Whats it like to work as a Cna on a surgical floor: pm shift??

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    I just got a job at my local hospital as a CNA on the surgical floor during pm shift. I was just wondering what it would be like and what i should expect. I worked days on a oncology floor and it was hell! Hopefully this experience will be different for me.

    Thanks guys!
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

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    When I worked in surgery, it was quite busy. It depends how many patients you have going to the operating theaters. Some days it seemed like every single patient was on the list or that day, other days none or just 1 would be going!

    It also depends on your job description/duties. We used to have to do the post op vitals (every 15 minutes for the first hour!) but some places have the RN responsible for that. You will be doing a LOT of running around to find the nurse for pain meds!

    Also depends on the type of surgery. Most of the patients on the ortho wards here are elderly with fractures, so a lot of feeding, turning, basic care. But you may hit gold and get days where all the patients are elective surgery walkie-talkies and don't want or need any help. Then there is the general surgery wards at our hospitals here that are crazy busy with dependent patients with tube feeds, major surgery, fresh colostomy surgery etc etc. And then there is the cardiac surgery floor, that is also crazy busy!

    I think surgery is a good place to work, you learn a lot. But the pace can be very fast and it can get busy quickly. When you talk about the oncology floor do you mean hell as in the pace of things or hell as in the environment? Because I'm sure surgical floors will be faster, and it all depends on your team as to the environment.
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    It depends on your hospital. At my hospital days does the baths which take up most of our time, at our sister hospital nights begins baths and does linen changes on the beds, it makes it quite a bit easier on day shift. I know that most surgical floors can be very busy. You may be responsible for baths and answering endless call lights or just call lights and weights. It all depends on the hospital. Congrats on your new job and best of luck to you!
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    I've worked on a post-op floor for 2 years. We get a wide range of surgeries. Hip replacements, knee replacements, back surgeries, shoulder surgeries, hip fractures, leg/wrist/arm fractures, abdominal surgeries, hysterectomies..there's a ton more I can't think of right now. We see a lot. We get patients anywhere from their 20s-90s.

    Most of our patients are completely with it and able to do a lot for themselves. However, ortho patients can be very very heavy. You have to mindful of the joint that is fractured/they got replaced and they often take 2 people to transfer. Hardly anyone on our floor uses a bedpan or stays in bed because since they are there to recover and get better the doctors really want them up and moving. Almost everyone gets up for dinner (and I mean up out of bed and in a chair. not just up in bed) . A lot of patients have to walk multiple times a shift. During the week we are getting surgical patients back until 8-9pm and sometimes later. When they come back we have vitals every 15 minutes, and we sometimes have people getting blood transfusion and need to get vitals every 30 minutes. A lot of drains to empty. Foleys, JPs, hemovacs, wound vacs, NG canisters, etc.

    I like it, you learn a lot and see a variety of things. However, it is very hard work and very fast paced. What didn't you like about the oncology unit?
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    Thank you so much for the input! That was awesome!

    On the oncology floor it was extremely hard because it was a med surge floor, plus a stroke unit, plus all oncology patients. I was also a new CNA grad, and I do not think I was ready for it. It was a good day when I got one patient that wasn't incontinent. And plus I just did not like the feel of the day shift.


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