Menu

Blog Posts

Brent Walker

Emergency Nurses’ Week: What It Means to Me

Posted on Wed, Oct 12, 2016
Emergency Nurses’ Week: What It Means to Me

By Brent Walker, RN, MSN

Imagine waking up feeling like someone punched you square in the middle of your chest and in the faint distance hearing someone call your name.

That is what I remember the day my heart stopped and I was saved by my very own team in the emergency department. It’s my personal experience that connects me back to the reasons why I am an emergency nurse.

I drove myself to the Emergency Department “just not feeling right” on December 2, 2007. Seven minutes after I arrived, my heart stopped. My team saved my life that day. As I looked around the room, I saw the same men and women working together with incredible precision, the doctor knew exactly what to do and the nurses were already one step ahead.

Although there is clarity of even the minutest details of the clinical care, it’s the interpersonal connection that resonates. While there’s the expectation that those around me in an emergency have exceptional clinical knowledge and know exactly what algorithm to follow, it was the nurse who sat at my bedside holding my hand who I remember the most.

I recall the somewhat hidden look of fear in the eyes of the staff standing around me, the look of trepidation, knowing the severity of what actually just happened and the fact that someone they worked with closely just had one of the most critical events right in front of them. It’s the empathy expressed by them all at my most critical time of need that embodies the depth of passion and commitment of an emergency nurse.

Emergency nurses are an integral part of the healthcare team. Each of you makes a difference every day in peoples’ lives by combining compassion with state-of-the-art skills. I know firsthand how you make an impact in lives.

I challenge you all to take the time and really reflect this week on how many times you have changed for the better. It can be challenging to keep a focus on our mission as we scramble to keep up the pace of our busy lives and the increasing demands of the position. You are the constant in the many days of chaos. You are the one the patient values. You are the one patients can turn to for help and understanding.

Thank you for choosing emergency nursing and giving yourself to the patients, families and your team each and every day. You make the difference, and are appreciated more than you may hear on a regular basis. You may not remember the hundreds of patients that you see each year, but there is a guarantee that many of those patients will remember you.

Brent Walker, RN, MSN, is a director of clinical services for EmCare.

Share