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A day in the life of... the A&E nurse

Updated Tuesday, 22nd April 2003

How does nursing in an A&E department differ from other roles in the NHS?

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Creenagh Williamson A and E nurse Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Production team

Creenagh Williamson is a senior staff nurse in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit at the East Surrey Hospital in Redhill. She has an extremely busy day and we see her caring for a woman with acute back pain, a drunk man with cuts and bruises and also a young woman who has had a fit and whose heart has stopped beating.

Q. What is it like to work in an A&E department?

A.The day portrayed in A Picture of Health was fairly typical. On a typical day in the NHS hospital Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments will treat more than 33,000 people. Over the winter this is expected to increase and in December, on average there are 15% more emergency admissions than there are in August.

‘Trolley waits’ are a long standing problem for A&E departments

This report was published by the Audit Commission on 25 October 2001. It focuses on four objectives of A&E Departments, namely: waiting times – minimising the time patients have to wait for treatment in the department; staff – making efficient and effective use of staff; quality – delivering a high-quality service; and information – having good management information.

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