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The rate of injuries sustained in road accidents is rising steadily since 2001. This explains why most hospitals are looking for more and more professionals who specialise in emergency and trauma care. Due to the rising demand for professional nurses worldwide, a lot of students are now choosing nursing for higher studies. If you also wish to deliver emergency and trauma care as a professional nurse, here are a few things that you should know.
A trauma nurse is a professional who specialises in the care of patients suffering from acute injury or illness. The injury or illness treated by trauma nurses can be accidental or intentional. Generally, trauma nurses are needed in emergency wards and other hospital locations dealing with critical situations.
Trauma nurses are trained to deal with cases of different accidents. In fact, professional nurses frequently deal with patients suffering from extreme or life-threatening injuries. Some of the typical duties of a trauma nurse include the following:
Since trauma nurses have more responsibilities to perform than regular nurses, they undergo additional training beyond the bachelor's degree. The job of trauma nurses is also quite strenuous as their skill is often needed to deal with unexpected circumstances.
A trauma nurse needs to deal with serious injuries that can be life-threatening for the patient. So, the practicals and projects for a trauma nursing course also involve issues that are critical in nature. Some of the examples are shared below:
Besides these basic projects, a student of trauma nursing may need to handle a lot of practicals as well.
Before becoming a trauma nurse, an applicant needs to become a registered nurse first. The process of becoming a registered nurse in Australia takes 3 years of bachelor course in nursing. Also, the candidate needs to be over 17 years of age at the time of applying.
Depending on the university curriculum, the student is provided with nursing clinical experience in various settings. Some of them include working in medical and surgical wards, emergency rooms, operating theatres, community care, mental health units, intensive care units, etc.
Once the bachelor's degree is completed, the student needs to apply to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). This will give the applicant the license to work as a registered nurse (RN) in Australia.
A registered nurse can then apply for specialisations. Since trauma nursing is a specialisation, the nurse needs to do a specialised course on trauma nursing to gain the license of practising as a trauma nurse.
The Trauma Nurse Core Course, more popular by its abbreviation TNCC, is an internationally accredited course. It is an interactive program that is held over 2 days. The course delivers core trauma knowledge and skills that are necessary for the care and management of severely injured patients. The course covers the following areas:
The course aims to teach aspiring nurses to assess the trauma patients for life-threatening injuries as accurately as possible. It is technically a trauma course. However, the knowledge and skills gained from this course can be applied in all areas of nursing.
The Western Australian Trauma Training and Education Unit (WATTEU) was granted a license to conduct TLCC in 2009. Since then, Western Australia (WA) has successfully conducted up to 12 courses a year. This year, WATTEU is celebrating the 10th year of the course. Over the last 10 years, over 1500 participants have completed this course.
To attend the course, you either have to be a provider, an observer, or an instructor of trauma care. A nurse can also take this course for the renewal of this certificate as it expires in 4 years.
To attend a TNCC course, a participant must possess the following credentials:
People often get confused between an emergency room (ER) nurse and a trauma nurse. Even though they often need to undertake each other's responsibilities, there are certain factors that separate them as professionals.
For starters, ER nurses are nurses who take care of general emergency cases. Trauma nurses, on the other hand, are specialists who attend to people with acute injuries. The basic difference between a trauma nurse and an ER nurse relies on the condition of the patient being treated.
Most hospitals these days have a trauma centre where they treat patients who are beyond ill. These patients may have been rushed to the emergency room because of a car accident, a gunshot, a stab wound, or other serious injuries. Patients in the ER, on the other hand, are in a less serious condition and are able to talk.
A trauma nurse works closely with the trauma surgeons. They specialise in emergency treatment. So, it is normal for a trauma nurse to work in the critical care unit of an ER. Based on the patient’s need, an ER nurse can also take the role of a trauma nurse. The ER nurse can even provide assistance like giving IV therapy, dressing wounds, etc. when it’s needed.
Trauma nurses are well in demand in almost every country in the world. It’s no surprise that they are well-compensated for their jobs. The average annual salary of a trauma nurse is somewhere in between $60,000 and $90,000. There are extra benefits and bonuses related to the job.
Nurses with TNCC credentials can work as a staff nurse, nurse managers, emergency room directors, nurse managers, or nurse supervisors. Depending on the post and the location, the salary can differ.
The working hours, however, can be a bit of a drag for the trauma nurses, as they are inflexible and unattractive. However, a lot of trauma nurse express their satisfaction with their work. The growth of registered nurses is expected to be 16% by 2024. Interestingly, that kind of growth is rare in any kind of occupation.
If you are pursuing a nursing course, you may already be familiar with the challenges regarding the nursing curriculum. You need to attend both theoretical and practical lectures, throughout the semester. And if that’s not enough, you have got several assignments to finish within stringent deadlines. In a situation like this, it can become difficult for any student to produce quality assignment on trauma care.
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