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tokmom, BSN, RN 40,411 Views

Joined Aug 20, '09 - from 'Somewhere in the USA'. tokmom is a CMSRN. She has '30' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff'. Posts: 4,671 (61% Liked) Likes: 8,606

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  • Jun 23

    I got out for almost 5 yrs. I needed to. I did keep my license current and came back only to embrace my profession. It does happen.

    Good luck to you and your new future.

  • Jun 21

    Op, excellent question. I have no idea where the idea of med/surg being a sucky place to work ever started. We probably will never know. Nurses who work on med/surg are viewed as "less than," and not a true specialty. We are ONLY med-surg nurses (rolling eyes). It boggles my mind that a bunch of grown woman (because nursing is primarily women) LOVE to bash other specialties and consider them less than. It's so freaking childish. We will never EVER move forward and have the respect of society and other health care professionals until we start liking each other!

    I enjoy med/surg and will never leave unless I leave bedside altogether. It rankles my hide to hear new grads say they are being tortured having to work med/surg and can't wait to leave. Constant turn-over is bad for moral and many never give it a chance.
    I enjoy the challenge of the patients and family. I see people become well and go home and I'm proud to be a part of the process.
    I have worked a variety of departments and I kept going back to med/surg. I always found something "wrong" with the other department such as not using my critical thinking skills or monotonous/assembly line care. One day I realized that I'm a true blue med/surg nurse. I'm certified in med/surgical and very proud of my RN-C.

  • Jun 16

    Quote from Ruby Vee
    The OP isn't the one who said she hated bedside nursing. In fact, it seems like the OP cannot understand why others seem to hate Med/Surg so much. VAnurse2010 is the one with the horrible attitude about bedside nursing.

    If you've decided that you hate bedside nursing and won't even TRY to find aspects of the job that you like and enjoy, if you just concentrate on how much "it all sucks", then you're not GOING to find any positive aspects to the job, and you'll be miserable. You tend to find what you're looking for, and if all you look for is negative, that's all you'll find. It's a miserable attitude, and it's one destined to make you even more miserable.

    I once hated bedside nursing, too. Then I decided that since I had to do it to support my family, until something "better" came along, then I'd make up my mind to find aspects of it that I enjoyed. And wouldn't you know it -- when something "better" did come along, I was enjoying the bedside so much I didn't want to leave.
    I can't like this enough.

    That was ME years ago. I had the attitude just like that and I KNOW I was toxic to the floor. Do you know what I did? I QUIT nursing. Yep, and I don't think my coworkers missed me much.
    Eventually, I had to return to nursing and you can bet my attitude needed an adjustment and it was up to me to do it, not my manager, not my coworkers. I had to FIND the GOOD in nursing again and I did.
    I found that passion (yes, a much hated word on AN), and I reconnected with the patient. I became involved in policy changes and the workings of the floor. Instead of whining how awful it was, I FIXED it. I negotiate our contract, and help develop policy and procedures. I'm passionate about the profession of the Med/Surg nurse and nursing in general. I do not wear rose colored glasses and I'm a true realist. My goal is to have my nurses and team members rediscover their spark and remember why they wanted to become nurses in the first place. I fight for them as a floor and encourage them to join me.

    To those that hate med/surg nursing so badly...get out. It's really simple. As I have said before, you are a toxic co-worker to the environment.

    While I'm on my soapbox, I totally detest nurses that come to the Med/Surg nurse thread and whine about their med/surg job and how much it sucks. I don't go to other threads on AN and bash how awful being an ICU, ED, dialysis, or another other nurse is. Do you think they want to hear it?
    I think the med/surg thread should be for those actually interested in Med/Surg

  • Jun 16

    Quote from tarotale
    I don't blame the original poster. Lots of people hate bedside, me included. The bs of bedside she mentioned is definitely there and can't deny it. Some people can tolerate the bs. Others can't stand it which makes us hate bedside.

    Like there isn't BS in management? I'm a fence sitter job wise, so I see both sides. There is crap everywhere in every specialty and job role.

  • Jun 16

    Quote from la_chica_suerte85
    I've seen this a lot, too and it especially gets touted by some of the nurses that float to the med-surg floors I've been on. I think there's a certain degree of "flash" and status that comes with being in a specialty but with Med-Surg, you have to be all things to all people. The time management, the total care pts (i.e. you are the sole caregiver -- no PCT, no CNA, no one to help you), the range of diseases/syndromes and everything else requires someone who has a broad knowledge base and excellent organization skills. I don't really get where this idea came from, though. I can see the excitement with higher acuity and maybe the more complex med admin and assessment but you really have to be on your toes in Med-Surg just as much. At the end of the day, anywhere is a good place to start. Experience is the most valuable thing.
    Med/Surg IS a specialty. Nobody seems to realize that.

