Quote from Kuklara511
Hi Just Decided I Want To Be A Nurse And Have Been Reading This Webiste For The Last Month. Everyone Talks About How After Graduation It Is Good To Go Into Med Surg. What Is Med Surg? What Types Of Patients Are There And What Do Duties Consist Of?
Med-Surg nurses can work in a number of environments (even community nursing). Med-surg in a hospital setting is your floor nurse generalist. I work as a PCA (nurse's aide) on a med-surg unit that's mostly surgical in nature, meaning that patients arrive there after having had surgery. We care for them during the recovery of that process and discharge them either to rehab, home, a nursing home or whatever. The medical side (the "Med" of Med-Surg) tends to deal with non-surgical medical conditions, such as heart failure, etc.
The care is wide-ranging, depending on the patient's needs and his/her ability to care for him/herself. There is the passing of meds, helping with general hygiene as needed, helping people get to the bathroom, or ambulate (walk), or just to get to their chair and back to bed. There are a wide variety of procedures, like dressing changes, irrigation of various tubes and orifices, and of course, the occasional bedpan or other bodily excretion management.
Before I started nursing school, I might have thought that giving meds was easy, -- my pharmacology professor said, you can train a monkey to give pills-- but the nurse needs to have a thorough knowledge of medications... why they're being given, when they should be withheld, what common side-effects they cause and how meds interact with other meds. We're the ones at the bedside who can assess what's going on and intervene on a timely basis if something goes wrong.
The med-surg nurse does a lot of vital signs-taking (though is often helped out by aides with this task, as with the hygiene-related tasks).
Drains are drained and measured. Fluid intake and output is measured.
Anyway, these are some of the tasks of the med-surg nurse. I love my unit and plan to work there as a nurse when I finish school this spring. Many people say that it's a good thing to work med-surg before going to specialize in another unit.. some people disagree with this. I'll add that time spent working med-surg won't be wasted, because you will have a chance to develop a wide-variety of nursing skills. The acuity of patients on my unit are equivalent to those of some in ICU's in other hospitals, so a lot depends on your unit. If you want to specialize in ob/gyn, for example, it probably won't be as helpful to spend a lot of time working med-surg before going to work maternity. Of course, if you can't find a job in maternity when you graduate, then the med-surg experience won't hurt you.
Hope this helps, and good luck on your journey!