Hands-on training opportunities and in-depth clinical education drew emergency providers from around the world to Los Angeles for Emergency Nursing 2016, held September 14–17. The annual conference is hosted by the Emergency Nursing Association (ENA) and offers a range of intensive educational opportunities for the prehospital and ED environments.
Sessions and training dedicated to mass casualty incidents (MCIs) were popular with attendees, particularly the DisastER MCI training that took place in the exhibit hall. Participants learned best practices in communication during MCIs, techniques in START triage, self-aid, buddy-aid and tourniquet application.
Another training opportunity was the AdvanceED, located at the back of the exhibit hall. The mock emergency department featured eight different emergency situations that were designed to present attendees with a variety of clinical complications they may see in the real ED. Experts demonstrated how to use emergency care products, instruments and medications on simulation manikins, and monitors located throughout the ED displayed the various ways emergency care is evolving.
Ultrasound, which is increasingly being used as a guide for prehospital providers during endotracheal intubation, is an important skill for ED nurses when inserting IVs. The ultrasound lab gave providers an opportunity to develop expertise in inserting IVs through hands-on training. Lab instructors helped guide participants to become more proficient in IV insertion so that they can decrease the number of sticks needed in emergency scenarios.
Education tracks included clinical, advanced clinical, advanced practice, leadership and management, pediatrics, trauma, research and quality and safety. Other highlights included a procedural cadaver lab and a research lounge where attendees could learn more about how research is driving change in emergency practice.
Updates from the ENA in general sessions indicated that many of the concerns facing prehospital providers also apply to our counterparts in the ED. Issues such as compassion fatigue, provider fitness and mental health issues such as PTSD and thoughts of suicide were recurring themes of discussion. Part of the ENA’s mission is to give emergency nurses the voice and the tools to reclaim emergency care and push for recognition of nursing as an integral healthcare profession. Prehospital providers in attendance were presented unique opportunities to improve their own care and strengthen their understanding of the emergency department in order to better their patient hand-off skills.