ER nurse: A critical part of patient care

Erin Vogt, an ER nurse at IU Health Saxony says her role – thinking and acting quickly – can mean the difference in the life of her patient.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes

She gets the ambulance call “cardiac arrest” and Erin Vogt grabs gloves, and begins setting up, ready to dive in to help save a life. It’s all in a days work.

Vogt, an ER nurse and clinical coordinator at IU Health Saxony is part of a team recently recognized with some of the highest marks in patient satisfaction. Their patient needs range from treatment for a chronic bronchial infection to urgent care at the 24/7 cardiac catheterization lab.

To commemorate National ER Nurses Week, Vogt talked about the rewards and challenges of her job. A graduate of Westfield High School, Vogt started her healthcare career as an EMT.

“After surrounding myself with doctors and nurses I realized I loved the emergency aspect and knew that was the way I needed to go,” said Vogt. Her coworkers encouraged her to go back to school to obtain her nursing degree and she continued her career in ER.

“I like the quickness of it – the unexpected patients and outcomes,” said Vogt. “I think what makes our department so good is that there are so many things that are knowledge-based. You may have something come up that you haven’t seen for the longest time but you pull out snippets of information that help you use your mind quickly.”

At IU Health Saxony, Vogt said ER workers operate as a team.

“One of the first things I learned when I came here is the atmosphere is calming and relaxing because people truly want to work together for the best patient results,” said Vogt. “A lot of our patients comment about how the nurses, physicians, medics – all the clinicians – give the same information. We want to be forthcoming and consistent in our approach to talking to patients.”

Whether it’s a life-threatening situation or a seasonal illness, Vogt said she focuses on reassuring families that they are in the best place possible.

“We want to get diagnostics to patients as quick as possible but we also want to reassure them that we’ve gotten things taken care of,” said Vogt. “Sometimes that means giving them permission to rest and relax and that gives them a peace of mind.”