HONOLULU -- Emergency nurses week was Oct. 9-15 this year. The week celebrates the dedication and often thankless job these special nurses provide to critical care patients on a daily basis.

The Emergency Department, also known as the ED, is a dynamic area of medicine where nurses must be ready at a moment's notice to provide emergency medical care and treatment for a wide range of medical concerns.

Unlike what is portrayed on television, numerous life threatening events rarely occur simultaneously. They are also certainly never wrapped up in a neat one-hour time frame.

The nursing contribution to patient care delivery is much more significant than the made-for-TV script.

Teamwork. Emergency medicine is very much a team approach. The ED is an unpredictable, dramatic and challenging work environment that requires a team approach to patient care delivery.
Emergency nurses must have in-depth knowledge about a wide variety of topics to provide safe and timely care to patients and their families.

"Emergency nurses are leaders in emotional intelligence with impeccable skills to identify, triage and manage any critical or emergent situation," said Nika Long, the clinical nurse officer in charge of the ED at Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC).

In the world of nursing, the ED is an area of nursing that is frequently misunderstood -- even by its nursing colleagues -- because of the frequent re-prioritization of patient care needs.

Everyone needs to be seen and treated in a timely manner while managing the most critical patients first.

ED nurses understand no one plans to visit the Emergency Department. Nurses understand your visit may be associated with the worst day of your life.

In the ED, nurses are challenged by the enormity of taking on the task of caring for everyone's needs in the most time-efficient manner while providing lifesaving interventions.

TAMC. The hospital is the premier medical treatment facility for the Pacific basin, servicing nearly 260,000 beneficiaries and their families.

On an average day the TAMC ED provides medical care and treatment for approximately 150 people and over 50,000 patients annually.

Take the opportunity to thank an ED nurse for his or her commitment to hard work and saving lives.