Are any new grads going to med-surg

  1. I'm a new grad and decided to go to a pediatric med-surg unit. Everyone that I've talked to from my school is pretty much going to a specialty unit. I'm being to think that maybe I should have picked a specialty. And how do you decide what area would be a great place to start as a new nurse without any prior medical experience.
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  2. 43 Comments

  3. by   psychonaut
    First off, I am still a student (3rd of four semesters). However, this subject has been on my mind a lot lately, and I guess this is my chance to say you are not alone.

    For the first two semesters of nursing school, I was absolutely convinced that I wouldn't go anywhere near med/surg. With my grades and refs from my professors and clinical instructors, I was sure (and assured) that I would have no problem landing any "specialty" that I wanted.

    However, towards the end of last semester, I started to examine my reasons for seeking "specialty" placement after graduation. Part of it was ego, as well as a desire to go into a position with lots of opportunity for additional training. But, when I got real honest with myself, I realized that a big part of my avoidance of med/surg was fear and insecurity: fear of having such a patient load, and insecurity in my clinical abilities to competantly care for patients of that number and acuity.

    A strange thing started to happen. I actually began to seriously consider seeking a med/surg-type position upon graduation. My reading of allnurses and conversations with my instructors have lead me to see med/surg as a specialty in and of itself, and not a "basic" level or training ground. I love variety, and I find the thought of a diverse patient load (in terms of ages, patho, meds, procedures, etc) very appealing.

    I am, of course, only speaking for myself. The standard saying is how there is a nursing area for just about any taste. I think it is great that it is now SOP for qualified new grads to go directly into a non-med/surg area, should they so desire. I can't help but wonder if this has a flip side of convincing grads that if they can get into a higher acuity position, they automatically should.

    Which is all my long-winded way of saying to you that if you don't want to go into a "specialty" peds area, you shouldn't feel you "have" to just because most of your classmates are. Think of all of the wonderful variety of peds you will treat as a peds med/surg nurse. In the process, you will be near PICU, NICU, peds ER, etc. and can decide if you want to try out those areas.
  4. by   medsurgnights
    I went into Med-Surg as a new grad in June, had nothing to do with grades or ability I think, more about going where I was needed and could find a well-rounded experience
  5. by   nurse4theplanet
    I would be curious to know how many students I graduated with actually went to a regular adult med-surg unit. We had 40 grads. Myself and three friends chose ICU, another tele, three L&D, three in PEDS specialties, two ER, one for a private MD clinic, one at a prison facility, and one in at a center for developmental delays and the mentally challenged, also one currently undecided and unemployed. I would estimate that at least half our class chose not to pursue med-surg. I never really sat down to think about it before writing it down now...that's a large number when you consider how hospitals are so short on the med-surg floors.

    Anyhow, I think that if you are not sure about a specialty and you feel comfortable in med-surg then why question it? There is no unwritten rule that your ultimate goal should be to move from med-surg into a specialty area anyway. I think some students may even feel some pressure to do so, as if this makes them more valuable as a nurse or proves their competence.

    I did choose a specialty, as I mentioned in the beginning. I have been attracted to critical care ever since I went to visit my grandmother who died in ICU. So I got a tech's position in an ICU...and I nearly quit. It was the scariest thing I had ever done...then I got comfortable in my role and loved it...now I am a new grad and the new role brings back all those insecurities again. Still, I can't imagine working in another area right now, including med-surg. Honestly, sometimes you can figure out the areas you DON'T want to work faster than the area that you would like most.

    Stick with MS as long as you feel comfortable and when you find an interest in another area you will definitely know...then worry about making a move. And if that never happens...who really cares? There is nothing inferrior about med-surg.
  6. by   RNsRWe
    I wonder where the notion that med-surg is not a specialty came from? If we get a float from any other unit, they are not given total knee or total hip replacements, as that "specialty" is not in their competency. They also rarely get any of our fresh post-ops, as that "specialty" isn't under their training, either. Blood transfusions, central line dressing changes? Only if they have floated to our floor enough to have had that done alot....or forget it.

    If anything, I feel at this point a HUGE advantage in having chosen med-surg: I have the opportunity to learn some very skilled procedures that can be used anywhere. I think I might go into home health at some point, one day, and none of the agencies around here want you unless you've had at least a year in med-surg.

    And as I've written about several times at this point, I never expected to be in med-surg after graduation at all: it was the one area I had no desire to be in, LOL...and now, I'm so glad I did it!
  7. by   DolphinRN84
    I'm a new grad who went in to med/surg. I work in a vascular surgical unit, but we get a lot of medical patients too. I'm glad I went into med/surg. I'll be learning a lot of skills and I hope to go into the ICU in a couple of years.
  8. by   onduty23
    i am one of those that feels med surg is a specialty. i will be doing this specialty
  9. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    You are going into a specialty area- pediatrics. Keep your chin up and don't mind what everyone else is doing, what matters to you is what you are doing and if you are happy doing it.

    swtooth
  10. by   awalke13965
    I would like to thank everyone for all your words of encouragement and advice. I really needed it. I start my first day tomorrow, which is just orientation, but I'm still nervous and also excited at the same time. Now after reading your replies, I have a little more confidence that I choice the path that was right for me. I'll let you guys know how my first day went.
  11. by   Lindsay42
    I'm a new grad (haven't taken the NCLEX-RN yet) and I'm working on Adult MedSurg/Ortho floor. The nurses promise it will give me a good solid base to work with
  12. by   Paleobug
    I've been working on a med/surg floor since Nov. I think that it is a good foundation before going into any type of specialty. There's a lot of variety. My patient load is usually about 6.
  13. by   AuntieRN
    I went directly to med/surg as a new grad also in Oct. Not where I wanted to be. I wanted to be in the ER. I am glad I started Med/surg first. I panic when a pt starts to go downhill...I do not think I have the expertise or experience to take care of some of the pts I now get...couldn't even imagine how I would have felt in the ER just now. One day perhaps but for now...I am honing my skills on my very busy med/surg floor where I get 6 pts a day...admissions, discharges, dressing changes, fresh postops...tele pts...psych pts...you name it we get it. Good luck to you!!!
  14. by   Chaoticdreams33
    I'm also going into Med-Surg this June for the above mentioned reasons

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