*NEW* Med/Surg Nurse

  1. Having just graduated from nursing school in August, I knew I wanted to work in Med/Surg so that I could get some great experience and help get my foot in the door.

    I got hired at a great hospital here in San Antonio area. I work at the more "urban" hospital in downtown-- and we all all types. I'm really loving it, but please tell me this is normal.

    The other day I had to get a UA from a patient on a Foley. My preceptor told me to go and clamp the tube. As I went in the room I realized "What did she mean?". I started realizing, this is something I should know-- even though I've never had experience with it. Of course I went to get my preceptor (who is really sweet) and she showed me. :smackingf

    The thing is I'm starting to wonder, did I learn enough in nursing school? Is this normal? ?


    Dave
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Lorbun
    You can not personally ever know everything you need to know on a Med/Surg floor from your schooling. Hopefully they are giving you a good long orientation to help with the most needed skills. You will need to ask for help throughout the next year or so. DON"T ever be afraid to ask if you don't know how to do something or just questioning yourself. It is alway better to be SAFE than sorry. I still ask for help after 2 years on my Med/Surg floor - somethings you just don't do very often. I had such an awful orientation as a new grad - that I went in to resign. They apologized and offered to give me just one preceptor and allowed me to be part of the team that created the new 12 week New Grad orientation at our hospital. I think our new grads are very well taken care of now. Just remember you can't know everything and will be learning new things for years to come. I love Med/Surg/Trauma where I work - it's the hardest thing I've ever done, but I love it! Hang in there and the best of luck to you.
  4. by   Piki
    Congrats! I'm a new grad myself and work on a med-surg (post-surgical floor). I kwym, every shift I go in and feel like there are always new things to learn. I never had experience with ng tubes in school, and we have so many pts with ng's. Same with 3 way CBI for post-Turps.

    I second the advice from Lorbun. You're not to expect to know much of anything coming out of school, just show up, ask questions and just continue to absorb. I think in my last 2 days alone I learned a semester's worth of stuff!!



    PS wanted to add, we get 12 weeks orientation (or more if needed) on our unit. Even experienced RNs get as much orientation as they need. NM wants us to be comfortable as possible before taking us off orientation.
  5. by   DLO, BSN, RN
    Thanks for the kind words-- I really appreciate them!

    Our orientation program is really great for new grads. I will be orienting until Mid-December (I've been on the floor nearly a month). So it seems 12 weeks will be really good. I've been asking lots of questions and everyone, including RNs, LVNs, clerk, and doctor's are all willing to lend a hand. It's just overwhelming at times but I really love it! This is the hardest thing I have ever done and I love the challenges that every day brings


    Thanks! If there is any other information you think I should know by all means let me know!


    Dave
  6. by   NYNurse07
    Nice orientation.

    I had 5 weeks on days - 2 weeks on nights and now I am on my own
    to care for 7-10 patients. we have 19 rooms, maybe an aide. There is only 2 nurses at night.

    I am quitting. When I ask a question I am made to feel stupid, people don't understand why I don't remember something from 5 weeks ago when I had to do that job that long ago. It's hard to know how be proactive about something when another nurse is giving you advice that turns out to be the wrong one.I had the worst experience here and I am simply not happy. I posted in another thread and said I had lost 12 pounds in 8 weeks.

    I am happy to hear that in other places people understand that it takes a long time for new grads to be comfortable. Maybe another hospital will understand the predicament I was in in this hospital and will give me another opportunity.

    My Nurse Manager who was my preceptor for 5 weeks could not believe that I didn't put in an NG tube or even know how to take care of one. I never had had CBIs, never saw a ostomy bag. I went to a small community college, therefore my clinical hospital was rural - very limited kinds of med surg experiences - anything really big got sent to the big city.

    Everything was show it once and better know it because she won't show it again. And if I did ask her - she would belittle me or be very condescending.

    I am contemplating not looking for a job for a couple of months because this was the worst experience I have ever had in my life.

    I would have felt better about a 12 week orientation on the floor.

    What we had was a 6 week hospital orientation and 6 weeks with a preceptor on the unit. I don't think its enough - 6 weeks and then being let go to work alone is not a good idea. The hospital orientation was important but it cut into the learning curve on the unit.
  7. by   Jessy_RN
    Hi, I am also a very new RN in med-surg. I am liking it so far but can't deny that I am very overwhelmed. I started as an RN on my unit 10/6-there is always so much to do. I am going to nights next week and I am plain frightened.

