The Monster: Med/Surg

  1. 0
    I'm a nursing student. Just started recently & I continue to hear about this monster...MED/SURG.
    Everyone said AP was going to be INSANE. So far, it's my highest grade. It IS a lot, but it does
    not seem to be as bad as everyone made it out to be.

    So, I don't want to get comfortable..........why is med/surg scary? Everyone keeps stressing over it
    terribly. I must be clueless.
  2. 24 Comments so far...

  3. 7
    Clueless you are, but not for long. Med/surg is the backbone of nursing, where you learn how to do everything and not kill anyone in the process. I personally hated med/surg and wanted nothign to do with it but as you'll hear many people say "You need a year of Medsurg before you can do go anything specialized" I personally think that's a bunch of BS. Either way it's ALOT of information thrown at you all at once, things that you've probabaly never seen or heard of before. Most people in your nursing program will fail out during med/surg if they have not failed already. A&P is easy because it's all rote memorization, a monkey could do it honestly. So if it's you're highest grade then congrats, you have good memorization skills. But if your tests are NCLEX format memorizing the whole text book, wont do you a damn bit of good. You have to be able to take all the information you read, filter out whats not important and understand what is and WHY it is. It's applied knowledge...Best advice is get a NCLEX review book and study it and study the question format...if your a good student then all you'll need to learn is simply how to take a test..Good luck to you
    matchsticktgt, 3KittiesRN, netglow, and 4 others like this.
  4. 8
    Med/surg IS nursing. It is the core of nursing. Once you learn med/surg nursing all the rest are built upon this. This is why you're going to nursing school.
  5. 1
    I agree with most of what EMTRN6785 said.

    Med/Surg is the backbone of nursing. If you can't get the basics and knowledge of med/surg, then other areas of your nursing practice will suffer.

    But you also have to realize it's tough and especially tough when you get hard professors, which was my case. I failed Med/Surg 1 the first time. I had alot going on personally and on top of that, I had a difficult professor. It really depends how your professor teaches, what kind of learner you are, etc.

    Like what EMTRN6785 said, check out NCLEX books, go through practice questions before a test coming up on the subject matter. Also, become good friends with your clinical instructor, since you see him/her and spend more time with him/her than the lecture professor, and if you have troubles he/she's more likely to know how you learn and help you.

    Good luck!
    RNintraining72 likes this.
  6. 3
    While EMTRN has some constructive things to say, take it with a grain of salt Inbox. Med/Surg IS indeed the backbone of nursing and much of medicine. Working in these environments requires that you use your entire arsenal of knowledge, experience and skills in order to provide good comprehensive care. Not everyone is going to FAIL their med/surg rotations, but it will be challenging and overwhelming to plenty of your nursing friends - just don't forget that your there to learn and manage patient care. It is challenging because patients frequently have comorbidites such as diabetes, copd and the like which influences their ability to heal - for example you may find that your patient admitted with ketoacidosis is really having issues with a non-healing foot ulcer, and that he's been depressed and medicating it with alcohol. It will be your job as a nurse to figure out how everything is influencing their current health status and what can be done to improve it (from the above example you have issues with blood sugars, psychosocial matters and addiction which will all influence his ability to be healthy). Using your nursing process (which you will learn in school) will be vital. It may be too early for you to use an NCLEX guide to help you in this area but a good careplan guide can help give you ideas as to how each patient problem will influence the care you provide them. If you get one, make sure it is one that explains the rationale behind your interventions. The other piece of advice I can give you is to ask plenty of questions - to both your instructors, the nurses overseeing your patients care and most importantly to your patient.

    Med/Surg is not for everyone and it is not necessary to have to experience in this area to nurse elsewhere, but it certainly is a wonderful foundation to start on. You'll always use your core nursing knowledge and skills in this area.

    Good Luck in your studies
    Iwantobeanurse, trixie333, and JB2007 like this.
  7. 2
    The OP made several good points, but I do not know about a monkey being able to pass A&P. However, if you got a good grade in that class it shows that you have good study skills and are able to learn large amounts of info. quickly. Both of these skills will help in med-surg.

    Also, A&P is the meat and potatoes of your nursing classes. If you have a good understand of the human body and how all of the systems work together when the body is health it will help you to understand the disease processes. It will also help you to understand why we do the nursing interventions that we do. Many times in nursing school just having a good understanding of A&P helped me to work through the questions to come to the correct anwsers.

    The OP is correct that a nursing test is like no other test that you have had in your general ed. courses. You will not always know the anwser to the question because a lot the questions will force you to think in a totally different way. However, if you have a good solid understanding on how the human body works, and some common sense, and you study hard, you have a good chance to do well in nursing school.

    Good luck in school and do not let what others say discourage you. Embrace the learning process and learn everything that you can in every class.
    Iwantobeanurse and 3KittiesRN like this.
  8. 0
    The med/surg class is just soo much material all at once. Its so much that its hard to imagine learning all of the material in time for the test. This is the real challenge in that class.

    I imagine it depends on your program but most of you will most likely get through and yes, some people will definitely decide that nursing is not for them based on their failure.
  9. 1
    Quote from Aniroc
    While EMTRN has some constructive things to say, take it with a grain of salt..

    Hahaha...Exactlyyyyy.....I have no tact and I just say whatever comes out...lol...
    Aniroc likes this.
  10. 0
    OP, I'd say the lecture part of medsurg is not bad, you just will have to bend and turn it seems as the wind blows you are on to being tested on something else. Medsurg clinical is the majority really of what you are being trained for in college. No matter if ADN or BSN, you are being prepped for general nursing, and that is medsurg.

    The ugh is the taking on of a full patient load in clinical. This is extremely irritating, because you are always at a disadvantage as you are in control for no more than seconds at a time (and that's only because you told everybody, "I meant that to happen"... NOT). The problem is in that you know how to get control of all those patients (but it would be illegal) and so you have to wrangle everybody by the rules, in a nutshell...
  11. 3
    I got into medsurg for the experience, now a 1 1/2 year later, I absolutely love it, wouldn't want to do anything else; I am wanting to go into critical care some time in the near future. I know not all nurses feel the same way, but only within the last 6 months or so have I come to realize I really like my job. Good staffing and the people I work with I'm sure play a role in the happiness with my job.
    Tait, Gabby Pentin, and Aniroc like this.


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