Advice for the new nurse entering Med-Surg Advice for the new nurse entering Med-Surg - pg.4 | allnurses

Advice for the new nurse entering Med-Surg - page 4

Here is your chance to give some advice and counsel to new RN's and LPN's entering their first clinical job as a nurse. What advice would you give them? I am going to make this a sticky so that... Read More

  1. Visit  duncanRN profile page
    0
    I agree with you totally! I initially liked nursing, then hated it, now I'm fine with it and definitely feel more competent (I have been a nurse for one year). Great advice!
    Quote from lady_jezebel
    My experience:

    I was thrilled to start working as an RN & initially loved my job, though I felt overwhelmed. Then I recognized all the communication problems within a hospital & started to feel a little depressed. Next I hated my job with a passion, and longed to leave nursing & do something else. By the 6 month mark I started feeling more relaxed & competent, and I began to enjoy it again. Now I'm at the year mark, feel MUCH more competent/capable as an RN, and am ready to move on to another area of nursing (such as ICU or research).

    My advice would be to STICK WITH IT for at LEAST a year. You will feel overwhelmed, bored & frustrated at various points, but the amount of learning you do in your first year is tremendous. I'm convinced that at least a year of med-surg is invaluable experience for any nurse, no matter what area you eventually decided to go into. You will not know if you like med-surg, or even nursing, until a year has passed.

    I agree with everything the previous poster already said. Very well-spoken. I'd agree that you should do all the blood draws & IV sticks you possibly can, ask questions if you don't understand something, write down anything new learned (so that you don't repeatedly ask the same questions over and over), keep a list of important phone numbers/lab values/facts that you will need to know (ie. stay organized), and offer to help out your co-workers whenever you have a free moment (be helpful and flexible). And above all, maintain your sense of humor! A good laugh will get you through some really tough moments...

    Oh -- would especially emphasize: 1) to stay calm/collected no matter what happens. You can't think rationally if you're in a panic, and the patients/families & your co-workers rely on you for your strength. Pretend to be confident when you're doing your first blood draws, IVs and catheters, too. 2) set limits with demanding patients. You have to prioritize every moment. If you can't adjust the bedding or get jello for a pt at that moment, it's OK to say "I have several patients and need to prioritize my work right now. I have an urgent matter down the hall. Once I'm through with that however, I'll come back & do X". Also, if a patient is particularly needy, emphasize that part of their recovery is to be able to do things for themselves. Tell them you would like to help them in becoming more independent. Finally, if someone is on their call-bell constantly, contract with them -- go through the priority speech again, but agree to return to their room in an hour (& then be there @ the time you set). You are not a slave or a waitress. Remember that!
  2. Visit  NurseMay profile page
    0
    I just graduated with a BSN and got a job at a Neurology dept. I just wanted a Med-Surg position, not knowing what specialty or dept was best to work at. I finally had been deciding between Neuro (nights and rotating shifts) and a Surgery floor position (day shift). After having my heart set on the Surgery floor (the nurse mgr had unofficially offered the position but HR had to "officially" offer it to me), I didn't end up getting it and took the Neuro position. I'm now a little nervous about my decision. Any thoughts/advice on the Neuro dept? How about nights and rotating shifts? I had worked 7 weeks during school on nights and hated it, but isn't that probably the best shift to start as a new grad nurse? I think I'll rotate into day shifts every few months too and that'll give me more well-rounded experience. Should I have looked around and waited for better opportunities? Thanks for any thoughts!
  3. Visit  duncanRN profile page
    0
    If you don't feel right about the position, don't take it. However, don't be discouraged about the job if it is just the night shift situation. You will probably learn alot on this unit. Have a good attitude about working nights, and it will all be okay. Many of my friends prefer to work nights. You may like it, just give it a chance.
    Quote from NurseMay
    I just graduated with a BSN and got a job at a Neurology dept. I just wanted a Med-Surg position, not knowing what specialty or dept was best to work at. I finally had been deciding between Neuro (nights and rotating shifts) and a Surgery floor position (day shift). After having my heart set on the Surgery floor (the nurse mgr had unofficially offered the position but HR had to "officially" offer it to me), I didn't end up getting it and took the Neuro position. I'm now a little nervous about my decision. Any thoughts/advice on the Neuro dept? How about nights and rotating shifts? I had worked 7 weeks during school on nights and hated it, but isn't that probably the best shift to start as a new grad nurse? I think I'll rotate into day shifts every few months too and that'll give me more well-rounded experience. Should I have looked around and waited for better opportunities? Thanks for any thoughts!
  4. Visit  christvs profile page
    2
    This has been my favorite thread to read so far! I am a new RN who just graduated in May & on Monday I will be starting my orientation on a med/surg/tele floor. (I already did the classroom orientation part). I am so excited & nervous to start. Thanks for all the really good advice on this thread! I have one question-how long did it take you all to really feel like you are a nurse? It feels so weird & strange to say I'm an RN! Also, how hard was it for you when you were brand new,to delegate to nursing assistants? I worked as one during nursing school & so I've never ever delegated to anyone before. I'm used to others delegating TO me, so this will be very different for me! I know exactly what I can & cannot delegate, but know I'll feel strange in this new role. Do you know what I mean? I also wonder how long it will take me to get competent in things like interpreting tele strips & inserting IVs. Thinking about that makes me nervous!
    -Christine
  5. Visit  Stella-Ohio profile page
    0
    Thanks for your thoughtful response with the list of things I have permission to do (laugh,cry, be upset etc).

