Emergency medicine jobs are considered to be some of the most stressful career paths in healthcare. But for those who thrive off high-pressure environments and want to make a difference to others, it’s the most rewarding line of work in the industry.
Working as a hospital doctor is very demanding, and being able to act quickly and save lives in an emergency situation takes a special kind of person. Someone who can work well under pressure, think intuitively, make life-and-death decisions, and handle a high volume of patients in a short period of time.
Are you cut out for a job in A&E? If you’re interested in emergency medicine jobs or a doctor looking to join the front lines of care, here’s everything you need to know…
Why work as an emergency doctor?
Not everyone is suited to being a doctor in A&E, as emergency medical staff often have to work under stressful conditions. There’s also a high turnover of patients, which means that teams have to work fast in delivering diagnosis and treatment.
But for those who can work in a fast-paced environment, it’s an enriching experience. You will get the chance to directly impact those who need care immediately, and potentially save hundreds of lives throughout your career. Working in an emergency room also allows you to expand your skills and knowledge in a very short amount of time, as you will come across multiple patients and many different medical problems.
It’s a highly varied role, and no two days are ever the same. Emergency medicine jobs are challenging, and they are very well paid compared to primary care practitioners. Emergency doctor salaries are the least likely to be cut as they are always in demand, and locum emergency doctors have even more opportunity of increasing their pay.
Key skills required for emergency doctors
While many emergency doctors deal with critically ill patients on a daily basis, there are also many people who come in with chronic medical conditions. These can be things such as diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure, so primary care is sometimes provided too. The key thing to note is that not every day is going to be extreme, but there will be times where you will be required to make life-and-death decisions for your patients.
This means that good decision-making skills are critical, and so is teamwork as you may end up working on the ward with locum staff you haven’t worked with before. Excellent communication and collaboration are essential traits, and you will also need to prioritise your workload when there are multiple emergencies to deal with.
You’ll see a lot of different patients in one day, and you may not always know what happens to them once you move onto your next patient. This is the nature of emergency medical jobs, as your assistance will always be required elsewhere, or for the next emergency. So while some doctors get to spend time with their patients, emergency doctors won’t get to build relationships or watch the process of recovery.
Instead, your role will involve quick wins and being able to help people at critical times. Being able to switch from one task to the next without getting emotionally attached to patients is important.
The career pathway for emergency medicine
If you’re interested in emergency medical jobs and working in an accident and emergency department, you will need to spend four years doing your residency after you graduate from medical school. Like most medical career routes, this means you wouldn’t emerge from the process until you were in your 30s (if you attended medical school at the minimum age and didn’t take any breaks).
But you get to train as you work, and you will gain a lot of hands-on experience during your residency. Emergency doctors can work in hospitals, pre-hospital settings, in intensive care units, or urgent primary care clinics. And sub-specialisations of emergency medicine include:
Critical care medicine
Find emergency medicine doctor jobs
Are you looking for emergency doctor jobs in the UK? At ID Medical, we feature job listings for locum and permanent positions nationwide. Find jobs in NHS trusts and private hospitals across the UK at every level, from primary care to consultants.
With good levels of pay, consistent demand, and excellent opportunities for both locum and permanent staff, this is a great career to pursue.
Browse professions online with ID Medical to find out more.