Bad Rep for Med Surg - page 4

Any med surg nurses out there have any ideas or input about why med surg has such a bad reputation and what could possibly be done about it? We see so many new nurses and experienced come and go... Read More

  1. by   ColtsRN85
    Med-surg is not a speciality; isn't it the basics of nursing? I don't see anything thing special about . That's why there shouldn't be any "certification" for it. that's like being certified "nurse". Aren't we all "certified"?
  2. by   ColtsRN85
    I don't think Med-surg is a specilaty. Isn't it what we are trained to do? I work with people who can't work anywhere else. That's scary. I find it hard to comprehend why this "specialty" would be "certified".
  3. by   st4wb3rr33sh0rtc4k3
    Quote from ColtsRN85
    read my post about med-surg certifications
    Interesting...

    Quote from ColtsRN85
    Med-surg is not a speciality; isn't it the basics of nursing? I don't see anything thing special about . That's why there shouldn't be any "certification" for it. that's like being certified "nurse". Aren't we all "certified"?
    Yeah, it really isn't fun. But, I guess that depends on where and what hospital you work in.
  4. by   rnmi2004
    I think the first thing that needs to happen is get over this "Mandatory year in med-surg" thing. If you truly have a desire to have the experience of a year in med-surg or that is the area of nursing that interests you, by all means do it. I think that making new graduates feel that this is something they *have* to do is contributing to the bad rap.

    The ratios need to change & be flexible. I have 6 patients on night shift, which is okay some nights. Other nights they are very high acuity and I really wish they would take that into consideration!

    ColtsRN, I'm sorry you feel that my job isn't special. Med-surg nursing is very challenging due to the fact that you never know what you're going to be dealing with, even if you've been there for years. It takes a special nurse to handle having anything and everything thrown at them.

    Believe it or not, some of us are here by choice, not because we "can't work anywhere else." There are plenty of nurses in every area of nursing that won't or "can't" work anywhere else because they've found their niche. Why would that be scary?
  5. by   Jessy_RN
    Our ratio is 7:1. Very high acuity-very stressful environment to work. Some belong in the ICU where the "specialty nurses" have max of 2(There is simply no room for everyone) Yet, we still have to manage. It's the only hospital in a 250 mile radius-so we are it. Bottom line, I challenge anyone who says med-surg is not a specialty. I have seen many run out of this type of work due to the high demand it entails.

    A big hug and kuddos to all my med-surg nurses! Regardless, I love my work and medsurg for me it is.
    Last edit by Jessy_RN on Dec 20, '07
  6. by   EricJRN
    As a NICU nurse, I know I couldn't come up to the floor and start taking care of adults. You guys definitely have a unique body of knowledge that isn't shared by all nurses across the board. We all went to nursing school but, trust me, you don't want all of us trying to operate a Hoyer lift or a CPM machine.
  7. by   st4wb3rr33sh0rtc4k3
    Quote from EricEnfermero
    As a NICU nurse, I know I couldn't come up to the floor and start taking care of adults. You guys definitely have a unique body of knowledge that isn't shared by all nurses across the board. We all went to nursing school but, trust me, you don't want all of us trying to operate a Hoyer lift or a CPM machine.
    That was a good one! You know some just don't understand.
  8. by   ColtsRN85
    I apologize for sounding synical about my job. I think sometimes I get frustrated with the people I work with that have no job pride. I have over 22 years experience in ICU, Pacu, and now Med-Surg. I get aggravated with folks that start IV's, insert NG's and operate even suction heads (these are nurses who I have worked with for over 10 years).
  9. by   Valerie Salva
    "Obviously, in order to decrease workload, we need more nurses."

    I don't think this applies. When there are enough nurses scheduled, admin pulls them to other floors or sends them home.

    It's lack of mandated ratios, not lack of nurses that is the problem.

    Since Calif adopted mandated ratios, their nursing shortage magically disappeared.

    I left med-surg because of being assigned to care for a dozen very ill pts, all by myself.

