Health Service Categories and Careers


Emergency Medicine is concerned with assessing and stabilising patients who are suffering an acute or urgent injury or illness, and who require immediate medical attention and care. It deals with a variety of clinical presentations, and the full spectrum of physical and behavioural emergencies. Common presentations include chest pain, shortness of breath, trauma, abdominal pain, broken bones, altered mental state disorders, and infectious disease. Underpinned by the medical sciences, including anatomy, pathology, physiology and pharmacology, Emergency Medicine training builds clinical skills in acute care, resuscitation, toxicology, sepsis, trauma, and analgesia. Other important elements are retrieval medicine, clinical communication, teamwork, and decision making relevant to critical care. Emergency Medicine is practiced in hospitals by specialised teams across emergency departments and other critical care units. Medical care is coordinated with emergency services in the out-of-hospital environment such in GP clinics and community primary care settings, ambulance services, or disaster response services.

Subspecialties in emergency medicine include: Paediatric emergency medicine, and Pre-hospital emergency medicine. It can be combined with Intensive care medicine.

Emergency Medicine Jobs

Specialist Emergency Physicians are skilled in resuscitation and in the diagnosis and management of critically ill and injured patients. EM physicians develop a wide range of procedural and technical skills and experience a variety of subspecialties and clinical situations. They provide safe and effective immediate care, collaborate with other specialist doctors, and coordinate care within the health system. Emergency medicine physicians are senior doctors who provide clinical decision-making and over-sight. They are responsible for training registrars and are involved in professional development and research activities. They work in the emergency department, across resuscitation and urgent treatment units, the CDU and the Paediatric ED. They provide advice and consultation to primary and secondary health providers. Emergency Medicine Physicians at consultant level have undertaken extensive training, including foundation, core and intermediate training, followed by 4 years of higher specialty training - which leads to Fellowship of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (FRCEM) and specialty registration with the GMC.

Registrars (Emergency Medicine) are undertaking specialty training in Emergency Medicine and are important members of the multi-disciplinary emergency department team. They are supported by senior physicians, and receive structured training, but at times they will be the most senior doctor on duty and responsible for overseeing medical students, junior doctors, nurses and other staff. Emergency medicine registrars manage and provide emergency care for patients with immediate and acute health care needs, which can involve urgent and life-threatening injuries or conditions, complex presentations, or other medical and psychiatric comorbidities. Emergency medicine registrars provide inpatient care, clinical assessment and management, and coordination of acute care within the hospital system – including referral to specialist clinics, discharge and ongoing treatment. They are skilled in emergency medical procedures and techniques, such as resuscitation and airway management. They are involved in research and data collection, and positions often involve on call and after-hours rosters. Registrars who work in Emergency Medicine have completed foundation training and are undertaking core training (ACCS), or intermediate and higher specialty training with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, which leads to a CCT and specialty registration with the GMC. Registrars who are not undertaking specialty training, can still apply for non-training posts to gain further experience and career opportunities in this area of medicine.

Nurses (Emergency/A&E) work in acute care settings and have specialised skills and important knowledge regarding emergency nursing care and the integrated emergency health care system. They are supported by a team of senior nurses, and medical and support staff, who all work within the interprofessional emergency health care team. Nursing in A&E involves a range of responsibilities and specialisations, which can include charge nursing, triage, intensive care/critical care/high-dependency care, trauma care, cardiac care, and ongoing nursing care by monitoring, maintaining clinical records, responding to patient call buttons, and providing holistic patient care during the acute phase until discharge. Responsibilities can include preparation of care plans, bone setting, blood transfusions, wound care, medication administration, record-keeping of resuscitation data and applications, and post-trauma care. A&E Nurses need to manage their time and complex workloads within busy environments. They follow appropriate care protocols, and communicate with patients and their families, as well as medical specialists. They undertake professional development activities and usually work rostered shifts including weekends and after hours. To work in this field, Nurses need to be registered, have an interest and experience in emergency and ICU nursing, and commitment to professional development. Nurses can also undertake post graduate qualifications in emergency or critical care nursing, advanced cardiac life support or paediatric life support.