What does a Trauma Nurse do?

Jessica Ellis

A trauma nurse is a medical professional who specializes in emergency treatment. These dedicated professionals are often instrumental in assessing the initial condition of an emergency patient and ensuring correct treatment is given. Trauma nurses are highly trained, and may spend years in school learning a wide and varied skill set.

Trauma nurses may be sent to disaster sites to help treat wounded people.
Trauma nurses may be sent to disaster sites to help treat wounded people.

Trauma nurses are often found in locations where emergencies are likely to occur. Many work in hospital emergency rooms or critical care units. In some areas, a trauma nurse may serve with an ambulance crew or be dispatched to help with the transport of patients from remote areas. Many military organizations employee people with a background in trauma nursing to serve as medics with deployed units.

A trauma nurse is essential in assessing the initial condition of an emergency patient.
A trauma nurse is essential in assessing the initial condition of an emergency patient.

Although a trauma nurse must possess many skills, one of the most important is the ability to asses the severity of a patient's condition. Because many of these medical professionals work in environments where multiple patients are brought in at once, the ability to determine who needs help first is critical to saving lives. In large scale emergencies, such as an earthquake or other disaster, trauma nurses often employ a system known as triage, in which patients are grouped according to level injury. This organizational skill is key to ensuring that doctors deal with patients in critical condition first.

A trauma nurse may be responsible for monitoring a patient's vital signs while the patient awaits treatment.
A trauma nurse may be responsible for monitoring a patient's vital signs while the patient awaits treatment.

The immediate job of a trauma nurse is typically to stabilize a patient while the patient is waiting for treatment. This may include administering fluids such as blood or saline, monitoring all vital signs, giving initial doses of medication and resuscitating patients who have stopped breathing or lost vital signs. Most trauma nurses specialize in critical or life-threatening cases; their job is often to keep the patient alive until further treatment can occur.

Trauma nurses often work as part of an ambulance crew.
Trauma nurses often work as part of an ambulance crew.

On the battlefield, a medic may serve as a trauma nurse when injuries occur. In addition to providing care, these brave professionals must also be able to quickly assess the surroundings and determine how and when to rescue injured soldiers and civilians. Typically, these nurses receive military training as well as medical training, and often are responsible for keeping fellow soldiers alive throughout a battle or deployment.

Trauma nurses may serve as medics and treat people on scene.
Trauma nurses may serve as medics and treat people on scene.

Since trauma nurses work primarily with emergency and life-threatening cases, they must be able to remain calm under pressure and have stamina to withstand long hours. Some nurses may work on shifts lasting days with little time for sleep or meals. A trauma nurse that can handle the inherent stress and difficulty of the job is a highly valued person in the medical profession.

Trauma nurses work primarily with emergency and life-threatening cases.
Trauma nurses work primarily with emergency and life-threatening cases.
Trauma nurses often work in emergency rooms.
Trauma nurses often work in emergency rooms.
Trauma nurses may be dispatched to the homes of people experiencing a medical emergency.
Trauma nurses may be dispatched to the homes of people experiencing a medical emergency.

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Discussion Comments

anon308305

I'm a high school student who is writing an essay about being a trauma nurse. Is there any good pointers that you can give me because I seem to just be finding the same stuff over and over again.

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