MedSurg Ortho or MedSurg Oncology

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    MedSurg Ortho or MedSurg Oncology? I got both positions as job offers. Not sure which to choose or what the differences between the two are. Since both are generally medsurg floors, would it really matter whether I did MedSurg Ortho or MedSurg Oncology?

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  2. 4 Comments...

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    Well, it's hard to say based simply on knowing the names of the units because it's hard to tell how specialized they are, what kinds of services they provide, etc.

    In my experience, orthopedics and oncology are VERY different.

    Ortho is a lot of hip and knee replacements, fractures, casts, surgical dressing changes, assisting with increasing mobility...that sort of stuff. You'll also be responsible for managing surgical pain.

    Onco is dealing with cancer patients, so (depending on the unit) you'll see lots of people receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Since you mention med-surg onco, perhaps surgical excision of tumours, as well. Pain management will be in there, too. You'll probably see plenty of central lines, too. Also be prepared for working with palliative patients, as well.
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    I love love love being an ortho nurse. We get a lot of hips, knees, and shoulder replacements. We manage a lot of post-op pain, neurovascular checks, d/c hemovacs, occasionally give some blood and straight cath if they can't void.
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    I I think the ortho is too limiting oncology teaches you a lot about many disease processes
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    I would go with the oncology position as ortho could get routine after a period of time. Though of course if you love ortho then that would obviously be the job to choose. Your ortho patients will be in & out very fast so you'll see a lot of new patients. The oncology patients will tend to stick around a little longer so you can make more of a connection with them. It all depends on what you are looking for in a position.


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