Why do so many nurses seem to dislike working in Med/Surg - page 6

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   danu3
    Quote from gringoloco1973
    ... Not to mention med surg nurses are considered bottom of the food chain by other nurses . But i think every nurse should start there.
    What? I thought psych nurses were? Or they are not consider nurses at all?

    -Dan
  2. by   LPNer
    Quote from danu3
    What? I thought psych nurses were? Or they are not consider nurses at all?

    -Dan
    Oh this is going to get me into trouble, but I just have to say it!

    Never mind, I can't....
    It's too mean for all of us to think it's funny and I just don't want to offend somebody that doesn't know how to handle off color humor.
  3. by   mrs/mom/rn
    I work on a straight medical floor. You get anything any time. Admissions come floor to keep open beds on specialty floors open and then if any other floor is full we still take their overflow (except Tele). Unfortuneatly staffing is based on numbers an hour before shift starts (even with full ED). There is so much to learn and since no-one knows everything, people seem to find it easier to admit thier shortcomings. Even though it is challenging and some days you just want to hang it up, there is always a fresh assignment to pick up on your next shift.
    ps- the dh coming out the peg is funny after the fact,
  4. by   Sheri257
    I notice that a lot of the Med Surg comments involve staffing.

    If there were ratios of 5-1, like we have in California, do you think that would make a difference in a lot of the situations many of you have described?

  5. by   cjan
    On our med surg floor we never have more than six pt. usually. This is still tough. With admissions, d/charges, total cares, alcohol withdrawal you never know what to expect, and it can fall apart quickly. Med pass can take forever some days. Organization and team work help. Med surg is the heart and soul of nursing, and if you can cut it there, you can make it anywhere. The main problem usually is family members who expect you to be mothers private duty nurse all day. They think mother is your only patient to care for, and that creates problems. Other areas of the hospital do not respect us like they should. Every nurse should spend at least a week on the med-surg floor, and see what it is like. cj
  6. by   LPNer
    Quote from lizz
    I notice that a lot of the Med Surg comments involve staffing.

    If there were ratios of 5-1, like we have in California, do you think that would make a difference in a lot of the situations many of you have described?

    We have anything from 4 - 6. 5 is the usual and 6 happens enough that it's not a stranger, but then so does 4. I did have 7 one day not long ago, but that is really an exception (I was pulled to med-surg).
    Same goes for the med-surg and tele floors. The specialty and "units" have less. I understand the "units" having less, but I really don't understand why 1 surgeon can insist on, and get away with, 3:1 for his bariatric pts. After all, if they are not stable, they go to the unit. Oh well. :chuckle
  7. by   mrs/mom/rn
    on 7p-7, 7-11 we usually start with 4 or 5 , then we get an admission. at 11p we have 5 or 6 and may pick up an admission. 4 and 5 are okay unless one crashes especially if the ccu is low on beds and will not take a pt untill it is too late. (why do mds think you can 1:1 monitor) 6 and 7 are dangerous. I can not imagine the rural places that have 9 or 10. From 530-7am we have meds, capd, some charting,vs,fs, and turns. All the confused pts pick that time to try to get oob because woke them up for a protonix.All the patients wake up and want to go to brp,water,are hungry and any vs abberration will appear at this time. How can we accomplish this for 7 pts,not easily. The ratios would be great if they take admissions into account.
  8. by   nbnurse95
    I've been working on a surgical floor since graduation, 9.5 years ago and I LOVE it. I can't imagine going anywhere else. I have floated to other units from time to time and I was supervising for about a year so I have some experience other than surgical. At one time, medicals were not allowed to be admitted to our floor but now with bed shortages they are admitted. It makes things more difficult at times but also more interesting. It may seem to an outsider that we work in a hectic environment, and at times that may be true, but it's organized believe it or not. We work at a fast pace but at the end of the day I feel a satisfaction in all that I've accomplished in one single shift. That's not to say that you shouldn't feel satisfied in whatever area you choose work. I feel that nursing is rewarding and that everyone has their niche and med/surg is mine.
  9. by   PMHNP10
    Quote from danu3
    What? I thought psych nurses were? Or they are not consider nurses at all?

