Transitioning from office work to med-surg

  1. Hello, I am new to the site and am posting this because I am in need of some advice. I graduated with my BSN 3 years ago but because there were limited jobs for new grads, I was unable to find a med-surg position. Instead I took a job working night shift on a behavioral health unit and stayed there 1 year. I was then offered a job working for a cardiology practice that I was thrilled about. I have been there for 2 years now and although I know I'm lucky to have easy work and great hours, I feel like I should be doing more. Most days all I do is answer phones and take vitals. I have very few nursing responsibilities and have gotten the urge to work on the floor like I had originally wanted. Only problem is now I'm terrified to change positions with so little experience and having lost virtually all the skills I learned in school. As an RN for 3 years I feel like I should have more clinical knowledge. Was wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation or had advice about getting back on the floor. I want to make the transition but my confidence is a little low. Thanks in advance!
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    About Rmac307

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 1


  3. by   ivyleaf
    I have a somewhat similar situation, although I'm not quite ready to make a move. Due to multiple factors, after graduating I took a part time job at an unlocked mental health unit and since have only worked in this setting, as a community mental health nurse, briefly as a per diem rn in a locked psych unit, and as a psych case manager in an acute hospital. I've been a nurse for 5 yrs but never worked in medsurg--- all giving po meds, some injections but not many, case management, education --- no IVs, med surg assessments, etc.

    Although I am happy w my current job for the moment, I have always wanted to be a ED nurse. I am also considering going to NP school in the future --- I am leaning towards psych but I dont want to rule out acute care-- but I would want to work as an ED or med surg RN before committing to a grad program.

    I feel like school was so long ago that I don't even remember what it was like to be on a med surg floor anymore--- I remember feeling pressured, tired, and running around Ike a chicken w my head cut off giving people meds. I didn't like med surg nursing in school, part of why I ended up in psych.

    At any rate, I'm afraid to start at square 1, ESP as IMO comfortable in psych! Am I crazy for wanting to try med surg again??
  4. by   rnjello
    Here is the deal,

    Med-surg is great! You will learn so much, your skills will improve a lot, as will your time management and critical thinking ones. They say that you should start in med-surg for a reason. With that being said, there may be days where you will miss your current job... A lot! The med-surg floor (at least the one I work at) gets crazy; there are days when I feel like a juggler. No breaks, or maybe just one; Bed alarms, IV pumps beeping, call lights going off, an etoh withdrawal that you need to assess and medicate every hour, families wanting an update; some others are hysterical, because you didn't bring that pudding (or the dose of IV dilaudid) they ordered 5 minutes ago. In the meantime you have an admission and a discharge all happening at the same time! When you reflect back on your days, it's actually kind of funny, but rewarding, because somehow you got everything done. (Or passed on to the following shift) but don't let that scare you, because you will become a nurse that is wanted in many other areas of nursing. Think of med-surg as "nursing bootcamp" I've spent my last three years in med-surg, and even though there were days that I hated it, there were others were I felt like my job was the most exciting job in the planet! My cycle in med-surg has ended; I'm moving on to doing different things, but good luck to you! Can't wait to hear about your adventures in med-surg!!
  5. by   ivyleaf
    OP-- are you still at the office job? Any more comments?
  6. by   Nurse ABC
    I was a school nurse with awesome hours/schedule and it was pretty easy. However, I was growing bored and wanted to use more clinical skills and learn and grow more as a nurse. I hadn't worked in a hospital for 20 yrs and so I got back in. The first month I wondered what I had gotten myself into. After almost 7 months I'm finding my groove and actually look foward to going to work. They will train you with whatever you need to do your job on the floor. I'd say go for it!

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