    Any floor can and will be awful, with high rates of burnout, if staffing is sub par. Again, it's NOT med/surg that is horrible, it is what management does to med/surg that is so terribly wrong.

  • Jun 16

    Op, excellent question. I have no idea where the idea of med/surg being a sucky place to work ever started. We probably will never know. Nurses who work on med/surg are viewed as "less than," and not a true specialty. We are ONLY med-surg nurses (rolling eyes). It boggles my mind that a bunch of grown woman (because nursing is primarily women) LOVE to bash other specialties and consider them less than. It's so freaking childish. We will never EVER move forward and have the respect of society and other health care professionals until we start liking each other!

    I enjoy med/surg and will never leave unless I leave bedside altogether. It rankles my hide to hear new grads say they are being tortured having to work med/surg and can't wait to leave. Constant turn-over is bad for moral and many never give it a chance.
    I enjoy the challenge of the patients and family. I see people become well and go home and I'm proud to be a part of the process.
    I have worked a variety of departments and I kept going back to med/surg. I always found something "wrong" with the other department such as not using my critical thinking skills or monotonous/assembly line care. One day I realized that I'm a true blue med/surg nurse. I'm certified in med/surgical and very proud of my RN-C.

  • Jun 15

    Quote from la_chica_suerte85
    I've seen this a lot, too and it especially gets touted by some of the nurses that float to the med-surg floors I've been on. I think there's a certain degree of "flash" and status that comes with being in a specialty but with Med-Surg, you have to be all things to all people. The time management, the total care pts (i.e. you are the sole caregiver -- no PCT, no CNA, no one to help you), the range of diseases/syndromes and everything else requires someone who has a broad knowledge base and excellent organization skills. I don't really get where this idea came from, though. I can see the excitement with higher acuity and maybe the more complex med admin and assessment but you really have to be on your toes in Med-Surg just as much. At the end of the day, anywhere is a good place to start. Experience is the most valuable thing.
    Med/Surg IS a specialty. Nobody seems to realize that.

    Any floor can and will be awful, with high rates of burnout, if staffing is sub par. Again, it's NOT med/surg that is horrible, it is what management does to med/surg that is so terribly wrong.

  • May 29

    Quote from la_chica_suerte85
    I've seen this a lot, too and it especially gets touted by some of the nurses that float to the med-surg floors I've been on. I think there's a certain degree of "flash" and status that comes with being in a specialty but with Med-Surg, you have to be all things to all people. The time management, the total care pts (i.e. you are the sole caregiver -- no PCT, no CNA, no one to help you), the range of diseases/syndromes and everything else requires someone who has a broad knowledge base and excellent organization skills. I don't really get where this idea came from, though. I can see the excitement with higher acuity and maybe the more complex med admin and assessment but you really have to be on your toes in Med-Surg just as much. At the end of the day, anywhere is a good place to start. Experience is the most valuable thing.
    Med/Surg IS a specialty. Nobody seems to realize that.

    Any floor can and will be awful, with high rates of burnout, if staffing is sub par. Again, it's NOT med/surg that is horrible, it is what management does to med/surg that is so terribly wrong.

  • May 29

    Op, excellent question. I have no idea where the idea of med/surg being a sucky place to work ever started. We probably will never know. Nurses who work on med/surg are viewed as "less than," and not a true specialty. We are ONLY med-surg nurses (rolling eyes). It boggles my mind that a bunch of grown woman (because nursing is primarily women) LOVE to bash other specialties and consider them less than. It's so freaking childish. We will never EVER move forward and have the respect of society and other health care professionals until we start liking each other!

    I enjoy med/surg and will never leave unless I leave bedside altogether. It rankles my hide to hear new grads say they are being tortured having to work med/surg and can't wait to leave. Constant turn-over is bad for moral and many never give it a chance.
    I enjoy the challenge of the patients and family. I see people become well and go home and I'm proud to be a part of the process.
    I have worked a variety of departments and I kept going back to med/surg. I always found something "wrong" with the other department such as not using my critical thinking skills or monotonous/assembly line care. One day I realized that I'm a true blue med/surg nurse. I'm certified in med/surgical and very proud of my RN-C.

