too much stress in Med -Surg?

  1. Hey, all you dedicated med-surg nurses. How do you like your jobs, and what is difficult about them? Are you treated with respect for the hard work you do or are you taken for granted which is so common these days. How difficult is it to work the 7/70 scedule? Given a choice where would you like to work, and what type of nursing would you most like to do?
  2. Visit Kayzee profile page

    About Kayzee

    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 415; Likes: 1


  3. by   Brita01
    I am sooooo tired of med/surg. I'm tired of trying to juggle 8 patients and give them quality care which is damn near impossible. I'm tired of walking for 4 - 5 hours straight before getting a break to sit down and rest my feet. I'm tired of admits when I already have a full load. I'm tired of leaving late because I didn't have time to get all my paperwork done. I've just started doing home health, which I absolutely LOVE! The only problem is, right now, I can only get a part time patient load. So, alas, I must continue to deal with the horrors of med/surg.
  4. by   hapeewendy
    I love med surg
    sure its crazy hectic and stressful but I find that , in my hospital anyway, especially on night shift which is when I'm trying to work mostly, that team work really comes into play.
    I do believe the ratio of 1-8 or even more sometimes is contradictory to giving the best nursing care ever, which is why quite often I dont end up going for a full break or I leave late.
    overall as a relatively new nurse I find the med/surg unit I work on is helping me with my time management - meds for 8 pts, two g tubes , one trache , only 1 independent person etc etc, as well as helping meet my educational and professional goals.
    Just where I want to be in nursing is still a mystery to me, but wherever I end up I will take away a lot of positives from doing the dreaded work on a med surg unit
  5. by   live4today
    I, too, enjoyed working med/surg once upon a lightyear. I also remember working shifts on med/surg where I was assigned 13 patients! Somehow...I ALWAYS managed to leave on time...charts done, meds done and documented, said goodbye to patients, and even told them who their oncoming nurse would be. Of course, I worked at the speed of lightening all the day long, but got the job done...and SOMETIMES I even had time for lunch and potty breaks because when I had to relieve my bladder, it was either relieve it in my pants which would cause me to have to leave the unit anyway for a clothing change...OR...relieve it where it should be relieved in the first place. As for taking 30 minutes for lunch...that was the benefit of working agency and being a traveling was in my contract therefore, had to give it to me.

    Nurses really NEED to stop the madness of their workdays by setting the tone of the unit. FEAR of doing so may cause you to continue in the endless pit of groaning and moaning and bodily injury. Taking COURAGE, even when fearful to stand up for one self for fear of losing one's job, is exactly what needs to be done to let Admin know you aren't a dang robot, but a human being with human needs just like your sick patients. If they need the bedpan and urinal at the push of a button, then you will TAKE THE TIME to relieve your own bladder. If your patients need to be fed due to hunger, lack of proper nutrition, and the caloric value to keep them well, then gosh darn do you, and you are GOING TO EAT ONE MEAL DURING YOUR 12 HOUR SHIFT!!! Now...that may send you out the door, but I'd rather be sent packing on my own terms than on the terms of someone who constantly walked on me like a wet rug. YOU NURSES HAVE THE POWER...NOW USE IT, GOSH DARN IT!!! :kiss
  6. by   thisnurse
    not where i work. i think we are respected by the other nurses who say they wouldnt do med/surg for any money. but i dont think anyone us at all.
    its highly stressful. things change in the blink of an eye. you have to anticipate the changes and learn to think and act quickly. which, not incidentally is one of the things i like about the unit.
    i enjoy the variety of patients we care for. i learn something new every day. there is no sitting around and its never ever boring.
    it does have its downsides tho.
    we are unappreciated by everyone from the mgr to the pts. because we are always so damn busy we dont have the time to be popping in the pt room every 15mns to see if they need anything. no time for fluffing pillows. we just have NO time. and this is more often than not misconscrued as poor care.
    i hate the inappropriate pts we get.
    had a guy transfrerred from another hospital because they had no monitored beds. he had some kind of arrythmia i cant recall now. so he gets to our ER and they decide he no longer needs a monitor. we get him on our unit.
    q15mn vital signs which go nicely with my other two pts who have q1 hr accuchecks.
    and i REALLY hate KNOWING that i did a half assed job and thanking the gods nobody went bad that night cos certainly they would have died.
  7. by   Teshiee
    I would'nt do med/surg if it was 89$ an hour. Too much patient load, work, and uneccessary due stress. My hat is off to med/surg nurses you guys are awesome!
  8. by   Brita01
    Hapeewendy, you will find out that years of crazy, hectic, stressful, and not taking breaks and leaving late all the time gets really old. Cheerfuldoer, who wants to work at the speed of lightning all day every day that they go to work? I get tired of running to this room and that room putting out fires because that's all I have time to do. You're going so fast sometimes that you don't have time to think straight. That gets very dangerous. I am also an agency nurse, and more often that not I'd rather stay home and not pay my bills than deal with another night on med/surg.
  9. by   RN-PA
    Kayzee, there was a good thread a while back asking a similar question of Med/Surg nurses entitled, "So...does anyone like it?" and it can be found at:

