Surgical Nursing Advice

  1. HI. I am a New Grad working in a Post-Partum unit. I have been there for 3 months. I don't plan to be there forever. As time goes by, I am beginning to wonder if I made a mistake because I am losing all of my med/surg experience that I learned in school.
    I am considering employment on a surgical floor.
    I hated med/surg in school but I was hoping that working just the "surgical" side of it would be better.
    Can anyone tell me if they like working on the surgical floor....what can I expect....and would it be a good area for a new grad?
    Any info is appreciated because I am so confused right now about what I should do. Thanks
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   nursenatalie
    I started on a surgical floor as a new grad and dont regret it for a minute. I use a wide array of skills on a daily basis. You never know what you might have. Last night I had (1) patient post op TURP with a CBI, (2) post-op day 4 hemicolectomy with an NG tube secondary to Ileus,(3 ) post op gastrectomy with roux-en-y who began DT's, (4) Hydronephrosis with stent placement (emergency surgery at 1 am) (5) Pleural effusion with two chest tubes (6) Open appy (pt septic) I love it, always different and always keeps you on your toes! Very individual experience, maybe you could float one day and see what you think.
  4. by   janleb
    I would recomment at least 2-3 yrs med surg experience for every new grad. You get to learn new skills, and practice skills you already learned in nursing school. A typical med surg day is very tiring, but I feel if you can get a good hand on med surg nursing you can learn just about anything. Along with nursing skills , time management, being in charge, it builds a back bone. A wonderful base for any type of nursing.
  5. by   circa68
    WOW! I think I am beginning to understand these boards. You respnded to my poorly done post--thanks. So I thought I would just say that once upon a time - everybody did at least a year med surg after graduation--not so today, but for me I actually gravitated back to med-surg and that is what I like the best because of the variety. It is very busy but you really do get a lot of experience and it is a great building block. So if you think you might like surgical I think you should try to arrange for a floating day to a surgical unit, as someone else already suggested. I once thought I wanted OR and got a trial in the OR where I worked--in 3 days I realized it was not for me. So I didn't make the move. Good luck!
  6. by   Nrs. LaLa-Land
    Thanks everyone for your input. I think I have been putting off the inevitable. I knew out of school that I should have gone to a med/surg type floor but I fought it with every fiber of my being. But now I am realizing that I should just bite the bullet and go for the great learning experience. I can get a job anywhere if I have this great experience.
    I am kind of worried though because this hospital that I work at has already invested so much time and money in my orientation. I applied there because they did offer a new-grad position in post-partum (which I thought I wanted).
    If I go to surgical nursing, I want to work at a hospital closer to my home.
    It is actually the same hospital name...just a different location that is closer.
    Any advice for switching jobs before a year of experience is up?
    Will it give me a bad rep?
  7. by   SharonH, RN
    I really, really enjoyed surgical and I prefer surgical ortho. Be forewarned, a strictly surgical floor can be very fast-paced especially on the 3-11 shift when your post-ops are returning. That can be overwhelming for a new nurse and lead to an early burnout. I would go with a medical floor or med-surg floor.
  8. by   Nursekatydid
    I tech on a surgical floor and will be working on that floor when I graduate. I prefer surgical pts to medical pts by a long run. We frequently have fast turnover. You see people coming up from ER feeling really crappy and leaving the hospital feeling much much better It does get crazy busy, surgeries and admits seem to all come at once, but I truly love my floor!!!
  9. by   RN8Last
    Quote from Nrs. LaLa-Land
    HI. I am a New Grad working in a Post-Partum unit. I have been there for 3 months. I don't plan to be there forever. As time goes by, I am beginning to wonder if I made a mistake because I am losing all of my med/surg experience that I learned in school.
    I am considering employment on a surgical floor.
    I hated med/surg in school but I was hoping that working just the "surgical" side of it would be better.
    Can anyone tell me if they like working on the surgical floor....what can I expect....and would it be a good area for a new grad?
    Any info is appreciated because I am so confused right now about what I should do. Thanks
    I love working on the surgical floor. Different cases and not to mention it is a " cleaner" unit , if you know what I mean!
  10. by   gypsynurse7
    I have always worked on the surgical side of med-surg and wouldn't EVER want to go to the other side. I have worked the gamut of surgical specialties, and, with the exception of e.n.t. and neurosurgery, I love it all! After five years of surgical nursing, I don't regret for a minute that I went straight to a busy surgical floor right out of nursing school...it has been very frustrating at times, but I wouldn't change a thing.

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