New nurse starting on a med/surg floor

  1. 0
    Hi guys,

    So after taking a year off after graduation (family illness, etc) I finally took the boards, applied for jobs, and got a job! In all honesty, med/surg wasn't my first choice... but I can't imagine a better place to start my foundation as a new nurse. And who knows, I might end up loving it! Nurse patient ratio is 1:4 (high acuity), I met most of the RN's already and they're extremely helpful and nice, and the nurse manager is really involved and and seems like a good team leader.

    Now my dilemma is... because I took a year off, I feel unprepared and panicked. I've been reading my textbooks and trying my best to refresh my memory on everything I've learned. What kind of reference books/materials did you guys use when you started working? I've seen those pocket reference med/surg books and I wonder if they really help. I'm thinking reference materials I can carry around with me either in a pocket or locker. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 7
    I really like the PDQ LPN book, if you're an RN they have a PDQ RN version. I also keep my drug book there as well, luckily the unit that I work on also has an online database with just about everything you can imagine on it.

    I would recommend reading up on the procedures for inserting/removing foley catheters (indications, contraindications, etc.), inserting IV's and signs of IV patency versus infiltration, administering blood, central line dressing changes, discontinuing central lines, accessing Port-a-caths, physical assessments, administering SQ/IM injections, etc.

    If you REALLY want to get a head start go ahead and start looking at some of the drugs that are commonly given on a med/surg floor, also look up nursing considerations when administering said drugs:

    IV: Zofran, Dilaudid, Ativan, Morphine, Phenergan, Reglan, Nubain, Toradol, Protonix, Vasotec, Lasix, Zosyn, Vancomycin, Ciprofloxacin, Unasyn, Maxipme, Avelox, Rocephin, Flagyl, TPN, PPN,

    IM: Geodon, Vitamin B-12, Influenza vaccine, Pneumonia vaccine.

    SQ: Lovenox, Arixtra, Regular Insulin, Lantus, Novolog 70/30,

    PO: Lopressor, Digoxin, Lortab, Percocet, MS contin, Roxicodone, Oxycontin, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, Trazadone, Lipitor, Coreg, Lisinopril, Lasix, Aldactone, Cardizem.

    I'm sure there's many more that I'm just not thinking of. Bottom line though, there's only so much you prepare yourself for, your real learning will take place when you hit the floor, this is an exciting time for you so don't sweat the small stuff just focus on learning as much as possible from your preceptor.

    Oh and fasten your seat belt, Med/surg can be a crazy bumpy ride, be prepared to see EVERYTHING under the sun!
    NursesLeadTheWay, Beepretty, Jasel, and 4 others like this.
  5. 1
    You know what, I just got a call from the hospital that I have applied for in med/surg area as well and I got the same curiosity. I am so excited with this area and I cannot wait to step into it! TheMoonisMyLantern, thank you so much for sharing with us your experience. I'm so glad I joined this group social networking as if I have lots of nurse-friends already who are so ready to share and to teach us- new nurses. More power to you and to all of us here in allnurses! :redpinkhe
    TheMoonisMyLantern likes this.
  6. 0
    Anyone who can please tell me specific reference book for med/surg nursing and maybe the author? I'm gonna be starting my first job in this area and I want as much as possible be more "equipt" with useful knowledge. I think the knowledge that I had from school got "stucked-up" already in my brain. And also... what kind of other things that I should prepare. I'm just so excited thank you guys.
  7. 0
    Quote from TheMoonisMyLantern
    I really like the PDQ LPN book, if you're an RN they have a PDQ RN version. I also keep my drug book there as well, luckily the unit that I work on also has an online database with just about everything you can imagine on it.

    I would recommend reading up on the procedures for inserting/removing foley catheters (indications, contraindications, etc.), inserting IV's and signs of IV patency versus infiltration, administering blood, central line dressing changes, discontinuing central lines, accessing Port-a-caths, physical assessments, administering SQ/IM injections, etc.

    If you REALLY want to get a head start go ahead and start looking at some of the drugs that are commonly given on a med/surg floor, also look up nursing considerations when administering said drugs:

    IV: Zofran, Dilaudid, Ativan, Morphine, Phenergan, Reglan, Nubain, Toradol, Protonix, Vasotec, Lasix, Zosyn, Vancomycin, Ciprofloxacin, Unasyn, Maxipme, Avelox, Rocephin, Flagyl, TPN, PPN,

    IM: Geodon, Vitamin B-12, Influenza vaccine, Pneumonia vaccine.

    SQ: Lovenox, Arixtra, Regular Insulin, Lantus, Novolog 70/30,

    PO: Lopressor, Digoxin, Lortab, Percocet, MS contin, Roxicodone, Oxycontin, Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, Trazadone, Lipitor, Coreg, Lisinopril, Lasix, Aldactone, Cardizem.

    I'm sure there's many more that I'm just not thinking of. Bottom line though, there's only so much you prepare yourself for, your real learning will take place when you hit the floor, this is an exciting time for you so don't sweat the small stuff just focus on learning as much as possible from your preceptor.

    Oh and fasten your seat belt, Med/surg can be a crazy bumpy ride, be prepared to see EVERYTHING under the sun!


    Awesome.. thanks for all the extra info! I'll definitely be looking all that up!

    Anyone have more suggestions/reference books?


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