Why do so many nurses seem to dislike working in Med/Surg - page 4

I've been reading this board for a while and Med/Surg seems to be the place that most people (no everyone) pay their dues and try to get out. What's the deal?... Read More

  1. by   Maggiemay
    i think it is because the m/s nurse has to have such a huge knowledge base! they have to know a little bit about everything, and they work their rear ends off because since it is "just med-surg" the benchmark targets are usually set lower than a specialty unit.

    m/s nurses need to be shown support. they are an integral part of nursing, i would even venture to say the backbone of nursing since they take what no one else will!!.

    so show a little respect, tell one of these m/s nurses thanks, or that you appreciate them and maybe they won't dislike it so much!!!

    btw- i am one!!!! :hatparty:
  2. by   Aquamarine
    I am older than you are and am eager, very eagar. I can do it and more. I was a Nutritionist for many years and decided it was time for a change and challenge. I hope I make a good nurse and pass the boards and everything, nothing will stop me though, it may take 2 attempts...I will do it.

    Any room out there for us oldeeeer peeps??[/QUOTE]
  3. by   ldkrn
    I'm a nursing instructor in an A/D program, and I disagree w/many of my peers that new nurses need a year of med/surg to "learn the ropes." That's unfair to the unit, the manager, and the hospital to just put your time in and move on (although that's what I did, many years ago...) If you love psych or O/B, there's no reason to waste your time in med/surg. I do tell my students if they're not sure to go for med/surg, because they will get a lot of exposure to different types of patients and may just end up loving it. It is hard, physical work though-for me that was the major downfall.
  4. by   jl_nurse
    I have worked in the med-surg unit of my local hospital for the last 4 1/2 years. I have been a RN since May of 2004. Med-Surg is definitely the place to learn your skills, critical thinking, diseases, etc. I absolutely love working in med-surg. I have always wanted to be an oncology nurse, but I get to take care of my patients with cancer too. I get it all. Recently I have been promoted to charge nurse of our unit. Also, in terms of the person that said there is no recognition. Well I was on the front page of our paper for winning the award for nurse of the year for our hospital. If that isn't recognition, I don't know what it is. Alot, too many people, look down on med-surg nurses for various reasons. The one thing I want everyone to know is the knowledge base we must have. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against nurses who specialize, however they usually get to concentrate on that "speciality." The other day, I had a patient with schizophrenia, a patient with sats dropping to the 70's, a pleasantly confused patient, a 98 year old with a UTI, and on top of all that I was in charge. Boy, I had to be on top of it. POWER TO ALL NURSESALL OF US!!!
  5. by   rnmi2004
    I'm doing a med-surg internship as a new nurse. The reason I decided on this position is because of the hospital's thorough orientation and because I'm not sure where I want to end up. There are so many areas of nursing that interest me. In the meantime, I really enjoy what I'm learning as a med-surg nurse & feel that no matter where I end up, this will be a valuable foundation for me.

    I don't think new nurses should feel required to "pay their dues" in med surg--if they know where they want to work & have a facility willing to train them in that specialty, go for it!
  6. by   JRRN
    POWER TO ALL NURSESALL OF US!!![/QUOTE]

    Amen and well said. I've been an RN for 16 years and have my certification in Med Surg. I've done OB, ICU, ER, and various subspecialties of medsurg. Got tired of looking at women's private parts all day and having doctors try to jeopardize my license so I don't do OB any more. Found too many critical care nurses to mean and hateful to others. Once when I changed jobs they told me I had to take their critical care course to work in the unit. Most of the "student" in the class were new grads. The instructor stood up and told them that the reason the ICU existed was to save the patients from the mistakes made by the floor nurses. When I confronted her, in private, she told me that it was her class and she could tell them anything she wanted. I left the class and have not worked in ICU since then. And yes, med surg is a specialty. It is for people who want to know a lot about everything. It is for people who like to be challenged. And there is always a challenge, whether it's a crashing patient or just the challenge of working shortstaffed. Unfortunately, med surg units don't bring in the money like specialty units. Which is why their budgets are usually smaller. And since so many nurses have derogatory thoughts about medsurg, they won't fight for what's right. No one will think medsurg nurses are worth more than dog poop until medsurg nurses stand up and start educating everyone on what we do! Too many people act ashamed or nonchalant about working medsurg instead of telling people "I work in adult health and save lives every day." Come on you people. If you are a medsurg nurse and think you are worth something - DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Management, colleagues, and consumers need to know that medsurg is the backbone of healthcare and without us, there wouldn't be any other specialties.
  7. by   Aquamarine
    Hi I agree, I am not sure what I want to do eventually and so I will take the 1 yr. med surg. We are not forced in all circumstances, it is just a suggestion. Not a bad one but you are right, if you know what you want then go for it. In Buffalo they are hiring into the special units also. Thanks for the input. What is A/D?
    Quote from ldkrn
    I'm a nursing instructor in an A/D program, and I disagree w/many of my peers that new nurses need a year of med/surg to "learn the ropes." That's unfair to the unit, the manager, and the hospital to just put your time in and move on (although that's what I did, many years ago...) If you love psych or O/B, there's no reason to waste your time in med/surg. I do tell my students if they're not sure to go for med/surg, because they will get a lot of exposure to different types of patients and may just end up loving it. It is hard, physical work though-for me that was the major downfall.
  8. by   live4today
    Quote from JRRN
    POWER TO ALL NURSESALL OF US!!!
    Amen and well said. I've been an RN for 16 years and have my certification in Med Surg.............................................. ................so many nurses have derogatory thoughts about medsurg, they won't fight for what's right. No one will think medsurg nurses are worth more than dog poop until medsurg nurses stand up and start educating everyone on what we do! Too many people act ashamed or nonchalant about working medsurg instead of telling people "I work in adult health and save lives every day." Come on you people. If you are a medsurg nurse and think you are worth something - DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Management, colleagues, and consumers need to know that medsurg is the backbone of healthcare and without us, there wouldn't be any other specialties.[/QUOTE]

