Kayla slipped her deep blue scrub shirt over her Adidas singlet and stepped into the corridor of the emergency department (ED). The lights were bright, the floor was clean. She was nervous. She hadn’t been a casual nurse for long, and it was her first ever shift in ED. Kayla walked into one of the busiest nights the department had experienced. Staff hurried as patients received care; a coordinated chaos. She was allocated three patients, one of whom was septic and deteriorating quickly. Unfamiliar with the system, she was unable to access the medication room.
“The other nurses on my team were busy and I was unaware of how the department worked. I found this extremely stressful as I was well out of my comfort zone, and I felt like I had neglected my other two patients due to the high acuity of this particular patient,” Kayla said. Kayla found an available nurse who she was able to seek assistance from, and her septic patient was transferred to Intensive Care.