Choosing to work in emergency medicine is a big decision. Even if you have worked in other areas of the field, nothing can prepare you for the challenges of the emergency department.
Both my sister Dr Brunt, her husband and my aunty have worked in the Emergency department and from the stories they have shared, it takes a lot of hard work to develop the skills needed to be the best for the patients you treat.
Whether you’re working as an emergency medicine doctor, specialist nurse, or nursing assistant, your role is vital to the quick treatment and recovery of patients. You must be able to thrive in a fast-paced environment and there’s no time for panicking when patients’ lives are in your hands.
Emergency medicine is not a career for the faint-hearted and you will see some gory things. But you will need to keep a professional face and use your expertise to help your patients to overcome their injuries and illnesses.
Working in emergency medicine is incredibly rewarding but it’s not fit for everyone. To help you decide if it’s the right career path for you, here are four skills that you need to succeed when working in emergency medicine.
In emergency medicine, you will be responding to medical alert systems and emergency alarms. You will need to think and act quickly as every second counts when a patient is in serious need of help.
Your ability to think on your feet and quickly come up with solutions to nurse your patients back to optimal health is vital to your success. Whether you need to decide on the right type of medication for a patient or whether they are in need of emergency surgery, your whole day revolves around quick decision-making.
Of course, you won’t be completely on your own in your decision-making. You will be working closely with the rest of the team. However, your decision counts, and your team members will look to you for advice when in need.
Another core scale of every emergency medicine worker is being able to work well within a larger team.
Where do you work in the ER department in a hospital or you are part of the community-based emergency services team, you will never be working alone. Instead, you will be part of a much larger team that provides medical care to those who desperately need it.
You will work alongside the rest of the multidisciplinary team to determine the best types of treatment for every patient that you see. Together, you will create effective treatment plans that will provide the best outcomes for each patient.
As an emergency medicine worker, you will need great organization skills. Not only will you need to organize your own work schedule and find a work-life balance, but you will also need to help your patients to stay organized.
If you’re working in the ER department, you will help patients prepare themselves to head back home after a stay in the hospital. If you’re community-based, you will need to organize your daily schedule while also being flexible when major emergencies occur.
Once you arrive at a patient’s home in the community, you will need to assess the situation and organize the right medical equipment to treat them. You might also need to help patients organize their pills so that they feel safe and happy to look after themselves after an injury or fall.
Communication is important in any department of medicine. However, it’s especially important in emergency medicine because everything is so fast-paced.
You must be able to communicate with your whole team quickly and efficiently when you are faced with an emergency. When working within a large team under strict time constraints, you must be confident in communicating your opinions and needs.
You must also be able to communicate well with your patience on a level that they understand. Patients will feel much more comfortable and less stressed when they understand exactly what is going on and it’s down to you to clearly explain the treatment process to them.
Practicing effective communication skills not only puts your patients and colleagues at ease but also makes your job easier. Communication is a key aspect of teamwork and it enables everything to run smoothly.
Great communication is required at every stage of a patient’s journey through the ER department or with the emergency services.
For example, to make an initial diagnosis, you need to know which questions to ask patients and how to wean the right information out of their stories. You also need to communicate effectively with your colleagues to confirm test results and create the best treatment program.