ER Survival

Overheard in the front, after another run. New guy on board

“How come everybody at the hospital likes you?”

“Not everybody likes me. But they don’t dislike me either. It’s not that hard, and anybody can do it. Even you. They don’t care if we are good looking, because we’re not. They don’t care if we’re funny, we’re usually not. They don’t care if we are clever, or brilliant, or bring them coffee, but that doesn’t hurt. They’re really not all that interested in how we interpret the 12 lead, or our opinions on how to treat the patient once they sign off.

They want somebody who gives a good, clear and concise report, and does an IV when it’s needed, and follows the protocols. triageCompetency is more important than personality. And be consistent, and don’t be miserable, there’s plenty of that, you don’t need to add to it. Do that and you’ll be fine.”

“That’s it?”

“One more thing. Treat your patients well. Even the ones who aren’t sick. Show them respect. Bring them a blanket now and then. Know the patients name when you give the clear concise report. That above all else is what they notice.”

“Really? That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

I’ve given the “That’s it” speech often over the years. Some of the people I’ve given it to even listen.


It’s Emergency Nurses Week. The best gift you can give them is the gift of competency.

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