Can't stay in Med-Surg, Need Help!

  1. I graduated in Dec. of last year and I have been working on a gen. M/S unit for the last 6 months. My plans when I graduated were to work M/S for a year (to the advisement of my instructors in nursing school) and then move into a speciality that I would be interested in. I completely hate were I am working. We are very understaffed and overpopulated. I knew M/S was not going to be for me before I began, so the question is--should I try to stay in M/S another 6 months? I have not decided where to go once I finished my year, just because I'm not sure what type of nursing I would want to have a career in. I was interested in PACU, OR, ICU, TELE. I really can't stand any environment that is too fast paced. If anyone has any suggestions on what steps I need to make I would greatly appreiciate it.
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    About shewalke

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 11; Likes: 2

    17 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Good luck. I moved out of "Introductions" to General Nursing so perhaps you'd get more advice.

    Welcome to Allnurses!
  4. by   RNinSoCal
    Shewalke-
    I am so sorry you feel stuck. My advice is to choose an area you like before you move to another unit. Telemetry is fast paced and intense because of the acuity of the pts. In ICU you have much fewer pts but more codes and deaths. My concern for you is that you will move to another are and have the same problems. Why don't you list the things that you love about being a nurse and then see which area of nursing matches the most items on your list. Med/surg is a good place to see what you do and do not like to do. I am so sorry you are feeling overwhelmed and overworked. Hang in there and find a plan to get yourself into a job you enjoy.
  5. by   jmgrn65
    I sorry that you feel like you do, know that it takes about a year out of school for you to feel more comfortable.
    As for another unit, that is not too fast paced those are few choices. Stay away from surgical floors. All of your other choices can be and usually are fast paced.
    Unless you are so miserable that you are losing sleep. My advice would be to stick out as long as you can and to talk to other nurses on other floors that you might be interested in, so you can make a good decision. Because you will be starting all over again if it a specialized area.
    Good Luck
  6. by   Elisheva
    I can only tell you my experience. I, too, left school and started on a busy med-surg floor because it was suggested that med-surg was the best overall experience to have. I stayed two years and disliked it intensely.

    In hindsight, I wish I had left after six months. By the time I left two years later, I was done with nursing. Now, ten years later, I am taking a refresher course and am going to attempt a return to nursing in an area I might enjoy.

    Med-surg isn't for everyone and if you really don't like it, why stay? Of course, there are no guarentees that you like the next area you work in either, but you won't know unless you try. I'd give it some careful thought and take my time to investigate other areas before making a change, but life is too short to be miserable.
  7. by   RN34TX
    Although the OP cited too fast of a pace as being a reason for not wanting to stay in med/surg, and that the arguement is that the other choices are fast paced as well, another thought is that the OP might be one of those nurses who simply do better in a setting where only 1-2 patients are the max like in ICU or PACU.

    I left med/surg because I got tired of getting pulled in multiple directions with a 5-7 patient assignment (on a good day in some hospitals) with each patient and family member thinking that their problems were my only priority.

    In addition, if I got stuck with a bad CNA (or no CNA at all) then I was doomed from the start.

    I like the fact that I can do most everything myself without depending on a CNA for help and that I work in units where family cannot hang around all day thinking of things for me to do or simply creating unneccessary drama.

    God bless nurses who make a career out of med/surg and do seem to like it because it's not for everyone.
  8. by   MedSurgeMess
    I felt this way about MS at first because the first year you are just getting the confidence, along with some real life experience. This in itself is very overwhelming, plus you stated that your unit is very short staffed. I started out like that, too. Eventually the unit that I worked on got enough staff and I got the skills/confidence/experience that made a difference. Now I wouldn't trade MS for any other area (except maybe LTC). I would do it all over again--hanging in there--but if you feel it's not for you, you should probably move on to something different, before you burn yourself out. Try learning about other areas, see if you can shadow on other units to get a feel for the flow of each area, and talk to other nurses from these units to see what they think. Best of luck to you, I hope you find the perfect fit!
  9. by   TazziRN
    I work in ER. No matter where a new grad is hired here, they are required to stay there for at least 6 months before transferring. If you've put in your six months then I don't see why you can't leave now. But, as another poster said, it takes at least a year to feel comfortable in a nurse's shoes.
  10. by   llg
    Who is giving the advice to students/new grads that you should get a year of med/surg regardless of your nursing interests? Med/surg instructors?

    Med/surg instructors not med/surg -- not OB, peds, etc. If you want to go into a certain specialty, get your advice from the people who work in that specialty and work with the new employees in that area. Get up-to-date information that is pertinent to the specialties that interest you must. Find out about the career path that gets you where you want to be -- not the career path that some instructor who never worked in that area thinks might be right for you.

    Consider the various possibilities. Choose a couple that seem right for you. Then set up appointments to talk with the people in-the-know about the possibilities there for you. Don't rely on rumors or second-hand information.

    Good luck. I hope you find a specialty that suits your strengths and preferences. That's the key to being happy in your career.
    llg
  11. by   anne74
    I feel like people here are reading my mind! I also graduated in December last year, and have worked for 6 months on a specialty med/surg floor - and I also hate it! I hate being a waitress and being pulled in 80 directions. So, next week I'm transferring to PACU!

    I also struggled with trying to stay for a year, but then I realized that if I didn't get out soon, I would be turned off nursing altogether. Fortunately, the hospital I work for has a very supportive new grad program and my advisors were very good with helping me find a new home. They allowed me to shadow in the PACU to make sure I'd like it. It's so cool - no more than 2 patients and I get to eat lunch!

    My advice to the OP is to get out now, before nursing is ruined for you. You won't hurt your career by switching now. If you stay, you'll look back in a few years and wonder why you put yourself through that. They're hurting for nurses so badly now, if your hospital is smart, they will do whatever it takes to keep you. If you can't talk to your direct manager, go meet with managers of other units, explain your plight, and ask if you can shadow there. Don't feel guilty - your main priority is your happiness and saving your career. Good luck!
  12. by   RN34TX
    Quote from anne74
    I hate being a waitress and being pulled in 80 directions.
    So true.
    That's exactly how I felt in Med/Surg. Still a waiter even after going to nursing school. I was actually happier as a waiter with less liability.
  13. by   shewalke
    Thanks so much for all the responses. I think at this point I am going to try to shadow in the PACU--maybe a few other areas as well--and get a feel of whether I'm interested or not. I cannot stay in Med-Surg for over a year, I'm already at my breaking point. I feel that I have received a lot of the experience needed for me to develop further as a nurse. At this time I will try to explore my options and decide where I would fit well. Hopefully everything will work out well and I will be happy with whatever decision I make. Thanks again!
  14. by   indynurse#2
    My advise - there are too many opportunities in nursing to stay in something you hate!!! I too started out on a specialty med/surg floor from the advice of my teachers, even though I hated it even in school. I stayed 1 1/2 years, then realized the advice I now give to everyone - if you hate it that much, find something else b/c the opportunities are endless! Having said that, I don't regret the experience I got on that dreadful floor, now that I'm out of it and know I don't ever have to go back :wink2: You do learn a lot, but you will learn a lot wherever you go as a nurse, and it can be something you even enjoy! I now work as a UM nurse and I love it.
    Last edit by indynurse#2 on Oct 2, '06

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