Advice for the new nurse entering Med-Surg - page 14

by RNPATL 199,304 Views | 228 Comments

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... Read More


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    Jungle Jims is a great place...and, if you didn't know, they just won an award not long ago for the best restrooms! LOL!! Yes, it did make the paper and the news!!
    (If you remember, on the outside they resemble a port-a-john!)
    There is a small Trader Joe's here in Kettering...I've only been there once...it's okay.
    Ok, here's another memory, possibly...Marions Piazza?
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    I didn't know about the Trader Joe's in Kettering. They're interesting because they have a lot of unusual foods that you can't get in the grocery stores. Marion's sounds familiar but I'm not placing where it is.
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    hi i am new graduate nurse and is so loss, my preceptor tells me something and expects me to get it on one time, friday i had a horrible day i need advice on how to prioritize my time with my patients and skills i should know in the morning when getting report, organization, every night i leave the hospital at 8: 45 when i am suppose to get off at 7; 30
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    hi everyone, your post are so helpful and inspiring!
    i'm a new RN here in the US but i graduated from another country, i'm very stressed and cant sleep at night. im very nervous about my new job as a Med-Surg nurse(im starting anytime now).. i have 0 experience even in the country i graduated from & its been a year since my last exposure to the hospital...can any1 give me suggestions on what book should i use as a reference,? i bought this nursing skills book as a reference for the common nursing procedures used in the hosp.. and an assessment book w/c is very helpful.. i still have no reference for the diseases usually encountered in the med-surg ward..and what diseases are usually encountered in med-surg,so i can look up to it..your suggestions and advices is badly needed.. i dont know where to start in preparing for my first job..
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    Congrats on your new job!!!

    Now, a little feedback.

    I can understand your anxieties....in fact, many can....we all have been there in your shoes in some way or another....especially when someone changes his/her field in Nursing. First off, I would imagine you have an orientation period in your new job....make that orientation work for you. List some of your learning needs and discuss them with your nurse manager/preceptor and evaluate what opportunities they have to help provide some additional learning experiences or classes that may be currently available to you....incorporate them into your orientation period. Second, you may keep an eye open (or even ask around) what refresher courses or classes are available in your community...such as at a community college...even call a community college in your area. Third, obtaining reference materials....such as books to refer to....which you have already begun. But, before you buy alot more books and spend all that extra cash....ask during your orientation what books THEY recommend. You may get some good advice from your preceptor or peers...in fact, someone may loan you what you may need to get you over the hump. Not all med-surg floors are the same....some med-surg floors may specialize in a particular area...so, consider this too. Med-surg floors are very, very busy places to work and function in....so, organizational skills on your part become very, very important. This means...learning a routine to get things done in a timely fashion. You will also pick this up in your orientation....especially when they buddy you up with another nurse or two in the beginning. Pay attention how those nurses start their day....how they organize themselves. I cannot emphasize this enough. So, I would recommend taking notes on your part....because you will not be able to remember everything in the beginning...because alot will be thrown at you to learn. So, take notes to refer back to later. Lastly, you will do fine....just remember....all of us have been there where you are right now. If we could do it....you can too.

    I wish you the very best in your new employ.

    Peace to you.

    Wolfie
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    Hi everyone, I love the tips that I have seen. It really boosted my confidence. I am just here waiting for my results and getting ready to face the challenge. I love med-surg nursing and I want to thank you for these tips. I know that they will help me in the future.:spin:
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    Hello all,
    I'm a new nurse and have been working on a med-surg floor for a few of months. I'm still working on prioritizing and delegating. I go to my preceptor for help ALL the time. I make hundreds of notes. I love looking up strange dx's and medications to look up later. It is tough to call doc's sometimes, but if I write everything done and am ready, then there are no problems. And though i was afraid to approach the doctor who came to my floor for my patient (i would just wait for him to write orders, answer any questions he'd have and then figure out his ideas when he left), I have found if I approach them and ask "so what do you think is going on.." or something like that, I can find out so much about the patient. And the doctor's have taught me so much. sometimes I think how young I look helps me get off easy--everyone loves to teach me things. Because I worked as an aide with the aides I work with now, delegation is very difficult for me, but everyone on my floor helped me through nursing school and they are wonderful helping me now. I will say, though, switching from an aide to a nurse was a lot more difficult then I thought! But then again, prioritizing and delegating are my biggest problems. And when in doubt, I ask because it is ALWAYS better to be safe then sorry...

