Med Surg stands for Medical/Surgical. Patients on these units are typically stable patients, unlike the ICU, where patients are unstable and may need respiratory support through a ventilator. Patients on Med/surg units can have a variety of medical conditions and/or are recovering from invasive surgical procedures, but in stable condition. Most of the time they are awake and alert, and moving around, unlike ICU patients who may be sedated or too sick to get out of bed. In the ER, all sorts of patients walk into there. Patients that need to be hospitalized and patients who don't. It is the gateway to all other units, including med-surg and ICU. There is a range of patients from very critical to not critical at all.