flexible tube made of rubber or plastic was used to remove the contents of the stomach, including air, to decompress the stomach, or to remove small solid objects and fluid, in this case the poison, from the stomach.
The process was quick but I had to be careful because I was mindful of not hurting the patient in any way, I know that the removal of the nasogastric tube would cause discomfort and pain on the patient if I was not careful. My participation in the treatment of the food poisoning patient was little but I would say indispensable. What counts most was the care that I gave the patient. A nurse inside the emergency room must at all times be attentive, alert and prepared. Inside the emergency room, the pace is quick and one should not be negligent of details. Every patient admitted are in need of urgent attention, which must be given.
I was interested in the fast paced environment inside the emergency room. The movement of people gave me energy. The adrenaline level of people was high and was contagious, such that if you were there, you would feel the rush and would be driven by the same energy. However, my experience was only for three hours and I can only speak for myself. I believe that should one be employed as an emergency room nurse, one should know all the aspects of this type of nursing. A nurse may be come across several setbacks such as injuries from sharp objects such as needles, blades, etc.
Also, patients in the emergency room have not been diagnosed before coming, thus they may present a risk of infection . The stress of handling patients , some of whom may be heavy may bring about musculoskeletal problems and back pain . Continuous work while standing or walking causes fatigue and leg problems. These possibilities must not detract a nursing student. They are only possibilities, but with proper care and diligence they may be avoided. What is important to take into consideration is that in the emergency room, we help save lives by assisting those who need urgent care and medication.