    Med surg is not a good place to hone skills, when you are so busy and too overwhelmed to even be able to provide decent, basic care, much less try and learn, and build your skills.

    The only thing I learned in med surg, is that I had to leave.
    Last edit by Valerie Salva on Jan 4, '08 : Reason: typos
  10. by   SarahK73
    As a nurse manager in a med-surg unit I am saying AMEN to all of the above. I find it hard to entice new nurses who are seeking the glory and thrill of ICU and the warm fuzzies of Maternal-child. We do absolutely need to reflect our ratios to give the nurses the time they need to care for their patients. I admently disagree with one post that you do not use your critical thinking. You are using it constantly. You could have anything and everything in one day! I am amazed when we have a ICU nurse who "HAS TO" float down, and is shell shocked at what we do. Sometimes I get the impression they think our patients are not that hard (or we are not that smart), when in reality we have some very sick patients and have to juggle multiple things at once. They are usually ready to run back to their one or two patients.
    Med-Surg is a speciality!
  11. by   eccentricRN
    well ladies i'm a gn and i'm starting on med/surg next week, well actually after a week of classroom training, i'll sart and i'm very excited. i worked on the unit as a cna and though it could be hectic (like one aide for 30 pts) i loved it and i'l be working 3rd shift and i already know the awsome nurses working there @ noc and know them to be an absolute plethora of knowledge and experience and they work together & help each other out whenever humanly possible. i'm pumped, i 'll be making less than some of my fellow gns but i believe i'll get the training and assistance a new grad requires... much more important than the almighty dollar.:spin:
    Last edit by eccentricRN on Jan 8, '08
  12. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    my fear about medsurg came from a couple of sources: clinical and my externship.
    medsurg clinical was rough. i felt like i was an idiot, that the nurses were always in horrible moods, and all the patients were complete care with 394230832 meds. of course, now i realize that i was not exactly an idiot, that having students around can be really stressful to a nurse who is already stressed, and nursing students are given the more difficult patients for a reason. thus, when it became time for me to put in for my preceptorship, i went to the nicu.
    as for my externship, i did perioperative services (pacu/prep & holding, same day/ambulatory surgery), and had walkie-talkie, healthy-as-a-horse patients. the nurses were deeply respected by the surgeons, and everything was pretty routine. i would take care of "medsurg" patients in pacu & then transport them to the floor. i wanted no part of that hell! however, i now work on that very floor because it's the closest i can get to periop with my lack of experience as a nurse. and it's not too bad. really. i wish someone had told me this in nursing school.
    i think, had i learned in the didactic portion of nursing school, why medsurg nurses do it, why they've stuck with it, that sort of thing, i might have considered it. also, because i never worked on a floor or even shadowed a nurse on a floor, i knew not the real side. so maybe having a class during which nurses from different specialties talked to the class, answered questions, that sort of thing? and requiring shadowing on a medsurg floor might help. i had a preceptorship in the nicu, shadowing in icus, bmt, or, home health, school nursing, l & d, hospice...but no medsurg!
    another point. my friends who were externs on floors often really hated medsurg, but it was usually because they saw the tech side, not the nurse side.
    didn't mean to prattle on like that. i guess that's my....2 dollars?
    *jess*
  13. by   grantyRN06
    I love Med-Surg!! For some reason, we are the dumped on floor, and most critical nurses think that they are a specialty and we are not. I beg to differ. We have to use our nursing skills all day and every day. We don't have monitors to beep when something is wrong. We actually have to go to our patients and do a thorough assessment and then notify the MD and let them know what is going on. We are highly skilled and I wish people would start to give us the credit and respect that we deserve. Yeah the work can be HORRIBLE at times with the pt loads and the type of pts, but we get everything and anything and you learn SOOOO MUCH. If we just had to deal w/ just one organ okay, but how about our pts who are REALLY SICK and have multisystem problems. We keep them alive and get them well just like any other nursing unit. Med-Surg nurses are the best

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