Advice for the new nurse entering Med-Surg - page 5

by RNPATL 197,364 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


  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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
  4. 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).
  5. 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
  6. 5
    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.
    RNhernandez, mitral, Pixiesmom, and 2 others like this.
  7. 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!!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 .....


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