  • May 29

    Quote from Paco-RN
    My PERSONAL experience is that med-surg nursing is perceived as a dumping ground, and (except for California) a higher than normal patient load is the norm and nurses are expected to deal with it. There is very little time to spend with patients and an exorbitant number of tasks to complete. Too much babysitting and not enough time to critically think. It is viewed as the place where you start out your nursing career and then move on to critical care or more lucrative specialties after you have the requisite experience under your belt. I've even heard others comment that some excellent nurses are "too smart" a nurse to stay on a med-surg unit, and that critical care nurses are more astute clinicians. Med-surg nurses have to move their patients to higher level of care when they decompensate enough and they have restrictions on what they can or cannot push or what interventions they can or cannot allow (i.e., no continuous pulse ox monitoring or continuous nonrebreather use on a med surg floor). In this sense, the critical care nurse is viewed as a better or more qualified nurse. In this day and age, few newer nurses seem to tolerate the idea that they have limitations on the care they can provide to their patients.

    I'm not saying this is the truth for EVERY med-surg unit, just saying that this is the perception from where I stand and live, and why someone here too would crinkle their nose at the idea of going into med-surg. It's no wonder many new grads are killing puppies at the chance to start out in ICU or other critical care. Charting on 2 patients is viewed as a hell of a lot less onerous than charting on 6.

    And btw, the concept of starting out in med surg for a year and transferring out to another specialty seems to be slowly dying. Many specialty RN job listings are beginning to specify experience in the specialty as the preferred qualification for the opening (i.e., 2 years critical care or ER experience for ER or ICU) and med-surg is no longer enough. Maybe this is a result of oversaturation of qualified candidates in the job market and employers can be more choosy. So the idea of starting out in med-surg and being stuck there seems to be a growing concern. It's harder now to change to a specialty after med surg. Also, this could be a regional thing, but again, that's how things are perceived around here.




    Sent from my iPad using allnurses
    No continuous pulse ox on your floor? Holy cow, that is dumbing down nurses. Heck, I have worked med/surg where I did conscious sedation, and injected epidurals.

  • May 25

    Quote from tarotale
    no offense but I sometimes want to rob the house of the professor who gave me that advice (jkjk). But really no offense to you, I could put that as one of top 3 worst advices to give to new grads. personal exp. I had chance to go to IMC or ICU, but b/c of what my prof told me, I decided to work at MS, what the heck right? The chances of burnout and hating nursing out the gut is exponentially high in MS floors, and like others said, many ER, ICU, OR and other specialty require 2yrs if not more for transition. So imagine being stuck at floor and you hate your life for it; what a misery!!!! I was lucky enough to run from MS after 1yr to ER, but jumping salmon, if I was still working in that miserable MS, I would probably drive into a pole for couple months admission at an ICU to avoid work.

    in short, that's been the worst advice in my nursing career
    Nursing research shows no higher burn out in m/s.

  • May 11

    This is so true. Drinking fluids at work can be difficult at times because no food or drink can be at the station.

  • Apr 25

    That's fine. ICU makes me want to scream. Just remember as an ICU nurse, you may only have 2 patients, but those nurses are busy too. It's very high pressure as well with those patients being so critical. You constantly need to be on guard for any subtle signs of crashing.

    Personally, you sound overwhelmed, period. Even nurseries can be very busy. BTDT With missed lunches.

    I'm going to tell you something you might not want to hear, but I think you need to stick this out. If you can work Med/Surg, you can work anywhere. It teaches you to multi task and you learn how to deal with a variety of people. Most if not all jobs, including OB jobs, REQUIRE at least 1-2 years of Med/Surg FOR that reason.

    I have worked all over various fields of hospital nursing, and mother/baby is my first love. However, I don't currently work there, lol. I got out of nursing for 4 yrs for personal reasons and went back in FT 2 yrs ago. I started on a med/surg floor and like you, that first day cried all the way home. Even with 16 yrs of an RN under my belt I was overwhelmed. It's a scary place to be. The computer system was frightening and I didn't think I would ever get my groove back. Well, long story short, a month into it, I did fine and life is fine. I just had to give myself some extra time to re adjust and ask questions if I was stuck on something.

    For the record, those nurses most likely get preceptor pay, so essentially are getting paid to help you get situated.

    Get your year or two under your belt and then move on. You will be glad you did. Trust me on this one.

  • Apr 24

    I was out for almost 5 yrs with my kids and I said just that on my resume and in my interview. When I was asked if I had lost my skills, I was very confident in my answer which was a No. I also had my CPR and ACLS updated though to help sell myself a bit more. I was bringing to them my years of experience of which I did play up.
    The only downside was taking a bit of a pay cut. Even though I had been an RN on license for 20 odd years, they did start me at a lower pay scale by deducting the years I was out of nursing.

  • Apr 12

    My philosophy:

    1) Make no med errors

    2) catch any pt circling the drain before they code

    3) get out on time

    4) get my lunch at the very least

    5) Be mindful of burn out


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