    I just finished my first week of orientation on a med/surg floor (with renal and telemetry patients also)

    I tihnk I experienced just about all of those emotions in my first 48 hours as a nurse.

    Tomorrow I get to go to our Same Day Surgery Unit to put in their IV's (lots of experience in a short time frame).

    All the experience on the forums is great, I'm glad that the 'older' nurses are still so engaged in their profession that they visit here.

    Please don't take offense to my 'older' reference as it has nothing to do with physical age (I myself probably have many of you beat there).
  6. Visit  pie123 profile page
    0
    Quote from RNPATL
    Here is your chance to give some advice and counsel to new RN's and LPN's entering their first clinical job as a nurse. What advice would you give them?

    I am going to make this a sticky so that it is always available on the top of the forum for our newer nurses to see right from the start. Looking forward to seeing some of the great advice that our experienced nurses can lend to the newer nurses .....

    Thank you so much for doing this! I am a new nurse (4th of 5 days of general orientation). I start on the Medical Surgical unit on Monday. I was just about to post a question about advice for new nurses on Med. Surg. Thanks again! Now I shall begin reading
  7. Visit  mandrews profile page
    6
    1. Only you can choose to find new opportunitys to grow.

    2. When the med nurse ask you to witness Insulin don't take her word for it, LOOK at the sliding scale, bs amount, and the medication. We've had 5 errors this month. LANTUS CAN NOT BE GIVEN IV.

    3. The cna can be your bestfriend or worst enemy.

    4. On night shift check on your patients. Don't let your patient be found in rigor mortis.

    5. The unit secretary is not your boss. She may just think she is. ( sorry you just have to meet mine)

    6. Don't get pulled into office gossip. I'm a people watcher. If you watch long enough you will learn who you can confide in and who will put you on the spot.
    Oooops, 252chicana, mitral, and 3 others like this.
  8. Visit  lorilou profile page
    0
    I will be starting in Sept on a med-surg unit. I am wondering what "supplies" I should have as a new nurse - RN. Is it worth it for me to get the Breathsounds made easy and Cardio made easy books. I am awful at listening and being able to document "breathsounds deminished bilaterally", etc. Honestly, that is what scares me the most. I don't really know the difference when I listen to lungs.
    Also, as a new nurse, what should I keep with me while on the floor. I usually carried a clipboard during clinicals - but, should I buy a PDA? I don't really know what the PDA will be good for except helping with the drugs. Anything else?? I am really looking forward to this new experience and am determined to go into this with a positive attitude. Afterall, I spent the last 3 years working for it!! This is a great thread!!
  9. Visit  Ruby Vee profile page
    1
    Quote from lorilou
    i will be starting in sept on a med-surg unit. i am wondering what "supplies" i should have as a new nurse - rn. is it worth it for me to get the breathsounds made easy and cardio made easy books. i am awful at listening and being able to document "breathsounds deminished bilaterally", etc. honestly, that is what scares me the most. i don't really know the difference when i listen to lungs.
    also, as a new nurse, what should i keep with me while on the floor. i usually carried a clipboard during clinicals - but, should i buy a pda? i don't really know what the pda will be good for except helping with the drugs. anything else?? i am really looking forward to this new experience and am determined to go into this with a positive attitude. afterall, i spent the last 3 years working for it!! this is a great thread!!
    the first thing you need is a decent stethescope if you don't already have one. you'd be amazed at how much easier it is to distinguish breath sounds with a good stethesceope. a pda is definitely a worthwhile investment. i keep those all-important phone numbers: blood bank, pharmacy, social work, etc. my schedule, including any inservices that i want to attend. policies and procedures: the procedures at this hospital are somewhat different than my last one, so i can just scan them in to the computer (or download them from the hospital's website) and put them on my pda via documents 2 go. then i can consult them whenever i need to without the hassel of hunting for our unit's procedure book. drugs, of course. there are some drip calculation programs -- check out freewarepalm.com. also, aacn's site has some great palm programs -- you don't have to join to download. their programs tend to be pricey, though.

