The Case Against Med-Surg! - page 6

by jb2u

22,429 Views | 53 Comments

"I believe that everyone should spend their first year in Med-Surg." These are the words as spoken by the Director of my nursing school. As one that has always liked a challenge, I made my case as to why one shouldn't go to... Read More


  1. 0
    Temetry IS med-surg
  2. 0
    This is all well and great if it were possible to get a job in whatever area you preferred. As a July 2011 grad with a BSN, I've applied to over 200 jobs in about ten different states and not one has called me back. Med Surg is not my top priority but I will absolutely take it if I can get it. I don't give a damn if they have to train someone else later!
  3. 0
    Oh, I absolutely love this reply! You hit every point smack dab on the head. I really think there needs to be some education or dialogue on how far the nursing profession has come. During my rotations I would ask the nurses about their overall knowledge and they consistently said they knew nothing about things outside their specialty and you are not going to know everything. You learn what you need to do your job. You don't have to start your career the way your instructor did. How many places did they have to go besides the hospital or LTC? It is good to have clinical experience, don't get me wrong but no one should have to be miserable or validated because of tradition. If it was such a problem no one would hire nurses straight out of school into a specialty, but they do all the time.

    Quote from jb2u
    @OCNRN63
    I see where you are coming from, but...nurses are not the only people with great organizational skills and there are jobs in nursing that you do not need a broad spectrum of nursing skills, nothing foolish about that.

    Yes, you will need to learn how to organize your day as far as nursing goes, but how a floor nurse organizes his day is different from how an ER nurse organizes her day which is different from how the nurse informatic organizes her day. Do you really think that nurses are the only people with organizational skills? I know some very organized people in other professions that would absolutely come into nursing with organizational skills. They would certainly translate those skills to their new profession. You would NOT need to teach them HOW to be organized. You would need to give them their tasks, and they would be able to organize themselves. I watch nurses fumble around with reports all the time. I came into nursing and right away designed a card with the different body systems, lines, diet, etc. and had a very organized report ready to give to the next shift. This was NOT taught to me by spending a year in med/surg. I, in fact, came to nursing with that skill.

    As far as the broad spectrum, yes it is always nice to have, but it is NOT a necessity in all specialties. Do I need to know how to manage a chest tube if I am going to work in an addiction treatment center? Do I care how to insert an NG tube or start an IV if I work in nursing informatics? Do I care about working with intense dressing changes if I want to work in the OR or PACU? How about working in research, endo, or radiology? Yes, of course you could make the case that if your research involved dressing changes then, yes, you would need to know about dressing changes, but at that point I'd say you were just being argumentative.

    On any given day a broad spectrum of nursing skills can be an asset, no matter where you work; however, there are still nursing positions that do not require a broad spectrum. Now, if a nurse comes to me and wants to work the floor and they think that they do not need to know a broad spectrum of nursing skills, then yes, that nurse is foolish. But, if a nurse comes to me and has never managed a chest tube, inserted an NG tube, or inserted a foley and wants to work for my company that does pancreatic research...well....I'm fine with that!!

    I would never call someone that knows exactly what they want and knows that it does not require a broad set of skills a "foolish" person. I'd say they are smart enough to know what they want and to know what skills they need and which ones they don't; however, it could be foolish to spend a year learning skills that you never use again for the rest of your career just to satisfy some dogma.
  4. 0
    Oh, I absolutely love this reply! You hit every point smack dab on the head. I really think there needs to be some education or dialogue on how far the nursing profession has come. During my rotations I would ask the nurses about their overall knowledge and they consistently said they knew nothing about things outside their specialty and you are not going to know everything. You learn what you need to do your job. You don't have to start your career the way your instructor did. How many places did they have to go besides the hospital or LTC? It is good to have clinical experience, don't get me wrong but no one should have to be miserable or validated because of tradition. If it was such a problem no one would hire nurses straight out of school into a specialty, but they do all the time.

    Quote from jb2u
    @OCNRN63
    I see where you are coming from, but...nurses are not the only people with great organizational skills and there are jobs in nursing that you do not need a broad spectrum of nursing skills, nothing foolish about that.

    Yes, you will need to learn how to organize your day as far as nursing goes, but how a floor nurse organizes his day is different from how an ER nurse organizes her day which is different from how the nurse informatic organizes her day. Do you really think that nurses are the only people with organizational skills? I know some very organized people in other professions that would absolutely come into nursing with organizational skills. They would certainly translate those skills to their new profession. You would NOT need to teach them HOW to be organized. You would need to give them their tasks, and they would be able to organize themselves. I watch nurses fumble around with reports all the time. I came into nursing and right away designed a card with the different body systems, lines, diet, etc. and had a very organized report ready to give to the next shift. This was NOT taught to me by spending a year in med/surg. I, in fact, came to nursing with that skill.

    As far as the broad spectrum, yes it is always nice to have, but it is NOT a necessity in all specialties. Do I need to know how to manage a chest tube if I am going to work in an addiction treatment center? Do I care how to insert an NG tube or start an IV if I work in nursing informatics? Do I care about working with intense dressing changes if I want to work in the OR or PACU? How about working in research, endo, or radiology? Yes, of course you could make the case that if your research involved dressing changes then, yes, you would need to know about dressing changes, but at that point I'd say you were just being argumentative.

    On any given day a broad spectrum of nursing skills can be an asset, no matter where you work; however, there are still nursing positions that do not require a broad spectrum. Now, if a nurse comes to me and wants to work the floor and they think that they do not need to know a broad spectrum of nursing skills, then yes, that nurse is foolish. But, if a nurse comes to me and has never managed a chest tube, inserted an NG tube, or inserted a foley and wants to work for my company that does pancreatic research...well....I'm fine with that!!

    I would never call someone that knows exactly what they want and knows that it does not require a broad set of skills a "foolish" person. I'd say they are smart enough to know what they want and to know what skills they need and which ones they don't; however, it could be foolish to spend a year learning skills that you never use again for the rest of your career just to satisfy some dogma.


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