9 ER Nursing Resume Skills: Definition And Examples
Updated 30 September 2022
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Emergency room (ER) nurses are essential health care providers who treat patients suffering from trauma, severe medical conditions and injuries that require emergency treatment. As their job involves specialised duties, they require a specialised skill set. If you have an interest in becoming an ER nurse, learning the skills required can help you succeed in your career. In this article, we discuss what ER nursing resume skills are, explore examples of these skills, learn the tips to improve them and discover how to highlight them on a resume and during an interview.
What are ER nursing resume skills?
ER nursing resume skills are technical and soft skills that you mention on your resume to show employers your ability to work effectively as an ER nurse. Unlike other nurses, ER nurses work in a high-pressure and fast-paced environment, making clinical, administrative and relational skills essential for a successful career. Technical nursing skills are clinical abilities that you earn through certification, education and training. Soft skills are personality traits that you require to complete your duties. For working in the emergency room, employers prefer nurses who are competent and highly trained because they can efficiently meet the demands of the medical team and the patient.
Related: Nurse Resume Skills To Boost Your CV: Tips And Suggestions
Example of ER nursing resume skills
Here are essential emergency room nursing skills to master for a fulfilling career:
1. Clinical skills
To protect patients and provide the best preventive care, ER nurses require excellent clinical skills. As an emergency room treats various patients, ER nurses require a basic understanding of many clinical procedures, including inserting IVs, collecting blood samples, preparing patients for medical procedures and providing basic life support and advanced cardiovascular life support. Clinical skills help manage complex machinery and recognise essential changes in a patient's condition. Another essential clinical skill is assessing a patient's health condition. Employers expect an ER nurse to know about interpreting lab results and other diagnostics information related to a patient's ailment.
2. Problem-solving skills
Problem-solving skills are essential for an ER nurse to handle strenuous situations and find practical solutions. The ability to solve problems helps in providing optimum patient care. Without critically thinking about the situations and knowing what the repercussions of different actions is, it becomes difficult for an ER nurse to become an effective health care provider. Employers prefer candidates who can take care of complex problems in the emergency room.
3. Ability to remain calm under pressure
Employers prefer ER nurses who can perform their job duties in a high-stress environment. As these nurses work with distractions like loud noise, high tension and strong smell, the ability to remain calm and perform emergency nursing skills is essential for this role. The ability to remain calm and focused while maintaining composure is essential for this role.
4. Knowledge of patient safety
Patient safety involves creating a safe environment in the emergency room. This prevents the patient from incurring additional injuries. The ability to ensure patient safety helps in minimising risk, maximising recoveries and protecting medical facilities from liability issues.
Another essential skill of an ER nurse is flexibility. As patients' needs can change in the emergency room, employers expect an ER nurse to respond immediately to those changes. For instance, an ER nurse might accompany a patient to the X-ray machine, come back and start an intravenous line to a patient or soothe a child with a broken leg. The mix of patients in the emergency room can change every minute. Employers prefer ER nurses who can transition quickly from one task to another and provide preventive care to every patient.
Related: How To Be Flexible At Work: A Complete Guide
6. Time management
As an ER takes care of many patients once, it is essential to plan their time and prioritise patients to ensure every patient receives their medication and treatment on time. As many duties in the hospital setting are time-bound, time management is an essential skill for an ER nurse. Understanding how long a medical procedure might take and how to prioritise patients' requests is an essential part of an ER nurse's day.
Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples
7. Critical thinking skills
ER nurses use critical thinking skills to evaluate, analyse and synthesise information related to a patient's medical history and requirements. Strong critical thinking skills help nurses solve specific problems and act efficiently. These skills help in adapting to changing work conditions. For instance, if a patient's health condition suddenly declines, it is essential to make quick and intelligent decisions and take action based on the information.
8. Interpersonal skills
The ability to communicate effectively and calmly with patients from diverse backgrounds is essential for this role. Being compassionate and showing empathy toward the patient and their family members can help you succeed in this job role. Interpersonal skills allow ER nurses to handle stressful situations and convey relevant information to others. Often, employers prefer nurses who display patience because family members might ask for more information about their loved ones. Staying calm while sharing this information is essential for maintaining a peaceful environment in the medical setting.
9. Stress management
While performing emergency nursing skills, you are likely to encounter patients in terrible situations. The ability to handle difficult things you see and your experiences can help you succeed as an ER nurse. Some experiences can overwhelm you, so it is essential to have strategies that can help you overcome the stress and emotions of working as an ER nurse.
How to improve your nursing skills
Follow these steps to improve your nursing skills:
Shadow experienced ER nurses. If you want to understand the job responsibilities of an ER nurse, focus on shadowing an experienced nurse. It helps you decide whether you might enjoy this career.
Practise clinical skills. You can improve your abilities by practising your clinical skills at a medical charity or volunteering for a medical facility. The more you practise, the higher your chances of providing appropriate medical facilities to your patients.
Pursue higher education. To improve your skills, focus on pursuing a graduate degree in nursing or completing specialised training in a clinical area such as critical care or emergency care. Though these qualifications are voluntary, they can lead to professional growth.
Focus on your communication skills. Communication is an integral aspect of ER nursing, as it is essential to hone your skills. To improve your skills, focus on practising communication with families, friends and even colleagues to understand areas of improvement.
Find a mentor. Mentors are helpful in the nursing world because experienced ER nurses have extensive experience working in the emergency room. Find a mentor who can guide you in becoming a better ER nurse and provide recommendations on how to improve your work and skills.
Develop coping strategies. Focus on learning techniques to process and channelize your emotions and manage stress. You reduce your stress by finding a hobby or talking regularly to friends and family members.
Emergency room nursing skills in the workplace
Here are some ways in which you can show your nursing skills in a hospital or medical setting:
Remain calm. You can show your nursing skills by remaining calm in stressful situations. Taking a deep breath and focusing can help you provide preventive care to patients who visit the emergency room.
Prioritise your responsibility. To provide appropriate care to your patients, choose patients and tasks that require immediate attention. Communicate the reasons for your choice to a senior ER nurse so that they follow the same priorities.
Volunteer for new roles. Another great way to showcase your skills is the ability to take on challenges that help you show new skills. For example, you can volunteer to work with patients suffering from different ailments and injuries.
Stay up-to-date on medical trends. To become a good ER nurse, it is essential to stay current on the latest developments and trends. You can subscribe to a medical journal or explore new updates in your field each week.
How to highlight your nursing skills
Follow these steps to highlight your nursing skills during the job application and interview process:
1. For a resume and cover letter
When writing your resume or cover letter, read the job description to identify the key skills an employer is looking for in potential candidates. Include these skills in the skills section or as job responsibilities in the work experience section. When you include skills mentioned in the job description, it makes your resume applicant tracking system (ATS) compliant. You can use your resume and cover letter to provide examples of skills you used in a professional setting.
2. During an interview
Your interview allows you to elaborate on the experiences mentioned in your resume. During your interview, explain the approach you follow to provide excellent patient care. Focus on researching for commonly asked interview questions related to nursing skills and prepare answers. Preparing for answers in advance helps you showcase your skills and explain why you are the best fit candidate for a job role.
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