When I was offered my first job in the emergency department, I assumed the transition would be smooth. After all, I was no longer a new graduate so my certification, licensure, and DEA number were all in order and ready for action. All I had to do was look over my contract and sign on the dotted line. I didn't even bother to negotiate (while it worked out, I don't recommend this!). But I was wrong.
My husband and I honeymooned in Bora Bora. It was all it was cracked up to be and more. Blue waters, tropical fish, tiki huts, and even an unwelcome tropical downpour graced our vacation. The entire time we were on the island, however I had this slight unsettled feeling. "What if I had an appendicitis...where would I go?" I thought. The island was so remote that for any medical care other than a simple laceration or sprained ankle, med evac would be necessary.
When I get home from working in the ER, I need a few minutes to decompress. I have been talking to strangers nonstop, staring into a twilight zone of fluorescent lights, listening to the incessant bleep bleep of monitors, and have yet to experience even a brief moment of silence. My husband is the same way. Upon arriving home from work, we simply glance at each other across the kitchen and immediately understand not to ask about the other's day...at least not yet.
It seems that working in the emergency department some days all I do is write prescriptions. Muscle relaxers for back pain, nausea medications for vomiting, and migraine meds for headaches. Prescribing is at the core of many nurse practitioner's practice. Unfortunately, the guidelines surrounding this privilege can be difficult to sort through and understand.