Telemetry versus Med/Surg floor for beginners?

  1. 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.
  2. Visit ijuanabhappy profile page

    About ijuanabhappy

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 388; Likes: 201
    School Nurse; from MO , US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in School Nursing

    21 Comments

  3. by   beckylpn1
    I currently work on an Oncology/Med-Surg floor and we get alot of pts with telemetry monitors. Even though across the hall is the Telemetry floor, we still on occasions get tele pts. I love the Med surg aspect, and the oncology part has been a good experience. The one thing that I can count on is not knowing what is wrong with my pts from shift to shift. Love it!!!!!
  4. by   Patchouli
    i have the same dilemma. i know that med/surg offers great skills in time management, etc. i have an interest in acute care though, and my thinking has been that tele kind of offers both time management and acute care. it seems that tele will put me closer to my goal.
  5. by   CABG patch kid
    IMHO, a tele floor is very similar to a med/surg floor in the sense that you will use the same time management and organizational skills needed to balance your patient load. The main difference is that you may see more of a variety in the pt population in med/surg, but I still had quite the variety in tele.

    For example, I had pts with chest pain rule-out MI, post PTCA, post heart surgery, CHF exacerbation, COPD exacerbation, pneumonia, lung ca, pulmonary HTN, renal failure (acute and chronic), liver failure, anyone with cardiac history who needs tele monitoring, even the electrolyte imbalance or new diabetic. Point is, you will see quite the variety! The bonus to working a tele floor is that you will learn your rhythms, which will give you quite a foot forward if you ever decide to specialize further. Good luck in whatever you choose!
  6. by   CABG patch kid
    Quote from patchouli
    i have the same dilemma. i know that med/surg offers great skills in time management, etc. i have an interest in acute care though, and my thinking has been that tele kind of offers both time management and acute care. it seems that tele will put me closer to my goal.
    sorry to be the fly in honey here, but if you are working on a med/surg floor in a hospital, it is acute care. the patients will be pretty sick. now if you were meaning critical care, then you will find those people in the icu!
  7. by   gambutrol
    Better choose med/surg floor as a training ground.
  8. by   RNperdiem
    I have found there to be not a lot of difference between the two.
    Many telemetry patients are med-surg patients on a heart monitor.
    They often have the same list of chronic illnesses, but they have been admitted for a cardiac cause.
    You will still need to manage their diabetes, CHF, COPD and bipolar issues.
  9. by   mommyX2
    I am on a tele floor and 99% of our patients are medical cases. Loads of time management skills obtained and valuable tele knowledge gained.
  10. by   vashtee
    I would do the telemetry floor. I agree that it is a lot like med-surg plus a heart monitor. Not only might you get a head start on heart rhythms, you will also learn a lot about BP medications. Also, our tele floor seems to get a lot of codes.
  11. by   emnicams
    Personally, I chose tele (I am in my second year of nursing). Lots of medical cases and even some surgical, along with valuable tele experience gained (I plan to go on to ICU one day).
  12. by   LPN_2005/RN_10
    I started out and currently work on a tele unit. You will get both telemetry and med-surg experience! Also it will impress future employers when you have telemetry experience!
  13. by   ijuanabhappy
    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.
  14. by   Tait
    I have always worked on Telemetry Med/Surg floors. I guess I don't really see the distinction.

    Tait

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