    i also have games (for when i'm sitting in traffic or waiting at the doctor's office), splash id to keep track of all the various log-ons and passwords, email addresses, credit card numbers, etc. i have my pictures on my pda, a program to keep track of the calories i'm eating, keep track of my expenses, and a translator program for my upcoming trip to europe. i'd definitely advise getting a pda -- the longer you have it, the more uses you find for it!

    ruby
    FinallyThere likes this.
  10. Visit  Hopalong profile page
    1
    This is a great thread. But with an almost 6700 to less than 50 look against reply ratio, I wonder if we "veterans" are not helping our newer comrades properly. Nursing by my own definition is " Nursing ,the gentle art of caring ", now there may be some who say that may be an over simplicity and an outdated definition. Nevertheles, that is and will always the core of my belief and will always remain so.

    So my advice in these ever changing times is to be true to your own beliefs. first, be true to yourself and decide why you are in this profession. For caring, money, job security, or any other reason do your task always to the very best of your ability.

    Secondly, instead of griping do your assigned tasks. Period. You choose this job for whatever reason. Do it.

    And lastly, have fun and learn to love your peers, your patients, the perks (which will be few) and that hard work can have both it's ups and downs.

    Welcome to my world -M/S nursing.








    welcome
    Last edit by Hopalong on Sep 13, '05
    MedSurgeMess likes this.
  11. Visit  pyxeduhst5282 profile page
    0
    Hello all...I'm a fairly new nurse..with almost a years experience under my belt...(and I just joined this forum...so bare with me if I've posted in the wrong spot) Anyway...The best advice I can give to the REALLY new nurses(since I'm so new myself) Is to watch out for those nurses that like to "eat their young". Stand your ground....and don't show them that you are bothered by their actions....even if it's burning you up inside..Wait till the shift is over and be sure to vent(or you'll lose your mind)..I haven't had too much of a problem with this...But there is one nurse that is constantly nasty to all the newer nurses on the floor...she still gives me a hard time...but I just give it right back to her...as respectfully/knowingly as I know how.
    Have a good night everyone! Denise
    Quote from RNPATL
    Here is your chance to give some advice and counsel to new RN's and LPN's entering their first clinical job as a nurse. What advice would you give them?

    I am going to make this a sticky so that it is always available on the top of the forum for our newer nurses to see right from the start. Looking forward to seeing some of the great advice that our experienced nurses can lend to the newer nurses .....
  12. Visit  enfermeraSG profile page
    0
    Quote from nursing04
    6. Be prepared- if you go the hospital to prep the day before, go in and introduce yourself to the pt, and do a history- it's much easier then trying to read the MD's handwriting, and/or ask the nurse caring for them.
    Wow, such simple advice and I don't know why I didn't think of it! I can't tell you how much time I spent (wasted!) trying to extract information from the patient's chart that I either couldn't read, was incomplete, or had conflicting info from page-to-page. Thanks, I'll have an easier time of it on my advanced med-surg next semester. SG
  13. Visit  Hopalong profile page
    0
    PYXEDUHST5282,Good advice! And oh so true ,of a minority I might add. Give it back at an appropriate time and you will be surprised at the support you will have from others.
    Last edit by Hopalong on Sep 13, '05

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