Postpartum to Medsurg, am I crazy?

  1. Hi all,

    I have less then a year as a postpartum nurse. I will be leaving this job in the next few months (end of contract)and I will be looking for a new job soon. I don't really have any real experience other then post-partum, do you think I am nuts to do med-surg?

    A little about myself, I do fine at work, not a super fast paced nurse, but I believe I give my patients my best. I did not work right after graduation due to staying home with my family, and lost mostly what skills I have from nursing school. I basically started out new at this postpartum floor. I know that postpartum has a lot less of the skills performed on med-surg. I also deal with an anxiety disorder, not treated, undiagnosed, and feel uncomfortable at work most of the time. Should I just go to something similar or what? There are not a lot of job opportunities where I live. Lot's of suggestions would definitely be appreciated. I am really in a pickle here, desperate, scared of failure, and of being overwhelmed. Thanks!
    Last edit by MoriahRoseRN on May 29, '09 : Reason: spelling
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    About MoriahRoseRN

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 185; Likes: 31

    14 Comments

  3. by   roser13
    I wonder if you could find a return-to-work brush-up course on nursing skills? Traditionally used for nurses who have been out of the workplace for several years, but I would imagine that they would be open to other enrollees, especially given your situation of postpartum work history.

    Personally, I encourage any and all newer nurses to try med/surg. It was one of the hardest periods of my working career, and the most rewarding. I've said before in a post that everything I learned there I continue to use and build upon.

    I do think that since you realize that you have an anxiety issue, it would be wise to deal with that first. Med/surg is fast-paced and can certainly create anxiety in those who are prone to it (that's me)
  4. by   Wsmith16
    If you have an anxiety issue and feel uncomfortable at work most of the time--why would you even consider med-surg. Why are you not looking for a job in post partum?
  5. by   MoriahRoseRN
    The reason I am considering Med-surg is because I want to be a more rounded nurse. Most places are looking for acute care experience. In the area I live in, it is very hard to go into any other area unless you have med-surg experience first. Another thing, I don't want to be pigeon holed into one area for the rest of my nursing career.
  6. by   PAERRN20
    Have you considered looking into a sub acute floor? It would give you the skills med-surg offers like dressings, med passes, wound care, possibly IV abx, and discharge planning. It might be a little easier to transition to since patients on a sub acute floor usually hang around for a little longer than the typical med-surg patient.
  7. by   eriksoln
    Only thing I would say is:

    Get treatment for the anxiety disorder. If you are right and that is the issue, you dont want to be going into any nursing unit with that adding extra pressure to the equation.

    Dont become one of these up tight wastes of a nurse who self medicate and barely get by every day. Thats untreated anxiety going on, but they are too proud to seek treatment. Plus, a lot of people with that problem survive other ways: ETOH abuse, eating, depression with isolation. It can really throw you for a loop if you dont face it. And nursing will give that extra stress in your life so that your feel as though you have to use extreme measures just to get by.

    I know of at least three people I graduated with years ago who went down the road of self medicating with Xanax and anti-depresents. All through school it was "I am only doing this until I've graduated" or "Oh, its not like I do it every day, only when I have tests or clinicals". Now, one is divorced because she and her husband were getting into fights about whose Xanax was whose..........another lost her license cause she drove after drinking AND taking Xanax so she takes a bus to work (2 hours to get to work instead of 1/2 hour) and the other is still using her self prescribed meds but much much more of them, she's chronicly broke from it.
  8. by   Wsmith16
    Quote from MoriahRoseRN
    The reason I am considering Med-surg is because I want to be a more rounded nurse. Most places are looking for acute care experience. In the area I live in, it is very hard to go into any other area unless you have med-surg experience first. Another thing, I don't want to be pigeon holed into one area for the rest of my nursing career.

    Then give it a shot --you won't know until you try it.
  9. by   SummerGarden
    Quote from moriahrosern
    the reason i am considering med-surg is because i want to be a more rounded nurse. most places are looking for acute care experience. in the area i live in, it is very hard to go into any other area unless you have med-surg experience first. another thing, i don't want to be pigeon holed into one area for the rest of my nursing career.
    good idea. postpartum can limit you a great deal without additional nursing experience. especially if you wish to work in a more critical care ob setting... ob floors that are critical care and trauma related usually hire nurses with a critical care, er, and/or medical surgical backgrounds and no one else! i worked in an ob environment prior to moving to medical surgical as a tech and now as a nurse... med surg is definitely not slow, time goes by really quickly, and the amount of information you will learn in a short amount of time is great. be sure to get onto a supportive floor so that you learn and feel safe in the environment at the same time.

