Emergency Care is a specialty in which nurse’s care for patients in the emergency or critical phase of their illness or injury and frequently is the first point of contact for patients.

Emergency Nurses have a range of expertise demonstrated across a range of knowledge and skills which they acquire through Continuous Professional Development. This is reflected within their roles and responsibilities in Emergency Departments (ED) when they often have to work autonomously or in close partnership with other health professionals within the ED team to make diagnosis or take urgent decisions.

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As a result, the nurse must be skilled at rapid, accurate physical examination, early recognition of life-threatening illness or injury, the use of advanced monitoring and treatment equipment, and in some cases, order diagnostic tests within "advance treatment guidelines" or "standing orders" set out by the hospital's emergency medical staff.

Emergency Nurses must have a sound knowledge of emergency care and need to demonstrate clinical competence and the ability to work independently when required, for example in triage, initiating investigations, and when actively involved in resuscitation.

View the Emergency Care Association Competencies for Emergency Nurses.

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