Bugaloo 9,002 Views
Joined Jun 30, '07.
Posts: 172 (58% Liked)
What are the advantages of being a Med-Surg nurse?
Med-Surg nurses develop a broad knowledge base of many different medical diseases and conditions. They are able to execute excellent patient teaching based on this knowledge. They are often highly skilled in assessing small changes in a patient's condition that can prevent more serious problems from developing.
What are the disadvantages of being a Med-Surg nurse?
The Med-Surg floor is sometimes insanely busy. The floor is often short-staffed and the turn-over rate is high. Long hours, high acuity patients and hospital politics can lead to burn out if you do not pace yourself.
What qualities should a Med-Surg nurse have?
The ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound!!! OOPS, Sorry! That is SuperNurse, 'er...umm...Superman. Seriously though, the most important quality a Med-Surg nurse should have is a sense of humor. You will face things that will be much easier to stomach if you can laugh about it. Secondly, a sense of confidence can put your patients at ease and let them feel as if they are in excellent hands (which they are, of course!). The ability to prioritize and manage your time wisely is also important. Remaining professional and courteous even in times of high stress is a must for any nurse, but especially in Med-Surg.
What types of patients are admitted to Med-Surg units?
Your patient load can vary from simple 23-hour observations to chronic (frequent flyer) patients with multiple medical issues. Common medical conditions that patients are admitted with are the following:
"You want to leave AMA because I won't give your pain medicine 2 hours early? Be my guest."
"You don't know why your blood sugar is 495? Could it have anything to do with the donuts that your family brought in for you to eat because we were starving you on a 1800 cal diet?"
"If you push that call light one more time for something stupid, it is going where the sun does not shine."
"I certainly believe you when you say that you do not use illicit drugs, but your urine drug screen states otherwise."
"No, I will not hold your penis for you to urinate. Neither one of your hands are broken, nor have you had a stroke."
My co-workers and I were sitting at the nurse's station the other morning after a rough 12-hour shift. It was the first time we had sat for longer than 10 minutes all night long. We were sleepy, exhausted and a tad irritated.
As we sat resting our poor feet, the student nurses arrived on the floor. Taking in their crisp white uniforms, we glanced down at our wrinkled scrubs. Noticing their bright, shiny faces, I sneaked a peak at my co-workers. Our hair hung in our faces, mascara streaked under our eyes and on top of that, we could barely put three words together to form a sentence. We were whooped!
I spoke first.
"I remember those days."
My fellow nurses nodded agreeably.
My charge nurse spoke next.
"Should we tell them to run now...before it's too late?"
We all laughed, then instantly sobered.
I got to thinking....If I were a nursing student again, what would I want to know? What would have made my transition from student to graduate nurse easier? If I were mentoring a student, what would I tell them?
I would tell them that being a nurse means you have met your goal. You did it! You are now one of us. So jump in, hold on and get ready for the ride of your life.
As a nurse, you are required to be many things: We are teachers. Doctors do not have time to teach patients what they need to know about their condition. That's where nurses come in. You will learn how to do a little teaching each time you are face to face with your patients. We are counselors. At times, we must help our patients and their families to utilize coping skills. Sometimes all we need to do is listen. Sometimes, we are the enemy. Some patients really do not like to be told what to do. Sometimes they are angry or scared. They will lash out...at you.
Nurses do not learn everything they need to know in the first day, the first week, the first month. There is a steep learning curve. Give yourself time to adjust to your first job. Don't beat yourself up because you don't think that you are learning fast enough. AND don't let others beat you up either. If someone seems to be giving you a hard time, tell them nicely and with a smile, "I am still learning".
As a nurse, you will learn to use every resource at your disposal. That means fellow nurses, reference books, the pharmacist, the social worker, and the doctors. After a while, you will learn who enjoys sharing their knowledge, and who doesn't.
As a nurse, you will be witness to miracles and to mayhem. You will learn to be compassionate, but strong. Sometimes challenges will invigorate you and some will exhaust you. Be cautious when making friends with fellow nurses. Be aware that not everyone is as they seem. If your work environment feels stifling and toxic, it probably is. Staying positive in a toxic environment is extremely difficult. Don't feel bad if you decide to leave for greener pastures.
As a nurse, you will have good days and bad. You will see people at their best and at their worst. Sometimes it will seem as if you aren't making a difference, but even if you touch one person's life, you have done your job.
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