    Head up, this too will pass!! Before we know it, we will be on our way to successful nurses in med-surg.

    Jess
  8. by   Chloe'sinNYNow
    Quote from Lorbun
    You can not personally ever know everything you need to know on a Med/Surg floor from your schooling. Hopefully they are giving you a good long orientation to help with the most needed skills. You will need to ask for help throughout the next year or so. DON"T ever be afraid to ask if you don't know how to do something or just questioning yourself. It is alway better to be SAFE than sorry. I still ask for help after 2 years on my Med/Surg floor - somethings you just don't do very often. I had such an awful orientation as a new grad - that I went in to resign. They apologized and offered to give me just one preceptor and allowed me to be part of the team that created the new 12 week New Grad orientation at our hospital. I think our new grads are very well taken care of now. Just remember you can't know everything and will be learning new things for years to come. I love Med/Surg/Trauma where I work - it's the hardest thing I've ever done, but I love it! Hang in there and the best of luck to you.
    Heya Lorbun,
    would you mind telling my own facility this?!?!?! They threw me into my first day w/ 3 pts! And I'm a new grad. I'm so overwhelmed and feeling ill at ease that after my first week I am read to pitch and run. But my student loans just kicked in and I also bought a new car (I really needed to). But I also wouldn't know how to get a UA off a Foley. And I'm on an Oncology/Renal floor that is much more medsurg/post-op. They are too busy having me check off my skills validations (doing once or observing once is supposed to preclude me fr having to ask!!!).

    I am so upset. How do you recommend (or anyone here please, I need help!) I approach the facility? Is it any wonder why 3 new hires before I arrived llast week, just quit? Yet the unit has nurses that have been there for decades!

    I just think they are disorganized and chaotic in their orientation. I'm dreading going in tomorrow. I was with 3 diff preceptors in 3 diff days!! Each time I question something, I get
    "don't you remember we taught you that in the classroom orientation 3 weeks ago???"
    My response is, "no I don't" and I'm considered slow and resistant.

    Is it me? I mean I graduated w/ a decent gpa fr NS. This is a 2nd degree for me. I never dreamed of having this career. It found me! This is all so hard. AFter graduation, I was attacked in my home and dealt w/ PTSD. But I recoverd and was able to study fr boards and passed w/ 76 Q's. AFter a week of interviews, this position came to me.

    How do I learn the skills that are so technical, the crazy computer system, the doc's orders, and the whole way things are done at all when I get such resistance fr the facility that had me convinced to come on board that they welcomed new grads and didn't expect me to know anything straight out of school?

    NOW they sing another tune?

    I've worked soooooooooo hard to get here and now hate it.

    Chloe
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Hi Chloe. Please don't worry about this one little incident. Med-surg is hard and being a new grad is hard. Put the two together and you just have to give yourself a break. Please take care of yourself.
  10. by   oramar
    Glad you like med/surg. I have always liked it myself. Liked the variety. Lot of people act like I am crazy because I like med/surg.
  11. by   deeDawntee
    Quote from ChloeinAtl
    Heya Lorbun,
    would you mind telling my own facility this?!?!?! They threw me into my first day w/ 3 pts! And I'm a new grad. I'm so overwhelmed and feeling ill at ease that after my first week I am read to pitch and run. But my student loans just kicked in and I also bought a new car (I really needed to). But I also wouldn't know how to get a UA off a Foley. And I'm on an Oncology/Renal floor that is much more medsurg/post-op. They are too busy having me check off my skills validations (doing once or observing once is supposed to preclude me fr having to ask!!!).

    I am so upset. How do you recommend (or anyone here please, I need help!) I approach the facility? Is it any wonder why 3 new hires before I arrived llast week, just quit? Yet the unit has nurses that have been there for decades!

    I just think they are disorganized and chaotic in their orientation. I'm dreading going in tomorrow. I was with 3 diff preceptors in 3 diff days!! Each time I question something, I get
    "don't you remember we taught you that in the classroom orientation 3 weeks ago???"
    My response is, "no I don't" and I'm considered slow and resistant.

