Serving as the Emergency Services Professional Development Specialist in the University Hospitals Health System, Amanda Maguth-Miller, BSN, RN, CEN, NREMT-P, shares insights about what education, training, and experience can help other nurses interested in a role like hers.
Emergency nursing is considered a nursing specialty, but I also believe we are generalists. We take care of infants, children and the elderly. We treat pregnant patients, psychiatric patients, and patients with special needs. As emergency nurses it is essential for us to have strong critical thinking skills to ensure optimal patient care. We need to be confident in our knowledge and training, use good judgment to act in the best interest of our patients, and ask for guidance from other members of the medical team when necessary.
Thus far, I have found my career incredibly rewarding. I have learned valuable leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills, while also expanding my nursing knowledge and expertise. Emergency nursing afforded me the opportunity to work as a nursing supervisor as well as an emergency services nursing professional development specialist.
I encourage emergency nurses to look beyond the bedside and dedicate themselves to pursuing educational opportunities that may not be “required” but offer a knowledge and skillset that inspire competence and confidence while practicing at the bedside. Obtaining my certified emergency nurse certification (CEN) was one of the most gratifying moments in my nursing career. Nurses with specialty certifications make excellent mentors, leaders and inspire confidence in the patients for whom they care.
Emergency nurses also form relationships that will last a lifetime. While in nursing school I was working as a nationally registered paramedic in a hospital emergency department and received real time education and support from a fellow nurse. She became my closest friend and eventually a bridesmaid in my wedding. My first preceptor still influences my career. She is not only a mentor; she is also a friend. I have had the privilege of watching nurses I worked alongside with grow into charge nurses, nurse managers, and amazing nurse leaders.
As I look to the future of my nursing career and the future of nursing, I recall a quote from William Shakespeare that someone shared with me when I began this journey--"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." I truly believe this quote embodies not only emergency nursing but also all of nursing and emphasizes the amazing humans we are.