1 month into being a Med/Surg nurse. Help! - page 2

by nurse2b121212

6,281 Views | 15 Comments

I recently started working on a Med/Surg floor which is dubbed 5East, the Beast lol and for good reason. I knew it was going to be rough, but wow!!! I'm up to 4 patients by myself and have to work up to 5, even though we will... Read More


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    I've been on my own for 2 days now, and I must say that I'm doing a lot better than I thought uneasy going to do. Still very difficult as I too as trying to learn all the hospital policy and procedure type stuff. I learn something new everyday and am getting lots of compliments from my co-workers even one girl said definitely fit in well on their team! Made me feel real good! I think I must have chosen the hardest floor to work on lol...so much going on, its like multi tasking hard core! Best of luck to you!
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    Hang in there. I work in med-surg too, and I can feel and understand what you're going through. I've been here 3 years now. But I would like to think that other departments are not as demanding as med-surg. YES MED-SURG is the most difficult department to work in. Too many things going on at the same time. You've been to hell, and now you can earn your experience and go from there. to be honest, i dont think it gets any easier the longer you work there. sure you get the routine and policies/procedures down and get better with your decision making and time management, but the stress and demand of the department will never change, if not, it will just get worse. I'm not trying to sound negative, but yeah it does happen to be a fact. the turnover for nurses just speaks for itself. nurses leave on average 1 year later.

    I know someone who worked in med-surg as an RN for 5 years. it was a med-surg/telemetry floor in the state of washington. he said it was a really demanding job. i asked him why doesn't he go to another department. he said he would love to work in another department. But that he wasn't in a rush to go anywhere since he was still fairly young. In his late 20s at the time.

    Now he quit his job. No he didn't leave for another department or another hospital. He quit his job outright after paying off his college loans, debt, and earning a significant amount of savings to fund himself for the next 4 years of his life without working. and decided to take a career break and travel around the world for 2 years with the savings he's made working in med-surg. I asked him if he would go back to med-surg again after his travels are over. he said he won't do it. the experience he gained were valuable, and he became a better nurse working there, but it was a tough place to work in he said. He said he'll go back to nursing after he's done traveling, but he won't go to med-surg.
    1 year later, he's still traveling. why am i telling you this story, well i just thought it sounded interesting.
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    Quote from Wheaties
    1 year later, he's still traveling. why am i telling you this story, well i just thought it sounded interesting.
    It is interesting and thanks for sharing all the info! Medsurg is definitely challenging.
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    3 days on my own now, and I'm like, "what was I thinking?" Lol, working on this floor is crazy...I got an admit at 0530 (I work 1900-0700) and didn't get to leave until 0900. I was so tired, and already feel like I'm in over my head with working on this med/surg floor. It's really tough, and often find myself feeling like I want to run and cry lol. Patients act like they are your only patient, day shift nurses leaving me in a mess, which makes for a bad start of my night (I have already learned to show up early and go behind certain nurses that are obviously taking advantage of me being a "new nurse"), and no one wanting to help me, but always wanting my help, and just running myself to the point of not wanting to ever return again. I'm venting of course, but its been tough. I think the reply above about med/surg floors always going to be difficult no matter how long or how much experience you have is correct. I see great nurses with 5yrs + still not getting out on time or looking like they want to cry at times too a.d getting frustrated. Still going to hang in there, but definitely holding my ground to crappy nurses that have no business being nurses in the first place. I'm not so new anymore and not going to allow the other nurses push me around and leave a huge mess for me (orders being in the Dang box for 4 hrs or more and they just leave them there for me), and stuff like that. Now I see why most don't last very long on floors like these.
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    Quote from nursetaminator
    It just takes time, a ton of patience and a ton of stamina. It will get easier in the sense that you'll start learning how to group tasks, remember to check several different places for meds (fridge, med cabinet, incoming box), better/more efficient ways to chart, etc, etc. But it takes a while. Don't be too hard on yourself.

    I make sure my COW is properly stocked in the morning (alcohol, insulin syringes, tape, saline, etc) so I have the basic things I'll need. I use a brain sheet bc it helps keep me organized. I usually put 2 3X3 post it notes on that sheet that I make short notes of things I'll need, things to chart, things to charge for - you name it. I don't carry a clip board to each pt's room, just my folded up brain sheet in my pocket. I do have a 3 ring binder I keep at my nurses station with extra forms, various notes, or anything with info I'd need to have quickly at hand. I made a card that's the size of my badge that has phone extensions to the places I call the most, laminated it and have it on on my lanyard. Bought myself a pulse ox and tempadots since those 2 things seem to be scarce and I get tired of searching for ours. You have to find a system that works for you and keep revising and perfecting it. Pay attention to what other nurses around you do and don't be afraid to ask them for suggestions on how to be more efficient.

    Seems like the first year of everything is hard work: marriage, new job, kids!!! A year from now you'll look back and have a good laugh at yourself. I know I have with each new "adventure."

    Best of luck to you. Keep hanging in there!! And God bless ALL nurses - each specialty is challenging in its own way.
    Would you be willing to share the documents/forms you keep in your binder? Really look on for some extra help in this area!
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    Quote from nurse2b121212
    3 days on my own now, and I'm like, "what was I thinking?" Lol, working on this floor is crazy...I got an admit at 0530 (I work 1900-0700) and didn't get to leave until 0900. I was so tired, and already feel like I'm in over my head with working on this med/surg floor. It's really tough, and often find myself feeling like I want to run and cry lol. Patients act like they are your only patient, day shift nurses leaving me in a mess, which makes for a bad start of my night (I have already learned to show up early and go behind certain nurses that are obviously taking advantage of me being a "new nurse"), and no one wanting to help me, but always wanting my help, and just running myself to the point of not wanting to ever return again. I'm venting of course, but its been tough. I think the reply above about med/surg floors always going to be difficult no matter how long or how much experience you have is correct. I see great nurses with 5yrs + still not getting out on time or looking like they want to cry at times too a.d getting frustrated. Still going to hang in there, but definitely holding my ground to crappy nurses that have no business being nurses in the first place. I'm not so new anymore and not going to allow the other nurses push me around and leave a huge mess for me (orders being in the Dang box for 4 hrs or more and they just leave them there for me), and stuff like that. Now I see why most don't last very long on floors like these.
    I understand that this post is over a year old now, but I wouldn't say med/surg itself is difficult. What makes it suck is the hospital, management and staffing. Lack of teamwork can sink any floor when a nurse doesn't have support from anyone.


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