    Is it me? I mean I graduated w/ a decent gpa fr NS. This is a 2nd degree for me. I never dreamed of having this career. It found me! This is all so hard. AFter graduation, I was attacked in my home and dealt w/ PTSD. But I recoverd and was able to study fr boards and passed w/ 76 Q's. AFter a week of interviews, this position came to me.

    How do I learn the skills that are so technical, the crazy computer system, the doc's orders, and the whole way things are done at all when I get such resistance fr the facility that had me convinced to come on board that they welcomed new grads and didn't expect me to know anything straight out of school?

    NOW they sing another tune?

    I've worked soooooooooo hard to get here and now hate it.

    Chloe
    Hi Sweetie!
    Hey, I'm so sorry that your first days on the floor are that awful. My experience with orientations has been that they almost always SUCK. I don't know of anyone who hasn't had to be their own best advocate for their orientation. Don't let a poor orientation defeat you. You let yourself take all the time you need and if you need to ask the same question again and again, do it. Sometimes if there has been a high turnover of new grads in a unit, the regular nurses are not very nice...they are waiting to see if you will be able to make it through the first weeks and months. Nobody will invest a whole lot into you until they have a sense that you are one that will be around in another year. This is the next stage to get through in being a nurse. It isn't easy because it is a skilled dance between getting what you need and not pissing anybody off too much since you are stuck with each other for a while. Hang in there. You will find the person or persons that will be more helpful as you go along. This is when the phrase "nurses eat their young" came from, in my estimation. Don't let them do that to you. Have a sense of humor, if you can, ask them if they remember what it was like to be new...(they certainly do, but are probably trying to forget it).
    I'm here for you, if you need me!!! Take care!!!
  12. by   deeDawntee
    Quote from DaveUproar
    Having just graduated from nursing school in August, I knew I wanted to work in Med/Surg so that I could get some great experience and help get my foot in the door.

    I got hired at a great hospital here in San Antonio area. I work at the more "urban" hospital in downtown-- and we all all types. I'm really loving it, but please tell me this is normal.

    The other day I had to get a UA from a patient on a Foley. My preceptor told me to go and clamp the tube. As I went in the room I realized "What did she mean?". I started realizing, this is something I should know-- even though I've never had experience with it. Of course I went to get my preceptor (who is really sweet) and she showed me. :smackingf
    The thing is I'm starting to wonder, did I learn enough in nursing school? Is this normal? ?


    Dave
    Hehehe! You are so cute. Clamping a foley knowledge seems like a simple little thing, but you can't know what you don't know!!! It certainly doesn't mean anything about your training or ability to be a nurse! I have been a nurse now for almost 10 years, and I still ask simple questions of my coworkers, we all do! It is what a nursing team does and it is nothing to be ashamed of. I never worked med-surg and now that I am an ICU nurse, I still have lots of questions about NG's (post-pyloric vs non-post-pyloric, blah blah blah) and nobody cares.... just keep asking those questions and they will eventually become fewer and farther between, I promise. It is too bad that nurses don't have a residency, like MD's, then we would know that stuff when we started our first jobs, but nursing just isn't set-up like that. And that's OK.
  13. by   yecart1
    Quote from DaveUproar
    The other day I had to get a UA from a patient on a Foley. My preceptor told me to go and clamp the tube. As I went in the room I realized "What did she mean?". I started realizing, this is something I should know-- even though I've never had experience with it. Of course I went to get my preceptor (who is really sweet) and she showed me. :smackingf

    The thing is I'm starting to wonder, did I learn enough in nursing school? Is this normal? ?
    Dave
    Dave

    I had this exact experience last Spring. I was a new LPN at the time, my RN explained it, I had to ask her to explain it again. Then I thought, wtheck? I ask two really great LPNs to show me wear things were located and how they did it?

    I"m a visual person, so I needed them to mimic the motions while telling me. I went in there and did just fine.

    I ask alot of questions and if one person can't explain it to me the way I 'get it' then I go to someone else that I know is receptive or that I'm more comfortable with.
  14. by   AF nurse2b guy
    Hello,

    I will be in the nursing program next fall and have several questions. I'll start with just one. OK, if you work 3 12 hour shifts, is it true you can get an extra $200 plus time and a half for an additional 12 hour shift? Thanks!

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