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This Is What It's Like To Be A Nurse In The Busiest ER In The Country

As soon as the ambulances stop, everyone goes to action. Cassick's first priority is to ensure that traumatized patients begin to receive right away. Then she comes out of the emergency to meet the frantic family of patients and their friends who are eagerly awaiting information. She updates them on the status of their loved ones and does her best to keep them calm.

This may seem like the beginning of a medical television series, but for Cassick, it's just another day of work. Many other nurses and doctors are dealing with similar scenarios in the country 's hospitals, but Lakeland has a special distinction: it is the American hospital that receives the most visits to the emergency department. 2016 (217,208 in all). storm

Approximately 550 to 650 patients are treated daily in the Lakeland Emergency Department. At the height of its activities, the emergency treated 800 patients in one day.

Cassick has been working in the hospital for 15 years and has been a nurse for 11 years. In her current role as Clinical Emergency Coordinator, she ensures the trains are running at the hour. She serves as an intermediary, works with emergency physicians and other staff members, as well as with patients and their families, to ensure that everyone receives the care they need. they need, she says. "I'm not sitting at my desk all day;"

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Trauma, disturbances and unforeseen events are always on the agenda, and there is no "typical" day. "You never know the challenge you will face," she says. I learned that you need to be flexible, prioritize, take one thing at a time and not get overwhelmed. "

A team approach is essential to keeping patients – and staff hospitable – in the midst of chaos and it starts with a good day, says Cassick, she usually goes to work at 6:45, and the morning begins with a team meeting. leadership to update the staff, discuss any issues and share the good s things that happened during the previous quarters. It's also a chance for Cassick to make sure his team is ready to handle everything that goes through the emergency doors.

Sometimes Cassick is at the heart of things. Recently, a patient arrived outside emergency room by car, but when she and another nurse went to meet him, they found that he was so badly injured that he was in the car. they could not take her safely without first recruiting additional hospital staff. They quickly obtained the necessary backup, and a few minutes later, the patient was in a room and was being treated.

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"The patient survived Cassick says

Of course, not all aspects of Cassick's work are so dramatic. Sometimes you will find her at the bedside of a patient, checking vital signs or consulting a medical history.On other times she is moving a sonographer from an emergency area to another where a technician needs it, it also helps to get things moving in the event of backlog, and she's aiming to keep her team on guard: She's known to get into the song if the staff members are particularly tired or not paying attention ("You Are My Sunshine" and, during the holidays "The 12 Days Of Christmas", are his favorite songs.)

Cassick also spends a good part of his day talking to families and urge them to remain calm patient. In some cases, it must be the one that destroys the bad news that a loved one is in critical condition or that he has not survived an accident or procedure. "If I need more help, I call pastoral staff," she says.

Taking care of yourself first

You know how flight attendants ask passengers, in case of emergency, to fend for themselves oxygen mask before helping others? The idea that you have to take care of yourself before you can give others the best of yourself is a concept that Cassick takes to heart.

Cassick works three quarters of 12 hours a week and she has to attend meetings outside. of his changes. Given the time and intensity of her work, she knows that it is crucial to treat yourself well. It means eating healthy, surrounding oneself with family and friends and knowing how to quit work to work

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During shifts, she tries to eat small light meals when she is hungry, and she drinks a lot of water throughout the day. (She says that she was drinking coffee, but she did a lot of effort to reduce it because she feels better without it.)

Getting ready and anticipating, c & # 39; is also how Cassick manages to keep cool when emergencies occur. This is true day-to-day, but it's especially important when bigger disasters happen. When Hurricane Irma struck Florida last fall, Cassick and other staff members arrived before the worst of the storm hit and made arrangements to stay at the airport. hospital until the worst is over

. nursing homes and some people who lived at home and who had special needs (such as oxygen), so that they could continue to receive the care they needed while on the move. electricity was at home. "The medical center and the emergency department have been filled," says Cassick

. Cassick, like everyone else, is stressed from time to time, but she does her best to have a positive attitude and not lose sight of the whole thing.

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Cassick says she's always wanted to be a nurse since she was a little girl and she likes her work. Although arriving at the emergency room can be scary for patients and their families, Cassick is trying to make the experience a little more fluid. One thing she said she wished all patients knew? "We care about them."

* Some identification details have been modified to protect the privacy of patients.

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