    by the way, i agree with the others that it is important that you get your anxiety in check first. find a good doctor and stick with your medication and therapeutic regiment. once stable then work on a medical surgical floor. i know someone with your similar issues. she is very smart but her anxiety has always been an obstacle when she was not being treated. earlier last year she went off of her meds and stopped seeing a physician... after working on a medical surgical floor for a few months she had a nervous breakdown.... once she started back with treatment, she became stable again and her job no longer becomes the straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back. in fact, she is excelling as a new graduate nurse. good luck to you...
  10. by   Annointed_RNStudent
    LOL, being a OB nurse that went to OB right out of school and have never desired to do anything else..... To anwer your question are you crazy.... YES, and I believe you will hate it, it will be nothing like Post Partum, probally be overworked, and certainly understaffed, with patients acuity that is extremely high.

    I work on a post partum floor now and I hear nurses complaining when we have five couplets, that dont' even have IV's, I/O's, or any medication other than Motrin, and to think that some people have 5 or 6 patients on Med Surg that are on drips, what seems like hundreds of medications, dressings, PCA pumps, catheters, tubes etc.!!! YUCK!!!, I would CERTAINLY LOOK FOR OTHER POST PARTUM JOBS!

    Just my 2 cents worth, for all of you that do Med Surg, I truly do believe that you guys are the stellar nurses, because you must really love it to do that!
  11. by   SCgirl22
    I have 2 years in med surg and the anxiety is still overwhelming at times. I know how to do my job, and I have certainly learned a lot but if I had to start over again I would not have settled for this job. I feel trapped!
    That said, definitely DO NOT go into med-surg without first getting your anxiety under control. Its enough to make anyone crack after a while. Good luck with whatever you decide! To me, postpartum sounds good right about now!
  12. by   eriksoln
    Quote from SCgirl22
    I have 2 years in med surg and the anxiety is still overwhelming at times. I know how to do my job, and I have certainly learned a lot but if I had to start over again I would not have settled for this job. I feel trapped!
    That said, definitely DO NOT go into med-surg without first getting your anxiety under control. Its enough to make anyone crack after a while. Good luck with whatever you decide! To me, postpartum sounds good right about now!
    I'm with you there. Very difficult to move out of M/S. Seems as though, if you show up and do your job, stay friendly with co-workers..........they wont let you go. Meanwhile, the one's who call of on a regular basis or shout at co-workers/patients get to move on. Seems backwards to me.

    I landed on a very well managed Pulmonary unit with my current job and I am never going back to basic M/S. Only thing that may have me considering moving out of there is a chance at ICU, and I'm not so sure I even want that right now.
  13. by   MoriahRoseRN
    Quote from mbarn08
    by the way, i agree with the others that it is important that you get your anxiety in check first. find a good doctor and stick with your medication and therapeutic regiment. once stable then work on a medical surgical floor. i know someone with your similar issues. she is very smart but her anxiety has always been an obstacle when she was not being treated. earlier last year she went off of her meds and stopped seeing a physician... after working on a medical surgical floor for a few months she had a nervous breakdown.... once she started back with treatment, she became stable again and her job no longer becomes the straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back. in fact, she is excelling as a new graduate nurse. good luck to you...

    i believe i have performance anxiety. i am not usually anxious outside of work most times, unless i am thinking about work. when i was in nursing school, i had the same problems, especially during clinicals, i really had a hard time. do you think i still would benefit from meds in this case?
  14. by   Katie82
    Quote from MoriahRoseRN
    The reason I am considering Med-surg is because I want to be a more rounded nurse. Most places are looking for acute care experience.

    You are right about that - med/surg will provide you with a good knowledge base, but agree that you need to address the anxiety issue. How was your anxiety level in nursing school? Could this be why you stayed home after graduation rather than working a couple of days a week. Anxiety disorder is treatable, are you in treatment now? I do agree that med/surg experience will make you more marketable. Most of the post-hospital jobs in nursing rely on med/surg.
    My daughter has one semester left in nursing school. She currently works as a Unit Secretary on a labor and delivery floor and they have offered her a job when she graduates. I have always pushed first year in med/surg, but I don't think it would be a bad thing for her to spend her first year, which is often the most stressful, on a floor where she is already known and liked. She does realize she has to get some med/surg experience, but if she waits a year, she will feel better about herself than the typical new grad.

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