First med-surg job


Hi nurses!

I am a new LPN and have been working at my first nursing job in a LTC facility for about 6 months. While LTC nursing is definitely a specialty of it's own (and I love it), I feel that it would be beneficial for me to do some hospital work as well.

For anyone who would like to respond, what was your first nursing job on a med-surg floor like? Any tips to offer? Was it overwhelming with all of the new things you had to learn?


1 Post

Wow, I can't believe I came across this post! I have been working in LTC as an RN for 4 years (absolutely LOVE geriatrics) and now trying to make the transition into med-surg nursing. I have been training for 6 weeks and its been anything but pleasant...feeling defeated and inadequate in my nursing abilities, to say the least. Would LOVE any and all suggestions to make this a more smooth transition, it's like clinicals all over again...

Specializes in Med-Surg/urology.

I would just suggest to take it all in and know that med-surg is a BIG learning experience :) A couple of weeks ago I heard my charge nurse say that she learns something new every day on the floor...and she's been a nurse for 40 years. Another thing I suggest is to write new procedures down in a notebook. I have been doing this so I can reference it again in the future. And also, don't be afraid to ask your preceptor for help. I think you have a lot of experience to offer this floor as a LTC nurse because on my med/surg floor, most of our patients are from the local nursing homes. Good luck on orientation, you will do a great job!


547 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

I agree with what Kimberly said above, no matter how long you have been a nurse you will learn something new all the time. I look at med/surg as almost a trial by fire. You will see virtually every possible condition and type of patient. I remember having patients ranging from those with severe psych issues, to geriatric patients who sundown, to AIDS patients, to PNA, to those awaiting placement. I think that you have to have a pretty thick skin in med/surg. Stay in contact with your preceptor and nurse manager, let them know how you're feeling. They've been through this before, so you can benefit from their advice and guidance. Also, use your fellow co-workers as a resource.

I know in LTC the nurse/patient ratio is higher, but med/surg typically has a 5-6:1 patient/nurse ratio. I remember working one night that someone called in sick, and we each had 8 patients. Let me assure you that even 5 med/surg patients will keep you busy, as you might have 2 or more total assists which consume a good portion of your time. Speaking of time, getting your rhythm and your work flow is critical. Find what works for you and then continue to hone it.


14 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Thanks everyone for their advice! I'm so excited to learn and practice the skills I went to school for (and learn new ones)!