Advice from med/surg nurses please....

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    I have been a registered nurse for the past 6 years and my experience includes neonatal ICU and pediatric cardiac ICU. I'm thinking about medical/surgical nursing but I'm concerned about my lack of experience in adult nursing. I have excellent critical care skills and a strong desire to learn something new but can I do it? I'd appreciate advice from experienced nurses. Thank you....
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    First, to let you know, I have been a surgical nurse for over 7 years now. Med/surg is a great way to get back into adult nursing. Don't be surprised to feel like a new grad for a while. Hopefully you will orient with an experienced preceptor when you do make the change. Ask for a full orientation that they give to those new to the hospital. If you are transferring within the same hospital, you will probably use similar paperwork as in other areas with few changes. Then the orientation can pinpoint what you need to remember for adult care. Since med/surg is so varied, don't be surprised if it takes at least 6 months to start to feel comfortable. Persevere through this transition and you could be on your way to a very rewarding shift in your carreer! Good Luck!
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    Originally posted by Gisi:
    I have been a registered nurse for the past 6 years and my experience includes neonatal ICU and pediatric cardiac ICU. I'm thinking about medical/surgical nursing but I'm concerned about my lack of experience in adult nursing. I have excellent critical care skills and a strong desire to learn something new but can I do it? I'd appreciate advice from experienced nurses. Thank you....
    I agree w/ ClariceS. In addition, invest in a good med-surg text or borrow from your facility's library. Also, AJN, RN, and
    Nursing2000 (correct title, I think) are great general med-surg nursing journals to read. (Our public library carries these!) In any case, GOOD FOR YOU and much luck!

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    yes, you can do it. But here's what other nurses I know have done to ease their way into Med-Surg... Ask the nurse-manager of your unit and clear it also with the nurse-manager of the med-surg unit - see if you can spend a day or two observing (semi-orienting) with one of the experienced med-surg RNs. This way, you can get a taste of what goes on and you can talk with the folks who do it everyday and get their insights and thoughts on Med-Surg at your facility.
    This is a better idea than jumping before you have a good idea what it's about and find it's not what you wanted. I know someone who went from Med-Surg to a another specialized area and regrets every minute but now it's too late. If she had spent a day or two in this other area as a trial, she wouldn't be stuck there now. P.S. I think you'll like it, though. Keep us posted on what you decide..... And welcome to Med-Surg if you do decide to join us...

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