Emergency Registered Nurse shares her story

I work as a Registered Nurse in emergency.  When I first see you, you might be facing a life or death situation.  You might be afraid and alone and unable to communicate with me to tell me what’s wrong. You might be wondering where your family is.  You might be wondering what’s going to happen to you and if you’re going to be okay.  You might be feeling confused and may not remember what happened and how you ended up in emergency.

I will be with you to make sure that you are safe and stable; to make sure your family’s been contacted, you are told what’s happening, and that the necessary interventions are done.  Even if you are not responding to me, I will continue to tell you what’s happening.  Even if you can’t communicate that you understand, I will continue to explain everything that’s going on around you.

The ultimate goal of a registered nurse in emergency is to make sure that you are properly assessed and safely transported on to the next level of care that you require – we deal with life threatening injuries first and then ensure you are safely transported to the operating room or to the ICU.

It is hard to work with someone and not be emotionally touched in some way; to care about their story or to care about their circumstances. I care about whether people are going to go home and be okay.  I think there are a lot of people in our city and in our province who don’t have anyone to take care of them and they come to us in emergency because they’re desperate for some help. Knowing that every shift I have the potential to have meaningful encounters with people and to help them during their darkest times makes being a Registered Nurse very rewarding.

Erin Rutten, RN, Emergency