Medicine vs Surgery Unit

  1. What is the difference between the two units in the thehospital?Which is more interesting In your opinion? Which do you think is more fast paced/demanding?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   JRM357NP
    So I am trauma by trade, my wife worked in the SICU and I had a good friend that worked in a Medical ICU. Each has their trade-offs. Surgical ICU, is fast paced and based off the type of facility you work in (Trauma or teaching institution), so if you work at big institution, with around the medical care and a lot of trauma, get your skates ready, but you will learn.. MICU, the same thing almost, but really sick patients as well. Either way you hone in on the patho and operate your care with those co-morbidities in mind. Just thought about it while speaking w/my wife, SICU is quick and fast, but, you have the trauma component added on top of the many co-morbidities of a MICU patient. But to be honest, do both and be the best! Patho is nearly the same especially once you learn how Trauma(s) affect it all! So be high speed and low drag, it is challenging and to hear/see those unit nurses at work is amazing (even my fellow Trauma/Critical Care nurses! Either way a competent nurse gets the respect of the providers and that you will become.
  4. by   LovingLife123
    Are they ICUs?
  5. by   Alto22
    How about general surgery units/day surgery General medicine?
  6. by   Caffeine_IV
    Surgery is fast paced because you will have frequent admits/addons/discharges throughout the day.

    I found surgery to be predictable in that the patient with no complications has an expected course and routine. Unexpected things do occur and you will learn what complications to be watchful for.

    I prefer medicine for the complexity and variety. These patients tend to have longer stays. Their is some predictability with the plan of care.

    Both of these are demanding and would allow you to gain great assessment skills.
  7. by   cleback
    I second Caffeine for the pace with admissions and discharges on surgical floors. As far as patent population, I found what type of surgery greatly affects my enjoyment. Not a big fan of neurosurgery. Ortho tends to be elective patients with a high customer service orientation (probably bc those patients can really take their business anywhere, and the hospital knows this). I do like abdominal and other types of surgeries. But I like medical floors the best for the variety and the complexity of chronically ill patients.
  8. by   RNperdiem
    In my experience, medicine patients tend to be older and have lots of chronic problems. It is rarely just one thing, it is diabetes plus renal failure plus COPD etc. Compared to surgical patients, they get a lot more meds and have longer stays. Nursing home patients are more common, plus the patients who are waiting for nursing home placements. What keeps you busy here is giving the long list of meds, preventing falls, preventing skin breakdown and keeping up with people who might not be independent in their ADLs at baseline.
    In surgery, what keeps you busy is all the discharges and admissions, dealing with pain control, and getting people moving who would rather stay in bed because it hurts to move. Surgical care is all about preventing complications like DVT, pneumonia or wound infections. People vary in their health, but generally tend to be independent at baseline. Often there are fewer meds to give.
  9. by   Glycerine82
    Medical floors have patients from all walks of life over the age of 18, usually. They could be palliative or have any number of medical issues not surgical in nature but also not severe enough for the ICU. Surgical units are usually post op patients who need to be monitored for x amount of days prior to being sent home.

    Thats my very basic knowledge of the two, anyways.
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Alto22
    How about general surgery units/day surgery General medicine?
    Both are interesting, but for different reasons. As a rule, general surgery (especially day surgery) has quicker turnover of patients. Medicine has slower turnover, but usually multiple co-morbidities and certainly the opportunity for some in-depth analysis of disease processes, lab results and medications. Fewer admissions and discharges per day, if that matters.
  11. by   newmail445
    Any particular insight for CCU? Coronary Care Unit.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from newmail445
    Any particular insight for CCU? Coronary Care Unit.
    I loved CCU. You'll get patients with heart failure, MIs, vascular diseases. An acute MI with a balloon pump is a very interesting patient.
  13. by   newmail445
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    I loved CCU. You'll get patients with heart failure, MIs, vascular diseases. An acute MI with a balloon pump is a very interesting patient.
    Nice. I start the beginning of next month. Is it as fast paced as a level One SICU at a teaching hospital?
  14. by   medventura
    A surgical unit, also referred to as a theatre unit or scrub unit, specializes in preoperative care, providing care to patients before, during and after surgery. To become a theatre unit, Registered Nurses or Enrolled Nurses must complete extra training. There are different speciality areas that theatre units can focus in depending on which areas they are interested in.


    The Medical Unit is an inpatient unit that provides quality medical and nursing care. The Unit provides acute care to a patient population that is young adult (age 18) to geriatric. The majority of patients are admitted with gastrointestinal disorders, heart and lung conditions ranging from acute episodes to chronic

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Medicine vs Surgery Unit