I decided to start my career on a Medical-Surgical unit. Looking for advice - page 2

I decided for several reasons to start my career on a Medical-Surgical unit. I will be doing 12 hour shifts on the 7pm-7am shift. The pros definitely outweighted the cons for reasons why I should... Read More

  1. by   altomga
    [i]
    3. If you want to work med/surg grow big balls because surgeons have an larger than life ego. [/B]
    :roll
  2. by   Brownms46
    Wow excellent advice you have received! Wish the net had been around when I started out. You will find an excellent resource right here, so don't hesitate to ask, or vent. I will add that I carry a pocket drug book around usually, but most places have several on the unit. I just liked having my own for quick references. You can get one at Barnes and Nobles, for a under $5.00 I think...if you want.

    I also have found many docs love for you to ask them questions. Some get a kick out of teaching. But eveyone can be a resource, the secretary, the CNA..so keep yourself open to input. If I were you I would print out the above advice, and keep it handy...maybe on your clip board. Excellent feedback here!

    I forgot. Take all the educational classes you can, as nursing is a continous learning process. I usually find that hospital have classes that are offered in the breakroom at most places. So keep informed!
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Apr 2, '03
  3. by   SharkLPN
    Ditto the above and add.....

    Expect the unexpected!

    Not trying to scare ya, but I've seen everything from lethargic, demented, LOLs getting themselves tangled in IV tubing(and the subsequent amusing battle to disentangle them), to full arrest with the whole floor joining in the effort. You'll (hopefully!) experience what teamwork can do, and what you can achieve solo when the rest of the team is occupied with their own patients!

    Best of luck!
  4. by   P_RN
    I carry a very small address book about 2 1/2 x 3"with phone numbers, beeper numbers, lab values, computer order numbers...etc. it is invaluable and takes no batteries!!

    Look around for GOOD habits not shortcuts. If you find someone really organised, ASK them to help you. Little things like knowing ALL the equipment you need for a procedure helps......put that in the little book too. Say please and thank you. Help others and ask for help yourself.

    In addition to the good shoes, wear support hose....sox are neat and cute and do NOTHING to help your legs. I wear TEDs but you can get similar ones at the drugstore or med supply.

    Get a clipboard that is so ugly and loud no one will steal it, but keep it with you anyway. Mine's transparent hot pink. I have braden scales, pressure ulcer grids, tb rulers all facing the back.

    I have cheat sheet stuff like preferences, neat phrases that work in charting....etc.

    Lay out your uniform at night and never go to work without breakfast. Get there a few minutes early and "eyeball" your patients....I call it "howdy rounds." As in "howdy, ok you're still alive, not hemorrhaging and not on the floor." You don't have to do anything right then. Puts your mind at ease and you have a face to put with the name in report.

    And on your report sheet put the patients doctors' names and tel numbers there. Crumping patients don't wait for you to find a phone directory.

    Don't procrastinate....that 10 minute dressing change is a lot easier done when it's due than worrying all shift you might not get to it....just DO it and it's over. Never give a pill you don't know what it is. Never give any med without knowing allergies....ASK....it is NOT always on the kardex or medex.
  5. by   nightingale
    Ditto to the great adviced given. Try Photo Copying your Kardex so you have the basics at your fingertips. I also write out a mini report for the next shift so I can better when giving report including "buzz words" instead of sentences to share events of the day.

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