Is Medical Oncology similar to Med-surg?

  1. Hi all,

    I am a student nurse and I am wondering if working on a medical oncology unit will give you pretty much the same experience as working on a med-surg unit. Are there many Trach's, Ng tubes, etc. that help to enhance learning?
    I'm pretty sure it will not be the exact same, but are there any similarities?

    please help me, I'm desperate for an answer!!
  2. Visit franvercas profile page

    About franvercas

    Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 2
    Full Time Student


  3. by   suzanne4
    Welcome to
    Medical-oncology is a unit where all of the patients have one type of cancer or another. They are usually undergoing chemotherapy during this time. Because of this, many will be under reverse isolation due to a decrease in their immune system. Yes, that unit does have trachs, PEGS, and everything else. Many of these patients will also have some type of special access for the chemotherapy.

    Hope that this helps give you a better idea but each hospital's unit will be different based on the types of patients on it, size of unit, etc.
  4. by   franvercas
    Thank You soooo much Suzanne. I appreciate the quick reply, I needed to make a decision as to where to do my internship and this really helped.

    Thanks a TRILLION :-)
  5. by   I_Love_Donuts
    I work in oncology and this is what we usually have : IAP, Broviac, apherisis catheter, NG, NJ tubes, urines catheter, cardiac monitor, O2 continuous, dressing (all kind, but mostly central line's), code pink (I'm in ped.), chest's a LOT of fun!
  6. by   beckymcrn
    I also work in in oncology. Yes you can get a lot of experience on a med-onc floor. Everything from dehydration to thrombocytopenia and more. Be careful though the difference between med-surg and med-onc the cacer pts tend to come back to the hosp over and over for chemo or other related disease processes unlike med-surg where you see a pt for a few days and then never again. You often tend to get attached to some patients.
    It can be a very good experience but it can also break your heart.

    Hope you like it we need a few good oncology nurses. :angel2: