Telemetry versus Med/Surg floor for beginners? - page 2

I am a nursing student with one year left to go. I just wanted to get opinions on what floor would provide more valuable experience for a student to get experience and their foot in the door. I'm... Read More

  1. by   Patchouli
    exactly! i am interested in maybe going to icu someday, but i would love to learn the rhythms and meds for tele because i believe the things i will learn will put me closer to my goal sooner. i think either floor will be a challenge, but the kowledge obtained on tele will probably make life in the icu easier. not only that, but if i'm going to get pulled from the icu then i am going to need experience on a floor.
  2. by   NewRN2008
    My vote is for med/surg. i work on a med/surg, we get overflow of medical and we get ppl on tele. its not overflow of tele that i dont know wth is going on and its not overload of tele to worry about missing something. its not, i will repeat, NOT my strong point, and it gives me the chance to research and clearly understand about my pt's issues.
  3. by   pinkiepie_RN
    Quote from jillpaige
    Thanks for your replies. The only drawback to the telemetry option is that it is a smaller hospital and in this position I would not get to perform/practice nursing skills.... only patient tech skills. Not to downplay tech skills, they are important but I am so nervous about clinicals and checkoffs come August that I was really wanted the practice. Maybe I am looking into this too much? Some people say the skills will come in time. The med/surg is in a large teaching hospital with lots of internships. decisions, decisions.
    I'd go for the teaching hospital, emphasis being on the teaching. The nurses will probably pull you in to see cool skills/procedures. Take what opportunities you can. I didn't perform a single skill during clinicals in my last semester other than vitals (I had leadership/management with a NM and community at a jail), and will come out alright with my skills because I worked as a tech during the semester. If there's no tech, the nurse does VS, linen changes, etc.

    What skills are you particularly anxious about? Can you get into the skills lab to practice or practice at home with supplies? Some people I know went through all of NS without working in a hospital and they did just fine. I also went to a school where they told us "You won't get to practice alot of skills in your clinicals. Focus on theory and you'll get to the skills."

    Just some food for thought. Good luck with your decision.
  4. by   Ace1Rnelp

    Just to throw in my 5 cents. There's not a lot of difference between telemetry and med/surg, at least in the acute care hospital I worked for. Telemetry in fact is also med/surg with the addition of mostly heart patients (CHF, CADs, post open hearts[2nd, 3rd, 4th day post], pre, post interventional procedures [PTCAs, cardiac caths, pacemakers/AICDs, to name a few]). Of course, patients are all on cardiac monitors. So, in case you choose telemetry, you have to brush up on your EKG skills; care of patients with CHF, CADs, pre and post interventional cardiology, pre open heart, post open heart (not fresh open heart), patients with pacemakers/AICDs, and the like.

    In the end, I will say go where your heart is, you're the only one who will know and feel it . Good luck.
  5. by   ijuanabhappy
    Thanks everyone. I have made the decision to go with the nurse extern position at the teaching hospital in med/surg as opposed to the patient tech position in telemetry. I just feel it will be a good learning experience for me even though the hospital is farther away. Hopefully I made the right decision!
  6. by   Patchouli
    Congrats and good luck!
  7. by   medsurg/tele RN
    I have worked on both "tele" units and medsurg/tele. They are almost the exact same. The main difference is the ability to administer certain drips (ex. Nitro, Amio, Lido gtts). I think medsurg is the best place for a new grad. There is so much learning that takes place in the first year as a new RN and there is such a WIDE variety of patients on a medsurg unit.
  8. by   Hay Nars, RN
    Quote from ijuanabhappy
    I am a nursing student with one year left to go. I just wanted to get opinions on what floor would provide more valuable experience for a student to get experience and their foot in the door. I'm trying to make a decision about a job this summer. Thanks.
    I work on a strict Med-Surg unit. We do not get tele patients on our floor. Our max is 5 patients (sometimes six) with a PCT. However, most days we only have 4 each and no PCT. Our floor staffs the rest of the floors so we are always getting floated to tele. Tele is crazy. You have a few young patients on tele but most of them are 80+, confused and half the time trying to get out of bed. You have to run room to room to keep them in bed. And the other time your phone is ringing non-stop telling you the leads are of on so and so. And ugh, I will never never work tele...
  9. by   turnforthenurse
    Both would be a great experience. I work on a progressive care unit (ICU stepdown, tele) and I have learned A LOT! You will see a variety of patients and you will get medical-surgical patients as well. They're usually admitted to my floor if they have a cardiac hx (CHF, CABG, HTN, AA, etc...)