    As a nurse who has worked mostly med/surg myself, I totally agree with you on this!

    I've worked a few other specialty units in my time as a nurse, but the work that is done on a med/surg unit requires far more "multi-tasking" and "multi-critical thinking skills" due to the various diagnoses that are admitted under the med/surg nurses care on any given shift.

    It's like working in a zoo where you have to know how to care for the apes, the lions, the elephants, the birds, the rhinos, and so forth. They are all animals, but each animal's care must be specifically focused on the best care for each individual species.

    When working med/surg........the patient population presents with many different problems.......some neuro, some ortho, some GI, some GU, some cardiac, some oncology, some diabetic, some pre and post surgery cases, some upper respiratory, and so forth.

    Five to seven patients per nurse.......each with a different diagnoses and treatment plans.........lab work will vary based on the patients various diagnoses, test ordered are different, the meds are different, the approach to their care is different, their care plans are all over the place....

    HATS OFF TO ALL MED/SURG NURSES EVERYWHERE!!! DAILY, WE KICK BUTT AND TAKE CRAP!!! WE ROCK!:hatparty: allllllllll nurses rock!!!
  9. by   HealinghandsRN
    [QUOTE=BETSRN]You're the first one I have ever heard say that. I would NEVER think that those in med-surg cannot hack it elsewhere! What an odd idea!![/QUOTE

    Hello All, I have worked in all areas......ICU, PCU & now I decided to do Med Surg..............Lets face it nursing is a stressful profession and everyone in each of their departments are very busy. In Med Surg u are trying to heal and send them home.....Telemetry....trying to monitor and stabilize their cardiac rhythms and in ICU u are trying to keep them alive. All departments have the same goals. I don't think a certain department has anything to do with "prestige" I think if a nurse is competent and loves what she does is what should constitute Prestige. "Its a zoo and just different animals"
  10. by   jenn18soccer
    I am currently in nursing school and have about a year left to get my RN. For all my clinicals so far we have had to do med/surg. It was okay at first, but after a while it just seems like you see alot of the same things over and over again. I think it's a great place to learn and see a variety of different things, but it all seems like it can be VERY over whelming over time. I've been able to go the the OR and i LOVED it. I still have other areas to experience, who knows where i will end up...but i don't think it will be med/surg.
    Last edit by jenn18soccer on Mar 16, '05
  11. by   HealinghandsRN
    [QUOTE=healinghandsRN]
    Quote from BETSRN
    You're the first one I have ever heard say that. I would NEVER think that those in med-surg cannot hack it elsewhere! What an odd idea!![/QUOTE

    Hello All, I have worked in all areas......ICU, PCU & now I decided to do Med Surg..............Lets face it nursing is a stressful profession and everyone in each of their departments are very busy. In Med Surg u are trying to heal and send them home.....Telemetry....trying to monitor and stabilize their cardiac rhythms and in ICU u are trying to keep them alive. All departments have the same goals. I don't think a certain department has anything to do with "prestige" I think if a nurse is competent and loves what she does is what should constitute Prestige. "Its a zoo and each department are just different animals"
    Last edit by HealinghandsRN on Mar 16, '05 : Reason: sent to wrong person
  12. by   TexasNS
    Quote from jenn18soccer
    i am currently in nursing school and have about a year left to get my rn. for all my clinicals so far we have had to do med/surg. it was okay at first, but after a while it just seems like you see alot of the same things over and over again. i think it's a great place to learn and see a variety of different things, but it all seems like it can be very over whelming over time. i've been able to go the the or and i loved it. i still have other areas to experience, who knows where i will end up...but i don't think it will be med/surg.

    i work on a med/surg floor and today i saw a dub-hoff tube inserted and 30 minuetes later went to check the patient and the tube was sticking out an old peg site...................havn't seen that before .

    i love working med/surg it is fun to watch the unorganized nurse spin in a circle half the day.
  13. by   FORDGRAD78
    Within one year after graduation, I came back to California. My experience on a Med-Surg Unit during training and after graduation placed me well beyond the training and knowledge of nurses I worked with here. Yes, you do see any and everything in Med-Surg. I found that working the night shift was my preference. At night you don't have the MD rounds, administrative types, visitors, etc., to get the way of patient care. It is a great training area for nurses who want to work in other specialties, including discharge planning or case management, especially if you want to be an Independent CM.

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