The emergency room (ER) in a hospital is where patients are initially treated for an illness or injury that cannot wait for a regularly-scheduled appointment with a doctor. Emergency rooms treat everything from car accident victims to heart attack victims. Emergency room jobs include physicians, nurses, technicians and staff — all of whom are necessary to keep the emergency room running smoothly and safely.
Although all emergency room jobs are important, an ER cannot function without a physician. An ER physician is a medical doctor who has completed all the training and licensing necessary to become a doctor. In most cases, this includes an undergraduate education, medical school, and a residency where the doctor learns how to implement all the education and training he or she has received. An emergency room doctor does not specialize in one area of medicine as an emergency room can present illnesses or injuries that come from all conceivable areas of medicine. Of all the possible emergency room jobs, a physician requires the most education and carries the most responsibility; however, an ER physician will also have the highest salary of all jobs in the emergency room.
Another integral part of an emergency room are the nurses. Nurses are generally the most abundant of all emergency room jobs as they handle the majority of the contact with patients. Education requirements for a nurse will vary by jurisdiction, although in most cases a nurse must complete two to four years of college at a minimum. As with physicians, emergency room nurses do not specialize in any particular area of medicine as they must be prepared to care for and treat anything that comes through the door. Emergency room nurses must be able to handle a very stressful work environment and be willing to work long, often unpredictable shifts.
ER technicians are another job category within emergency room jobs. The term "technician" is a broad category that may encompass individuals who have been trained to handle specific tasks within the emergency room, such as a radiology technician. It may also refer to someone who has the basic education that a nurse receives, but did not attend school for as long as a nurse. For example, in the United States, a licensed practical nurse may draw blood, take a patient's blood pressure, or inquire as to the patient's medical history among other job responsibilities.
The ER staff rounds out the possible emergency room jobs. The staff will include people who great the patients as they enter and ascertain what the patient's injury or ailment is that requires attention. The staff will also keep track of who is working, what patient is in what room. and complete necessary insurance paperwork for the patients.