A day in the life of a Nurse in A&E

Naomi, aged 27 is a sister in an A&E department at a hospital in Redditch. From broken bones to life-threatening emergencies such as cardiac arrests and strokes, she can deal with a lot in a day! Tiring but rewarding, she wouldn't have it any other way!

There is never a dull day in the A&E department that nurse Naomi works in. As a sister of A&E, she is nurse-in-charge, which means she is responsible for the overall running of the department. There is never a day the same, often with shifts lasting over 14 hours. It’s tiring and often very emotional, but she wouldn’t have it any other way!

‘Being a nurse is one of the most rewarding job roles out there’ she explains to us. ‘Yes, the days are long and you often have peoples health and lives in your hands, but that’s what makes the job role so special. You get to save lives and care for those that are ill. You get to aid someone when they are at their most vulnerable.’

With hearing so much about the NHS under pressure in the news and it being vital now more than ever to recruit more nurses, we want to discover what it’s really like to be a nurse in an A&E department.

Did you always want to be a nurse?

I always wanted to work in healthcare, but originally, I actually wanted to be a physiotherapist. I had spent a lot of my teenage years getting physio on my knee and it inspired me.

When my A Level results came out, I didn't get my place at university as a physio. Although I was disappointed, it was a blessing in disguise. I went through university clearing and was offered a place on a nursing degree course. Accepting my place on that course was the best thing I ever did!

What does a day typically look like for you?

I can honestly say there is no typical day in an A&E department. No two days are the same and that's fantastic.

At the start of my shift, I will be allocated an area to manage within the A&E department. This can be minors, resus, majors, or EDU. I will be given handovers from the nurse in charge from the previous shift. This is when I will check all patients are up to date, they've had their observations, bloods, and any treatments.

It's then a case of going about daily tasks and treating patients as they come into the department. We deal with a lot in our hospital, so we can have patients come in with something minor like a broken bone, to someone in a life-threatening condition.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I would say the very fact that I get to save lives on a daily basis is my favourite thing about being a nurse. It's such a rewarding job role and to know that I've helped people, often when they are at their most vulnerable just keeps me going! It's a tough and tiring job but I wouldn't have it any other way.

How did you become a nurse?

I attended university and trained to be a nurse for three years. This involved working in a placement pretty much straight away and then attending lectures alongside this.

The age range on my course was so diverse and that's what I loved about it. It wasn't just students fresh out of college and sixth form and actually, there were a lot of mature students on my course.

Do you have any advice for aspiring nurses?

Firstly, don't let what you hear in the news put you off. Secondly, it is a tiring and emotionally demanding job, so you just need to make sure you are prepared to take on a lot.

Thank you Naomi for sharing your story with us! If you're interested in getting into nursing, take a look at our Access to HE Diploma (Health) course.

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A day in the life of a Nurse in A&E