Published Aug 5, 2005
I graduated from a BSN program in December of 2004 and took a job on a Telemetry Med Surg floor with a stepdown unit and I absolutely hate it! I've been there for 5 months and people keep saying it will get better. It's gotten easier but I still don't like it. I took the job knowing that I didn't really like Med Surg but I wanted to gain experience and knowledge. I like the elderly population, but the stress is just too much. It seems that all I do is give out medications. Working with nursing assistants is hell - they are just pissed off most of the time. I enjoy doing patient care, but it seems that so much of that is cut short because of giving out meds, answering phone calls, transferring patients to tests, and checking on unlimited MD orders, and getting interrupted 50 times a day.
Are there any nurses out there who worked in Med Surg and switched to L&D or postpartum? What was your experience when you switched? Is L&D and postpartum as bad as Med Surg? I really enjoyed L&D when I was in school. I think I would enjoy giving emotional support and teaching to patients, which happens in Postpartum. I prefer lower acuity environments- like clinic or home care, but I want to go to grad school, and in NYC many hospitals pay for graduate education.
Are you happy you left Med Surg nursing? Thank you for your input.
not a former Med/surg nurse, for a reason. I know I would hate it. Went directly into OB and no regrets. If L/D is where your heart is, go for it, I say. Try postpartum first, then possibly L/D later.
I had three years of med/surg experience before transferring to L&D. I think med/surg nursing is perhaps the most difficult and under appreciated area in nursing. I gained invaluable experience in those three years, my organizational skills, physical assessments and prioritization abilities I think were greatly enhanced. I knew I wanted L&D eventually but I am glad I got the experiences I did.
As far as transferring to L&D or Mom/Baby I think you have to want to work in these areas just not want to avoid Med/Surg. I love L&D and would never return to med/surg nursing.
I worked 3 years Med/Surg before going to L&D by default as the L&D unit at that time wouln't hire you if you did not have L&D experience. Thank-God that changed!
I love L&D-it is definetely my passion! But I knew that was the area I wanted to pracice in when I graduated from school.
I don't regret my med/surg experience though. It has given me a solid foundation of nursing care and there have been times that I have been a resource for the other nurses on the L&D unit because all they have done is L&D and they are lacking in knowledge/skills on things that you routinely do on the Med/Surg floor that they don't in L&D -Central Lines are one example. You don't routinely have a mom with a central line in L&D, but if they are admited there with hyperemesis and have a central line-it just throws the L&D nurses in a panic.
Personally, I think it is a good idea for everyone to get at least a year of Med/Surg under their belt before they specialize (and yes, I understand many just specialize and do wonderful) but again, that way you have a broad knowledge/experience base on all systems instead of a more focus view.
Anyway, sometimes you have to try different things before you find that "fit" there is nothing wrong with that either. One of the beauties of nursing is there are so many area's you can work in and explore. Or you can find one area you love, but 10-15 years down the line want a new challenge. And you can change. I think I am so very fortunete that I have found such a flexable carrier.
Good luck in your journey
I would like to work in a specialty area but I hear specialty areas won't hire you without experience.
How do you get the experience when they won't hire you without it?
it is indeed a "catch-22". some people have had to start out in med-surg or other areas first, then "luck"into ob. Like I said before , you need to look into larger hospitals with OB residencies/programs for new grads. That is your best bet when trying to "break into" OB.
OT: I happen to think Med/Surg IS a specialty all its own. I have great respect for experienced med/surg nurses.
I have seen specialty areas that hire new grads in or those without experience and a large percentage don't make it. Its not worth the gamble to them.
They will hire in a nurse who has several years in med surg in, they have gained observational skills that aren't reliant upon machines and instruments.
I've worked the last year and a half in Cardiac step-down (and love it, the patients and other nurses are great) but I've always, always wanted L&D just couldn't get a job b/c I don't have experience; so a month ago when I called the nurse recruiters for 2 jobs I applied for (different hospitals) and talked to them and both implied that the hiring nurse manager really was looking for L&D experience I asked point blank "If I can't get a job with you or so&so hospital, how exactly am I supposed to get experience?" I got an interview that week and got the job at the larger teaching hospital, it also helps to really let them know at the interview how much you enjoyed L&D in school and want to do it. Never give up, desire can go a long way :)
I went pretty much straight into OB as a new nurse (no regrets here either). I've oriented several nurses both with and without previous med-surg experience. Some did well, others didn't. The one common factor in the success stories was a real passion for the area and realistic expectations for the crazyness that can happen in L&D (I certainly wouldn't call L&D a lower acuity unit!). Good luck to you:)
Hi! I just wanted to tell you I loved L & D nursing soooo much better than Med. Surg.nursing. When I finished w/ nursing school my professors told me "Do Med/Surg. before going into Maternity so you can gaiin experience". I am somewhat grateful for the Med/Surg. experience but I am much happier doing L & D. Althiough, I work w/ alot of high risk pregnancies and we deliver anywhere between 6,000 and 9,000 babies each year. I absolutely hated Med/Surg. and would have panic attacks at work from the work load and nurse patient ratio was not safe. Good luck to you and I hope you like L & D or postpartum nursing.
Go where your heart is!!
I had med-surg experience before I went to peds (because in the old times you had to); but we now take new grads.
Start working on a transfer. Talk to human relations (or the L&D nurse manager).
You will be much happier :) doing what you feel your heart tells you to.
Good Luck...and let us know!
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Remember your passion and NEVER give up.
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