What Does a Trauma Nurse Do?

NursingJanuary 04, 2013

The life of a trauma nurse can be nerve wracking and chaotic, but it can also offer a level of excitement that most people just cannot find with their normal daily jobs. Because of this, it truly does take a special type of person to be able to work in the trauma field. The nurses who work in this area need to be able to think and act quickly, so that they might be able to provide a fast initial assessment of a patient in an emergency and ensure that the patient receives the correct type of care. It Takes Specialized Education and Dedication While it is going to take a special type of person to become a trauma nurse, it will also take years of schooling and specialized training. Most of the time, you will find trauma nurses in locations such as emergency rooms or critical care units. While not always the case, sometimes a trauma nurse might accompany an ambulance or more commonly participate in air medical operations. In addition, in the event of large disasters that affect a community or city, trauma nurses will step into action to help. They have the skills and the knowledge to be able to offer some invaluable help in these situations. One of the areas where nurses in trauma will have to study if they are working in high risk environments, such as after a natural disaster, is triage. In triage, the nurse is going to be able to assess patients by the severity of their injuries quickly so that the most injured receive treatment first. This will help to guide the physicians and surgeons to work on the patients who are at greater risk first. Trauma Nurses Make the Difference The main role of the trauma nurse is going to be to help stabilize the patient as quickly as possible. Skills learned during specialized education and on the job help these nurses make the right decisions for their patient’s health. Fast thinking and being able to work under pressure are two skills that one cannot teach in a classroom. While it is possible to develop these skills, those who find the most success in the field are those who naturally do well in high-pressure situations. Those who get into the field of trauma nursing may have a background in emergency medical care already, and they may want to further their career. Those who are Army medics or Navy Corpsmen receive training for battlefield medicine, and many of the skills they learn are going to be similar to those of EMTs and trauma nurses. It is natural for those who were in this field to pursue a nursing degree and get into trauma nursing. Others, even those who have no healthcare experience, may find that the thought of becoming one of these nurses is exciting and challenging. The career is one that can take a heavy toll on those who do not prepare for it mentally, physically, and emotionally. It is important to understand the full role of the trauma nurse before deciding this specialty is one you want to pursue.

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