Life as an A&E Nurse

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Life as an A&E Nurse

Last updated: Monday, April 1, 2019 | 4 min reading time

With a growing need for expansion in every facet of the healthcare system, A&E nurses are more in demand in Singapore than ever.

It's safe to say that everyone at some stage of their life will be in the care of a qualified nurse, whether it is to receive a vaccination or life-saving treatment. Just as integral as doctors and surgeons, nurses are a vital part of Singapore's clinical infrastructure. But how much do you really know about the heroes that work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to make sure that you and your family can access high-quality healthcare?

The role of a nurse

The responsibilities of a nurse are diverse. Day to day, they generally include:

In practice, this covers a huge range of tasks specific to the hospital department or healthcare setting in which they work.

Life as an A&E nurse

Life of an A&E nurse
Nurses in the accident & emergency department (A&E) need to be able to handle extreme stress coming from several areas; firstly, the patient themselves who are suffering from serious and severe illness, secondly from the family members who are concerned about the well-being of their love ones and lastly, from the nature of the work itself. A&E nurses need to know how to prioritise patients based on their different healthcare needs, and to do so quickly while maintaining a high degree of precision and quality in the care that they deliver.

In addition to their regular responsibilities, A&E nurses also have to:

Training for the role

If you choose this challenging and yet exciting career, you will need to study extensively in order to cope with the demands required of an A&E nurse. There are several pathways to qualification in Singapore, from a Nitec in nursing to a diploma or a degree. The training will begin once you are qualified, where you can develop skills in areas such as orthopaedics, midwifery or paediatrics. If you wish to work in the A&E, you can choose to specialise in emergency medicine. This will give you the ability to multitask and adapt in an emergency situation, and learn specific life-saving techniques used often in the A&E department.

What to expect

What to expect as a nurse?
Although nursing might have a reputation for requiring long hours, in reality the standard full-time hours in Singapore total around 38 per week. There is plenty of room for growth, with qualification tiers and branches such as education and management to work towards in your career. In the modern medical environment, technology evolution occurs at a dizzying pace and for many, nursing is a lifelong career that evolves and changes constantly because of it.

Nursing heroes

No matter how challenging, nursing is still one of the most rewarding jobs you can have. A&E nurses often talk about the fact that every day is different. You can be treating someone who has tripped and fallen at home one minute, before dealing with mass casualties from a vehicular accident the next. Saving lives is something you get to do every single day. Seeing a patient once they have made a full recovery from something as traumatic as a heart attack is incredibly fulfilling, and knowing that they get to return home to their family in good health is the ultimate reward.

Rewards and recognition

Rewards and recognition
To recognise the nursing heroes, Singapore celebrates Nurses' Day on 01 August. A day dedicated to the men and women who spend their days caring for others, it's the perfect time to thank any nurses you know personally (or that you have been treated by) for their dedicated service. It's also a great time to look into your options if you're considering a nursing career.

In addition to Nurses' Day, the Ministry of Health has announced a package of benefits called CARE to help nurses develop and excel in their careers. This incorporates:

Is nursing right for you?

If you care about others and you want a career that will keep you on your toes while being endlessly rewarding, nursing might be perfect for you. Though it comes with challenges, you will have the opportunity to make a real difference in your community. Remember, heroes don't wear capes, they wear nurses' uniforms!

About Nursing (ND), Care to go beyond. Retrieved 30/01/19 from

Fisher, H. (2017, Jan 26) A day in the life of an A&E Nurse. Retrieved 30/01/19 from

Nurses’ Day (ND) Retrieved 30/01/19 from

Singapore emergency nurse reveals what it's like to save lives on the frontline (ND). The Straits Times. Retrieved 30/01/19 from

Singapore faces nurse shortfall for the years to come (ND). The Straits Times. Retrieved 30/01/19 from

Article tags

Accident & emergency