Through October 12, Emergency Nurses Week takes place across the nation. Emergency nurses make a difference in the lives of patients and their fellow team members every day, and the Emergency Nurses Association has dedicated this week as a way of recognizing their work to improve the health of communities.

Capital Medical Center salutes its two dozen emergency nurses (and dozen ER nursing team members!) who, 24/7/365, provide vital, life-saving care to our community – words cannot express our appreciation for all you do every day!

As you can imagine, Emergency Nursing has been a profession for centuries. As hospitals became more popular in the 1800s, a natural growth in emergency care took place. In fact, the first iteration of an emergency department was originally called the “First Aid Room.”

Originally, nurses only dressed wounds, applied eye ointments, treated minor burns with salves and bandages, and provided care to patients with minor illnesses (colds and sore throats). The rule of thumb was first in, first served – but in cases where people were in more need of emergency care than others, situations became more intolerable, and one of the greatest medical developments came into perspective: triage.

For centuries, triage had been used in war but was not yet established in the emergency department. The first time triage was referred to during a non-disaster situation was in 1963 at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut.