Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe 2014 has arrived. First, I want to say what an honor it is to have been elected as your 2014 ENA President. I am excited to be able to share this blog with you and to hear your thoughts and ideas about our profession of emergency nursing. 2014 will bring tremendous change to healthcare, and our emergency departments will be impacted, in some places dramatically. The only certainty in our near future is that change is coming, and it is going to be fast and furious.
We are all emergency nurses. I have never met a group of more dedicated, passionate and creative individuals. We thrive in chaos. We chose emergency nursing because it is different every day. We have to know a whole lot about a whole lot. We love the challenge of a critically ill patient as much as we enjoy a quiet moment when we can take the hand of a patient or loved one and offer them support and hope. When 50% more patients walk in the door in one day then we are budgeted for, we figure out a way to get them all safely taken care of. We live for the constantly changing dynamics of the ED. Who better to create the solutions we need in our profession than the amazing emergency nurses who are at the bedside?
Now is a time for innovation, courage, and imagination in emergency nursing. We need to start asking “what if” and stop using the excuse “because we have always done it that way”. We need to focus on what’s right for our patients and families. We must not be afraid to try a new process, and be honest with our feedback about what works and what does not. We need to share the ideas that work with our emergency nursing colleagues across the globe and be open to the ideas of others. We need to embrace evidence based decision-making and work to close the gaps in the evidence by promoting and supporting nursing research. We need to learn from our mistakes and at the same time not let the fear of failure prevent us from trying something new. We know that doing what we have always done has created an epidemic of errors in our departments. It’s time we decide that enough is enough.
So…where do we start? Think about your own emergency department. If you had a magic wand, what would you change about the care environment or the way care is delivered? What is holding you back from making the change? How can we harness the energy of 40,000 incredibly gifted ENA members to positively impact the care of every emergency patient in the world? I want to hear from you.