    And when I'm getting stressed, one of the older nurses always tells me that if I leave and my patients are pink, fuzzy and warm, then I did ok!
    mitral, newrngrad, and SCraigRN like this.
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    AI appreciate what I have read. I have now done 2 1/2 years on a Med/Surg floor. I went into nursing more so because my job as an ex phys running a cardiac rehab program was going to be phased out due to Medicare restrictions. Anyway, I had done that for 11 years at this same hospital. I picked up my RN on line doing my clinicals face to face and working with the same boss who was trying to phase out my job.

    She decided to give me every possible non clinical job she could while I was doing my RN. I got to meet the Nurse Manger, I did part of her Bariatric Support Group, of the Med/Surg floor. Since I was not aware of the nuiance of the different floors, she asked me if I would like to start on her floor. Having never been asked to come work for someone before I was happy to say yes.

    For three months I worked both the Med/Surg floor and completed the process of shutting down the cardiac rehab program I had brought up. Now I am two and a half years on. I have good days and bad days. I get frustrated when I have 7 pts and am asked to admit a new pt at the end of shift. I get upset with myself when I have a pt with terminal ovarian cancer who refuses to go hospice and is nasty to everyone on the floor. I know I should be better and be able to wait for her to decide what she wants to do but it doesn't make the job any easier.

    I would like to try other departments, I have applied for ICU certification but have not been able to go since a new class has not been started yet. Any adivce?

    Stephen
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    I have always given advice to new grads espicially while precepting. I have been a RN for 4 yrs in Med/Surg. Yes, you go through demanding times with demanding patients, co workers, doctors, and fellow nurses. Sometimes you feel like giving up and going into another specialty, but I feel that's when you are ready for a change. You impact so many patients and family members.

    1) TEAMWORK: Just remember to always practice teamwork. TEAMWORK. The key word that a lot of nurses fail to add to there long list of nursing skills. Don't forget where you came from.

    2) CNA's: Remember that your first year of nursing was that of CNA work, give them a break sometimes. I see so many CNA's divided among 4-5 nurses, and some nurses just call them for some of the most smallest of things. If there is something you can do instead of calling your CNA, by all means do it.

    3) SPEAK UP: That's right if you don't agree with a charge nurses or doctors decision, patient assignment, staffing issue, or anything else that will jeopardize the health and welfare of your patient SPEAK UP.

    4) CHAIN OF COMMAND: Sometimes helpful, but when it becomes a problem you need to take the next step up the CHAIN.

    5) TRUST YOUR GUT: If something deep down in your gut tells you something ain't right, then it's not right. You can alleviate a lot of problems on your part. You can look at your patients and tell
    something doesn't appear right.

    6) LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENT'S: That's right listening the most important tool you will need in Med/Surg. If a patient tells you something like "I don't take that pill at home" you need to check the chart and admission history to confirm it's true. Remember some medications are automatically substituted per hospital policy. Patients know more about there health than you think. I call them the professional patients. There are some people who can tell you more about there illness than a book.

    7) TAKE TIME: Take time to smile, laugh, and learn. The quote "You learn something new everyday," is most true in nursing. If there's a disease, medication, or treatment you have not heard of. Look it up in books and online. It won't hurt you, but it will help you.

    8) CRITICIZISM: Be open to any and all criticisim. Develop you own style of nursing. Be an individual. Chart with a jurt in mind. If it's not charted it's not done. You will learn eventually, that not all nurses do not "Eat there young." There are some nurses that a cool, down to earth, and a good role model. Mold your nursing skills around the "good nurses" you will know those ones by there unique style of nursing.

    9) ENJOY LIFE: Pick up a hobby that make you smile. SOmething that takes your mind off work. DON'T ever tke your work home with you.
    mitral, D_a_n_a_h, marqc_rn, and 5 others like this.
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    have enough fear to work with caution but not enough to stop you working. Listen, investigate, discuss, share and think logically
    cfsleo812 likes this.


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