The central goal of the nursing profession is to protect and optimize patients’ health and promote the prevention of diseases. The American Nurses Association’s (ANA) definition of nursing is that it is “the art and science of caring, human functioning, compassionate presence, and recognition of the connection of all humanity” (Bickford, 2021, para. 3). The scope and standards of ANA state that nurses should be involved in assessment, evaluation, outcomes identification, planning, diagnosis, and implementation (Bickford, 2021). However, various nursing specialties may have more distinct roles and responsibilities. For example, trauma nurses triage individuals based on acuity, prepare patients for emergency operations, assist during surgeries, provide emotional support, and report cases of abuse (Sharma, 2020). The patient cohort includes people injured in car accidents, workplace incidents, fires, domestic abuse, street fights, or terrorist attacks (Western Governors University [WGU], 2020). In addition to following the main scope and standards of the ANA, trauma nurses aim to provide high-quality care to patients with various injuries.
Many nursing specialties have organizations representing their interests, and trauma nursing is no exception. The most notable non-profit organization that strives to provide exceptional care to trauma patients and education to clinicians in this field is the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) (Elwell, 2019). STN’s core values are education, mentoring, leadership, collaboration, innovation, and injury prevention (McMahon, 2021). This organization aims to improve trauma nursing regionally, nationally, and globally.
American hospitals are in an increased need of highly skilled trauma nurses. Indeed, since the population continues to grow, there is a shortage of nurses in the United States (WGU, 2020). This profession is challenging because it requires not only a nursing diploma and license but also two years of 1000-hours of practice in a trauma department (WGU, 2020). The duties of trauma nurses include recognizing the signs of deterioration in clinically unstable patients, administering first aid, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administering intravenous fluids and blood products, wound care, and patient support (Sharma, 2020). Furthermore, these specialists should also be involved in law enforcement related to patients who suffered from criminal activity (Sharma, 2020). Trauma nurses are under constant pressure because they must assess and triage patients quickly to ensure that immediate help is provided in acute cases.
The trauma nursing specialty is particularly compelling for me because it demands focus, precision, incredible commitment, and continuous improvement. Although it is a highly stressful job, I believe it is one of the few professions that can prevent me from developing burnout because I thrive in a dynamic environment. Moreover, trauma nursing allows one to obtain instant emotional gratification from the neurobiological perspective by saving individuals’ lives. Since childhood, I had also admired this specialty because trauma nurses in the Emergency department helped me multiple times when I had acute injuries from playing sports in the past.
In summary, the specialty of trauma nursing is complex and highly demanded in the United States. Its duties range from triaging patients in acute states to reporting domestic abuse cases. In addition to gaining the nursing degree and certificate, trauma nurses are required to receive adequate training in trauma departments by participating in patient care for two years. It is a challenging profession since it puts nurses under constant stress. Trauma nurses often have to provide care and support to individuals who survived environmental disasters, bombing, terrorist attacks, or mass shootings. Overall, it is a compelling specialty for me because it demands focus, commitment, concentration, and continuous skills improvement.
Bickford, C. (2021). Updated nursing scope and standards. American Nurse.
Elwell, S. M. (2019). The power of trauma nursing. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 26(2), 65.
McMahon, M. F. (2021). The society of trauma nurses: A broad overview. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 28(2), 75-77.
Sharma, R. (2020). Trauma nursing and triaging. ResearchGate.
Western Governors University. (2020). Trauma nurse job description.