October 5, 2022

Let’s Talk Patient Care and the Value of ED Nurses

Emergency department (ED) nurses cultivate vital connections within their communities. They help to foster trust between healthcare providers and patients within the neighborhoods they serve. That trust indelibly marks communities: ED nurses offer crucial support in tackling healthcare needs and disparities as well as promoting health and wellness.

CareRev recognizes the value that ED nurses bring to patient communities across the country. Here, we share a story on that value, the impact on keeping caregiving local, and the importance of supporting these professionals.

Connecting with the community as an ED nurse

From their colleagues to their patients, ED nurses are called upon to wear many different hats. Their critical thinking skills, their ability to react swiftly and accurately to circumstances that can change by the second, and their ability to prioritize and work autonomously are key to the care they provide.

But that care advances beyond a hospital or health system emergency department; they also deliver care at the intersection of emergency and prevention. Take for instance this team of Florida nurses who collaboratively transitioned care from the ED to doctor’s offices. In this program, health department nurses worked with ED nurses to first identify patients who commonly used the ED for their primary care. From there, patients were assigned a primary care physician with appointments and medications managed for them.

This established a strong "system of care” aimed at preventing chronic health problems. Program officials noted this approach cut down on ED visits each week and saved $1.2 million dollars a year. This particular program cost $650,000 a year in comparison.

Thanks to the steadfast connections ED nurses build with patients, healthcare facilities have more opportunities to improve health outcomes and communities have opportunities to receive the care they need. Keeping caregiving local, with local per diem ED nurses, can help healthcare facilities tap into those opportunities in real time as patient needs fluctuate.

Cultivating a culture that values ED nurses

To tackle their responsibilities and foster the system of care communities need, ED nurses need a facility culture that ensures a healthy work-life balance. Nurses are known to be selfless individuals: they often work long hours and overtime, come in on their days off, stay late to chart, work holidays and weekends, and skip lunch and breaks in their commitment to patient care. Combine those long hours and commitment with the chaos of an emergency room and facilities can easily see how ED nurses are struggling with high burnout rates.

Let’s take a look at how your hospital or healthcare facility can help ED nurses combat burnout and improve their own health and wellness:

  1. Listen. Clinicians have listened to nurses for centuries when it comes to patient care. ED nurses understand the power of listening to their patients, but the healthcare community is now making strides to better listen to nurses. Ask ED nurses about their needs and how your facility can better address them.
  2. Take action. A good place to start? Provide the flexibility modern nurses want. Support your internal team with per diem nursing professionals from your own backyard. Your staffing managers can optimize the internal clinical staff and the per diem nurses can accelerate relationships with your facility’s patient population.
  3. Consistently foster connections. Follow the lead of your facility’s ED nurses and how they foster connections with patients. Create processes that show how you will remain committed to providing a culture that prioritizes nurse care. That can include relying on a qualified local per diem pool. Connecting with your internal team in such a way gives them more time to spend with loved ones, to focus on personal and professional goals and hobbies, and to unplug before burnout.

At CareRev, we empower ED nurses who work on our platform to command their careers. With our app’s support, the risk of ED nurses feeling used and undervalued is significantly decreased, allotting your facility an opportunity to source talent who are not only ready to do the work, but still believe in it.

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