New Grad in Med-Surg

  1. I have been offered positions in the float pool and telemetry but with some advices from other nurses here I have decided that medical-surgical might be more realistic for me to start my career in nursing. I had an interview today with the medical-surgical director and later this afternoon she called me and told me that I have been considered. Next week, I will be intouched with the HR for my processing. I'd like to ask the opinion of any of you regarding my decision. I'm a recent RN graduate and just passed the boards. I do not have any previous hospital experience besides nursing school.
    The following are my questions:
    1)I have two shifts choices in the med-surg unit; FT days or FT nights.
    2) In transitioning from student to an RN, which of these 2 shifts do you think I should consider ( I'm married with 2 kids at home, ages 4 and 10).
    3) The nurse-patient ratio is 5:1, 3 months orientation with a preceptor...does this sound fair? I live in CA and the director told me that this ratio is what applies to CA law and they strictly abide by the law.
    5) My starting salary is $23.92/hr with $3.00 night differential (If I chose to do nights). Does this salary sound fair?
    6) How do I prepare myself to be effective in Med-Surg unit?
    7) What are the common cases seen in med-surg?
    Please I need your input.
    Thank you!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Thunderwolf
    Quote from freshrn05
    i have been offered positions in the float pool and telemetry but with some advices from other nurses here i have decided that medical-surgical might be more realistic for me to start my career in nursing. i had an interview today with the medical-surgical director and later this afternoon she called me and told me that i have been considered. next week, i will be intouched with the hr for my processing. i'd like to ask the opinion of any of you regarding my decision. i'm a recent rn graduate and just passed the boards. i do not have any previous hospital experience besides nursing school.

    (thunderwolf:i work ortho-neuro med surg)

    the following are my questions:
    1)i have two shifts choices in the med-surg unit; ft days or ft nights.
    2) in transitioning from student to an rn, which of these 2 shifts do you think i should consider ( i'm married with 2 kids at home, ages 4 and 10).
    i recommend the day position while your kids are in day care/school and you have more resources for your educational experience as you learn. part of your educational experience is getting your organizational skills down and having the full complement of staff to assist you. also, you will get to learn which doctors are who and how to relate and communicate patient info with them better. plus, you get to be home with your kids and sleep in your own bed at night.

    3) the nurse-patient ratio is 5:1, 3 months orientation with a preceptor...does this sound fair? i live in ca and the director told me that this ratio is what applies to ca law and they strictly abide by the law.
    1:5 is doable on med surg and 3 months of orientation (wonderful!).

    5) my starting salary is $23.92/hr with $3.00 night differential (if i chose to do nights). does this salary sound fair?
    i am not in ca, so a ca nurse will have to answer this question for you.

    6) how do i prepare myself to be effective in med-surg unit?
    pick your role models on the floor to learn from. ask questions....never assume you know if you don't. become familiar with the organization of the chart and computer and how to locate patient info. when talking with a surgeon regarding patient info/change of status, have your info ready...anticipate what he/she might ask for. med surg works best if folks work as a team, not as individuals (although, you do need to learn to stand on your own). be a team player. help out where help is needed. what goes around comes around. and, do not gossip...bite your tongue if you have to.

    7) what are the common cases seen in med-surg?
    it depends on what type of med surg, but on a general med surg...you will see it all! good experience.


    please i need your input.
    thank you!

    i wish you the very best on your new career. you will surprise yourself.
  4. by   FreshRN05
    Thunderwolf......
    Thank you very much for answering my questions. Can you suggest any books that I can purchase to prepare myself in medical-surgical nursing? Maybe something I can take to work for a quick reference. Oh, also I plan on buying me a PDA...any software suggestions? Gosh! I'm freaking out! I start on Jan. 9th (new grad program)...For the past few nights I have been having nightmares about working and starting my career in nursing. I thought the stress is gone when I passed the boards...I guess I'm still yet to discover another type of stress...........
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!:hatparty:
  5. by   Daytonite
    for now, your textbooks from school should be sufficient to get your through. if you don't already have a drug guide or a book that explains various tests (lab and x-ray) you might want to get one. once you've been on your unit awhile you will get a idea of the main diagnoses you are going to see. bone up on diabetes, since you'll always have at least one, if not a couple of, diabetic patients. your nightmares are coming from your anxieties. try to do some things that will be relaxing and enjoyable for now.

    here are some links you might find useful. also, i just posted a couple of new links i found on iv therapy to another thread this morning you might want to check out:

    http://www.labtestsonline.org/

    http://teach.lanecc.edu/nursingskills/blood/blood.htm -- transfusion procedure

    http://teach.lanecc.edu/nursingskill...onproducts.pdf -- a list of the different blood products available for transfusion
  6. by   Thunderwolf
    also, please check out our forum, pdas and nursing, which can be accessed via this link: allnurses list of forums?


    i also echo what has been previously stated.


    good luck and best wishes!


    and, happy new year!
  7. by   grinnurse
    Quote from FreshRN05
    I have been offered positions in the float pool and telemetry but with some advices from other nurses here I have decided that medical-surgical might be more realistic for me to start my career in nursing. I had an interview today with the medical-surgical director and later this afternoon she called me and told me that I have been considered. Next week, I will be intouched with the HR for my processing. I'd like to ask the opinion of any of you regarding my decision. I'm a recent RN graduate and just passed the boards. I do not have any previous hospital experience besides nursing school.
    The following are my questions:
    1)I have two shifts choices in the med-surg unit; FT days or FT nights.
    2) In transitioning from student to an RN, which of these 2 shifts do you think I should consider ( I'm married with 2 kids at home, ages 4 and 10).
    3) The nurse-patient ratio is 5:1, 3 months orientation with a preceptor...does this sound fair? I live in CA and the director told me that this ratio is what applies to CA law and they strictly abide by the law.
    Wish our state had a law like this!!

    5) My starting salary is $23.92/hr with $3.00 night differential (If I chose to do nights). Does this salary sound fair?
    That sounds fair to me, but I live in Texas so..........

    6) How do I prepare myself to be effective in Med-Surg unit?
    Ask tons of questions, be observant, listen, be a "team player" and help others when you can, work on time management during preceptorship as much as possible but be open to the fact that sometimes and some days there is NO such thing-at least for me so far!!

    7) What are the common cases seen in med-surg?

    I work in a small rural hospital so what I see alot of are geriatric CHF, COPD, orth-ie fx hips etc., DM uncontrolled, lots of post-op hysterectomies, some pedi dx such as bronchitis, gastroenteritis, etc.



    Please I need your input.
    Thank you!
    Congrats on your recent graduation and boards!! Doesn't it feel wonderful to have that behind you!!

    So glad to hear that you are getting a PDA. I probably spent more on mine than I needed, but I love it and have used it almost everyday on the floor. I got my nursing programs from Skyscape. I have drug guide, procedure, quick reference for lab vals and tests. Comes in handy in so many ways and wouldn't know what to do with out it!!

    Since you have children (me too w/ kids about the same age) I would go for days.

    3 Months of preceptorship sounds great. I will probably get lots of flack for the next thing I say, but, if I were you, I would see if you could have more than 1 preceptor to work with. "Why" some may ask? B/C you get to see different aspects of things that work, especially w/ time management and handling doctors so you can get your own "groove" on. That worked really well for me and I feel like I learned so much from each.

    I have only been on the floor since June 05 so I am still new too! I am so glad that I chose Med/Surge. Love the pace!!

    Good luck
    Last edit by grinnurse on Jan 1, '06

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