So...does anyone like it?

  1. I've noticed that a lot of people complain about Med/Surg floors...they're either already placed on one and bucking to get off or their trying like crazy to avoid being placed on one after graduation. Why is that? I know I'm probably showing my naivete here but humor me please! Does anyone like the Med/Surg floor? What is it specifically that you like/dislike about that floor? Thanks in advance for your replies!!!

    ~Bean
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   thisnurse
    i work a med/surg floor and i like it a lot. we get such a wide variety of patients that its kind of like trying different medical areas out before settling in. i like the pace. its busy and its fast..you learn to think quickly and act quickly.
    what i dont like about it is the same thing...the variety of patients we get. the term "medical" encompasses EVERYTHING.
    we are the ER dumping grounds. i like it more than i dont like it tho.
  4. by   RN-PA
    Thisnurse says it well for me. I've been on a Med/Surg floor working evening shift for 8 years and have OFTEN considered doing something a tad less stressful and demanding, but when I've considered other options, I keep coming back to Med/Surg because of the great variety and the head-to-toe care I can give my patients. I've cared for 10-year-olds and 99-year-olds, from orthopedic to oncology to renal to respiratory to AIDS to you name it, and even on the BAD nights, I feel a lot of satisfaction for the depth and breadth of care it's possible to give and all that I learn every single night I work.
  5. by   fergus51
    I personally hated med-surg, because it didn't fit with my personality and only worked on it a few months after grad. I know other nurses who love it. I didn't because I hated having 12 patients and not really having time to connect with anyone, plus the turnover was quite bad on the floor and it sometimes felt like we were the hospital's dumping ground. This could have a lot to do with the particular hospital mind you.

    I was more suited to L&D where I have time to really talk to my patients and connect, and there is much less turnover and it just seems more action packed to me.
  6. by   sharann
    BLESS THE MED-SURG NURSES!!!! THANK YOU FOR DOING WHAT YOU DO :angel2:
  7. by   CriticalCareOnc
    med-surg is great! only complaint, PATIENT LOAD!!!
  8. by   JillR
    Hate it. Absolutly hate it. For all of the above reasons.
  9. by   nightingale
    I love the diversity... it is great experience if you can hang in there... but not mandatory....

    B.
  10. by   nurs4kids
    absolutely LOVE it!!!!!!!!!! The more tubes and guts..the better!!!!
  11. by   hapeewendy
    I work med/surg and Love it for the most part
    our patient load is 7 pts , one RN one RPN
    on days and evenings and one RN on nights
    what I like about it is , the diversity, getting to interact beyond a treat and turf level
    I really *do* feel like I get to know my patients well, the variety of ailments you see, seeing the recovery process in action, working with wonderful team members, really getting to know your medication administration (medicine pts especially are often on a TON of meds)

    what I dont like about it is the fact that we have a lot of nurses burning out because of the heavy work load, and that med/surg sometimes unfortunately IS a dumping ground for ER and other units etc, also despite the notion that med-surg is kind of a beginning place for new grads to ease them into the profession, its demanding, youre expected to converse intelligently with an average of 8-9 drs (since its not ONE service, there is a whole bunch of MD coverage) and working short on a med surg floor is really tiring and grueling...because of all the work involved and the increased patient load and acuity
    my unit for example has started taking shared care from ICU,kinda like a stepdown situation,so the nurse on shared care primarily takes care of that one pt, and one more from the team........
    I like it, and it takes a special breed of us to do it everyday

    cheers!
  12. by   kmchugh
    Time for a little truth (as I see it). Med/surg is the heart of the hospital, as well as the heart of hospital nursing. I remember from nursing school how much I learned from the med/surg floor. I learned about pathophysiology, as well as the impact of pathophys on the person. I learned about interacting with patients, family members, co-workers, and administration. I learned what it was to really connect with a patient. All from med/surg, and some of the great med/surg nurses who taught me to be a nurse.

    That said, I also learned what it was to be seen as the dumping ground. For the first time, I ran into the physician with the "just a nurse" attitude. Med/surg is the place the hospital looks when profits aren't as high as they like. "There's no reason one nurse can't take care of one or two more patients per shift. Its not that much of a bigger load. And God knows they don't need as much in the way of equipment and supplies as the nurses in the ICU's." That attitude rapidly spirals out of control. I remember as a student nurse, I worked part time on an oncology-med/surg floor (how's that for a combination?). One night, as I was getting off at 11 pm, we only had two nurses coming in for the night. The floor had 41 patients, including three that were receiving blood, two who had returned from the recovery room in the last hour, and three that were actively having chemo infused at that time. Both arriving nurses were unhappy with the situation, both were very concerned about patient safety, and both said the same thing. "We've been here before. No sense complaining to anyone about it, no one will do anything to help. Administration has told us before 'don't worry about it, you're on third shift, they'll all be sleeping anyway'." The med/surg nurse is terrific, but the med/surg floor is the dumping ground for the hospital, and a prime example of everything wrong with nursing today.

    As I left that night, I promised myself several things: First, I had to protect patients above all else, as well as my nursing license (when I got it). I would have a limit to the number of patients I would take, and come hell or high water, I was sticking to that number. If I found myself in a similar situation, I was going to refuse to take report until someone somewhere did something to correct the problem. I would never be a floor mat for anyone looking to cut a few dollars from the expenditures budget. And finally, I'd get a job at McDonalds flipping burgers before I ever worked on a med/surg floor. I've kept those promises, and my sanity.

    I love those nurses, and this is one ex-ICU nurse saying saying they all have my highest respect. I could never do that without killing someone (generally, an administrator).

    Kevin McHugh
    Last edit by kmchugh on Apr 25, '02
  13. by   SICU Queen
    Okay, just my two cents here. I do NOT think MedSurg is the heart of the hospital. It is the a$$hole of the hospital. For those of you that love it, thank God for you because I could never do it again.

    Too many patients, not enough help, too many family members bugging you for crap that doesn't matter, the MDs think you have nothing to do but take care of their specific requests... it was all just a nightmare for me. I HATED it.

    Give me a critically ill, on 20 gtts, at death's door patient in a closed ICU with NO family hanging around and an MD that trusts my opinion enough to listen to me, ANYDAY.

    (climbing down off the soapbox now...)
  14. by   LauraRN0501
    I work med/surg, have for the last 10 months or so since I've graduated and I love what I do. But I probably won't stay there forever, simply because it IS the dumping ground of the hospital. Just the other day an ICU nurse came out and told us first thing in the morning "wow, you guys are lucky X came in to work extra, because if she hadn't, Y would definitely have gone back to the unit." Mind you, we were already working short, and that would have put us in a real bind. But it WOULD have happened. And never did it occur to the nurse from ICU to wonder how pulling one of our nurses would affect us. We get calls from the ENTIRE hospital to come help when they are short, and we have to do it. I have ONE TIME seen an ICU nurse come and do an admission for us when we were busy, never anyone from any other dept. We are also required to staff the doctor's offices that our under contract with the hospital. Guess which unit does it when one of the office nurses is out. Med/surg. At night, the ER calls our unit to go to pharmacy for them. Why?? Because they can't POSSIBLY spare any nurses, even for 15 minutes, because they are too busy. ALWAYS. No one ever stops to think that maybe we are busy as well. And woe to anyone who doesn't jump up and run to the pharmacy RIGHT THAT SECOND.

    That being said, I do love what I do, love my patients and am glad (usually) to go to work. I have gotten great experience on the med/surg floor and wouldn't have traded my time for anything. But, I doubt I will be there forever.

    Laura

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