Nurses who practice in Emergency Departments are often the frontline responders to patients presenting with traumatic injuries.

Patients can be critically unstable following a traumatic injury. These conditions require collaborative teamwork to provide immediate and effective care. The goal is to stabilise the patient and help them survive with the best possible outcome.

Trauma nursing is highly specialised and requires advanced clinical skills. Nurses need to be able to critically think, prioritise care, intervene quickly and multi-task. These situations are often chaotic and stressful, so effective communication is crucial.

As a nursing student you may have the opportunity to experience a trauma while on an ED clinical placement. While it is unlikely that you would be directly involved, you are encouraged to observe and reflect. Watch how the team is organised, how they communicate with each other, prioritise and how they problem solve. It is also worth noting how roles are allocated and how clinical procedures are implemented.

Within this module you will find resources to help you familiarise with the role of the trauma team, but most specifically the role of the emergency nurse involved in the care of a trauma patient.

Trauma in the Emergency Department
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Trauma nurse
Trauma nurses specialize in caring for individuals suffering from cardiovascular disease, severe illnesses, body trauma, major injuries, car accidents, patients requiring immediate life saving surgery and other life threatening situations.

Major Trauma Guidelines & Education
Victorian state trauma system

Trauma teams
Francis’ talk on trauma team roles in the ED.

Resuscitation / Trauma Team Roles
Here is a list of team members that form part of a resuscitation / trauma team. Click on the titles to see a list of duties assigned to each of these roles.

Gurney, D. (2018). Emerging Trauma Trends: Where is your practice? Journal of Emergency Nursing, 44(3), 305-307. doi:10.1016/j.jen.2018.01.020