    -Dan
    Yes we are considered the bottom of the food chain by some, and the grossly ignorant would probably say we aren't nurses at all. Fortunately I could care less about such ignorance, because I love my chosen specialty and take pride at what I get to do. Psych nursing isn't for everyone, but what's really unfortunate is when a lifelong m/s nurse (or ER or ICU, etc.) is totally burnt out of their specialty and want to suddenly become a psych nurse because of the perceived simplicity of the job. Not that anyone will listen, but please don't, because you won't make a good psych nurse/coworker.
  10. by   snowfreeze
    Med-surg is the last step before being placed back into society. Patients go from, all needs cared for and rules that are not altered, to med-surg where they need to learn to care for themselves again, after they obviously goofed up on the caring for self in the past. Patients are scared and they fight having to care for themselves as much as they can. Hey, I would love to have all meals delivered to me, a bath given by someone else and my nails trimmed and my meds delivered at the correct time. Why go back to full self responsibility? And why should families have to care for someone who doesn't want to care for themselves? Grandpa just sits in front of the TV and wets himself and never asks to go to the toilet and fights and scratches when we try to take him. But of course we don't hear this story until grandpa is ready to be discharged, the family is so into having a life free of the burden that they didn't mention it earlier in the hospital stay. The family just figures we will see that grandpa needs a nursing home and we will pay for it cuz we recognized the need.
    Oh and yeh, on top of that 2 hour discussion and follow-up I need to medicate 6 other people and talk to at least 3 other families.
    Do I still love my job, yes, because I really can make a difference. I have the skills and knowledge to help families and patients in their decisions. I know how and when to get the social worker involved, how to contact home care that is reliable in your area, what each medication does and what to look for to know if it is working. How to get your own glucometer so you can take care of your newly diagnosed diabetes.
    Med-surg nurses are the stepping stones patients utilize in getting "back to life".
  11. by   LPNer
    Quote from snowfreeze
    Med-surg is the last step before being placed back into society. Patients go from, all needs cared for and rules that are not altered, to med-surg where they need to learn to care for themselves again, after they obviously goofed up on the caring for self in the past. Patients are scared and they fight having to care for themselves as much as they can. Hey, I would love to have all meals delivered to me, a bath given by someone else and my nails trimmed and my meds delivered at the correct time. Why go back to full self responsibility? And why should families have to care for someone who doesn't want to care for themselves? Grandpa just sits in front of the TV and wets himself and never asks to go to the toilet and fights and scratches when we try to take him. But of course we don't hear this story until grandpa is ready to be discharged, the family is so into having a life free of the burden that they didn't mention it earlier in the hospital stay. The family just figures we will see that grandpa needs a nursing home and we will pay for it cuz we recognized the need.
    Oh and yeh, on top of that 2 hour discussion and follow-up I need to medicate 6 other people and talk to at least 3 other families.
    Do I still love my job, yes, because I really can make a difference. I have the skills and knowledge to help families and patients in their decisions. I know how and when to get the social worker involved, how to contact home care that is reliable in your area, what each medication does and what to look for to know if it is working. How to get your own glucometer so you can take care of your newly diagnosed diabetes.
    Med-surg nurses are the stepping stones patients utilize in getting "back to life".
    I know this happens in med/surg because I have seen it all too often, but.... it happens a lot more in the rehab unit. I do not work that unit, did once and asked never to return! but they are on the same wing/floor of the building we are, so what goes on there is pretty noticable to all of us. And oh, they run into that ALL the time! Talk about frustrating! Glad I don't have to go there, not that I will never get pulled there again, but it's not as likely as med/surg is to pull me.
    I feel for all who work these units and like I said before, my halo isn't big enough anymore to get me through that full time. Kudos to all of you!
  12. by   TCC/RN student
    I have been doing my clinicals this semester in Med/Surg and love it, of course I dont know any better yet
  13. by   PFDGB
    Quote from begalli
    I've never worked anywhere but ICU. At this point and time, I know I will never work anywhere but critical care. I chose critical care because of the 1:1 nursing that takes place there. I like knowing every-up-to-the-minute-detail about my patient's condition, where they may be going, where they've been, and the impact of what I do has on them.

    I also like the comraderie in the ICU. Doctors and nurses and other members of the healthcare team work shoulder to shoulder with the same outcomes in mind. We make plans and solve problems together. My experience and opinion counts. I also admit that I prefer my patient's NOT on a call light for every single little thing and actually like them sedated and intubated. :stone

    I have no way of knowing for sure, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't work this way on the floors.

    To each their own. I really admire great med/surg nurses. It's a tough, tough job.
    I'd like to know how you handled ICU as a new grad back when. I've been told that med-surg is the place to start as a new grad but I'm concerned that if I go there as a new grad it will be hard to get out. Also, as a student I found it challenging in med-surg however I was seriously concerned over meeting the needs of all of my patients given the 1:10 ratio here on L.I. Besides Telemetry and ICU what other areas would you reccomend that would be a great place to work. I'd like to be able to give my patients what they need. I have been seriously considering Oncology. What do you think ?

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