I am about to start my clinical consolidation with a preceptor on a med/surg floor. This is my main interest in nursing and why I chose to do my entire consolidation there. My fellow students , however seem to be more interested in the specialty areas mostly PICU, Emerg, Psych and ICU. My question is do staff nurses see their med/surg floor getting and keeping their share of new grads or are they looking for a different type of employment?
Dec 10, '02
Our med surg floors tended to be feeding grounds. The new grads get eaten up and spit out on a regular basis. However, this is the hospital's problem. I have since switched to another hospital (I work L&D) and there are actually new grads there who want med-surg to be their career and are great at it. I am so pleased to see it, because a med-surg nurse with experience sho is willing to stay is worth her weight in gold at most places.
Dec 10, '02
My question is do staff nurses see their med/surg floor getting and keeping their share of new grads or are they looking for a different type of employment?
We have a lot of new grads on our floor at the moment and as far as I know, most don't have plans to go elsewhere after they gain experience. They're just trying to keep their heads above water, so to speak, at this point and I try to help/encourage them as much as possible because we need them to stay so desparately. In the past, many new grads have come and gone because either Med/Surg was too crazy and overwhelming for them or they already knew they wanted to move on to ICU or another specialty. I hope you continue to like Med-Surg, Mito since God knows, we need you!
Dec 27, '02
I worked med/surg fresh out of LPN school and now as a new RN. I would rather be on a med/surg floor i think. Something new every day, quicker patient turnover and all age ranges pretty much, and always different. No two surgicals are alike, everyone reacts differently. I think you either love med/surg or you dont. People usually figure out pretty quickly if it's for them or not. I have to agree with RNPA,, it does get pertty crazy at times, but med/surg nurses thrive on that craziness i think.
Dec 29, '02
Originally posted by meownsmile
it does get pertty crazy at times, but med/surg nurses thrive on that craziness i think.
I know I do- usually.
You will learn a lot, and if you eventually decide you want to do something else, Med/Surg is a great stepping stone. I've done lots of non-hospital agency work, and my Med/Surg experience has helped a lot.
Feb 5, '03
Hi, I am a new grad on a med-surg unit. I agree it can be crazy at times but I really think that once I get used to it-- it won't seem so crazy. My experienced co-workers don't seem to get upset they just deal with one thing at a time.
I really didn't want to start out on med-surg but my instructors convinced me that the experience would be very valuable and that if you get experience on med-surg you can work on any unit in the hospital. My first choice would have been labor and delivery. I don't know if I'll ever transfer to L&D though. I think I'll get comfortable on med-surg and just stay there. I am learning alot and am anxious to learn everything I can.
Feb 5, '03
There is no way I'm doing med surg when I graduate. I'm headed straight for the ICU!
Feb 6, '03
Good for you Emerald!!! That is so exciting. Myself, never working as a CNA or LPN, I decided that med-surg was best for me to start out with. I went straight thru RN school while still working for my family business, so the only skills I've learned so far are the ones in clinical. I am lucky, I got hired at my hospital of choice and I start Monday. I do plan to use med surg as a stepping stone, but I've been told that there is no greater place to learn the basic skills of nursing. My best friend in school worked as a CNA and LPN thru RN school and went straight into cardiac ICU and she is doing just fine with it. Good luck to you!
Feb 10, '03
Not stepping foot on a med/surg unit unless conditions improve or hell freezes over and it seems the latter is when I'll do it.
Feb 10, '03
Actually one of the hospitals I'm considering has like a 6 mo. ICU orientation program, they start new grads on stepdown/telemetry first. I don't see how doing med/surg will help me in ICU. Med/surg is a distinct speciality and it is totally different from an ICU environment-- managing about 8 patients instead of knowing absolutely everything about one or two patients. Rn_n_02, if your ultimate goal is to do ICU or another speciality, make sure you don't get "stuck" in med/surg. With the huge shortage of med/surg nurses, the hospital may be reluctant to transfer you to an ICU. Good luck and congrats on your new job!
BTW, I don't really know of anyone in my program who plans on doing med/surg. It seems like everyone wants to do ICU, peds, or OB.
Feb 26, '03
EmeraldNYL , I am sorry but I beg to differ. You are correct in that med surg is a different environment than ICU but dont you think that a good med/surg knowledge base is critical in caring for critical patients. Those patients in ICU are critical med/surg and coronary patients. Its med/surg nursing plus intensive treatments. My opinion is that any new grad is smart if they get at least 1 year of med/surg experience under their belts. I ,however, stayed "stuck" in med/surg for the last 15 years. I still have most of the skills I learned early because I am not specialized and I practice everything everyday. Good luck to all the new grads!!
Feb 27, '03
I worked med/surg for 6 months before transferring to ICU. I wouldn't have done it any other way. Working med/surg gives you an excellent chance to hone your organizational skills, which are much-needed in the ICU. Just because you'll "only" have 2 patients doesn't mean you don't need to be highly organized... ICU patients are BUSY!
In med/surg you get to learn all the basic skills of nursing without the pressure of unstable patients. When you get to ICU, all of that is already second nature and it becomes much easier to learn critical thinking. It also helps to get a feel for what "normal" patients are like.
Lastly, our particular ICU is pretty much the float pool for the whole freakin' hospital. If a nurse that has only worked on ICU has to float to a med/surg unit where they all of a sudden have to care for 5+ patients, that can be quite daunting. If you've already worked med/surg though, you'd have that advantage.
Feb 27, '03
I have worked med/surg, step down and ICU. Of the three step down was the most "different." You MUST learn cardiac period.
When I worked the unit...the saying among the nurses...was we were "doing Med/surg with a vent" because that IS what it is in many cases.
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