Nurses ease ER strain caused by patient influx

Emergency department visits rose 60 percent faster than the population growth from 2001 to 2008, which presents a challenge in the face of hospital consolidations and closures, according to an article published by Fox 54 in Huntsville, Ala. The number of non-rural hospitals dropped 27 percent from 1990 to 2009, offering patients less options when they seek immediate care. To help use the time and space remaining EDs have, hospitals should use emergency nurses to provide immediate patient assessments and work with physicians to determine the next steps of care, said JoAnn Lazarus, president for the Emergency Nurses Association. "In emergency nursing, no two days are the same. Nurses must know how to help treat everything from broken bones to a heart attack, while remaining calm and acting as a patient advocate," she said. Article