    I feel that overall, we are treated with respect at our hospital for the jobs we do on Med/Surg. Most nurses I run into from other units express awe, respect-- and some sympathy-- when talking about doing Med/Surg nursing. Most understand the demands, the pace, the stress, and the acuity of patients.

    On another note, I recently found out that our unit is becoming increasingly unable to staff with Agency nurses because many are refusing to work Med/Surg. :stone
  10. by   hapeewendy
    one of the nice things about nursing is that we are never truly trapped in one area.
    if med surg starts to bother people they are able to pursue greener pastures
    which is exactly what I will do if/when the time comes.
    the world needs us, in some small way we are in control of what happens to us!!!!!!!!!
    happy nursing, we deserve to feel somewhat satisfied after work, too bad it didnt happen all the time
  11. by   live4today
    originally posted by brita01
    cheerfuldoer, who wants to work at the speed of lightning all day every day that they go to work? i get tired of running to this room and that room putting out fires because that's all i have time to do. you're going so fast sometimes that you don't have time to think straight. that gets very dangerous.
    i move at the speed of lightening in everything i do, not just work. :chuckle that's just the energy level i have, so to slow down would bore me. i fight really hard to relax, and not constantly be on the go doing something, reading something, thinking - thinking - thinking, but simply at ease with no agenda. i have been programmed by my parents to be a busy beaver without thinking about slowing down the pace. i may be quick, but i am super organized, and have excellent time management skills...something every nurse manager that i ever worked under commended me for. i wasn't organized for them, i was organized because it was drilled into me as a child to be organized, alert, and never idle. i was always told as a child "idle hands make for nothing but trouble", and so i learned to never be idle. i'm not saying that others should work "at the speed of lightening", i was simply sharing my own personal routine when working. i can honestly say that i have never been disciplined at work for failure to give any meds on time, chart on time, leave work on time...nor has any patient ever turned me in for being too slow with their care, or for having a bad attitude while at work. my work record is impeccably clean (i know how to quit when i don't care for the job, or the people running the operation, or the pressure becomes inhuman, or the insanity increased on the unit to a point of danger), so what works for me in life, works for me. what works for someone for someone else. it's all good like that! even when i go for a stroll with my hubby, he is always saying "slow down", but i can't. i walk fast, but to me the speed at which i walk is very comfortable to me. i've never had an ulcer...i don't hold in any ill feelings...i cry out any extra stress, and i know how to enjoy the sense of humor god gave me. i needed it to survive my childhood...believe me you. :chuckle
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 2, '02
  12. by   Love-A-Nurse
    i have worked med surg before and it was a great learning experience. as an lpn, i did not feel "whole" because i was limited in what i could do (scope of practice), but the most unhappy thing was, the nurse, patient ratio, 1 rn, 1 lpn, 1 pca : 14 patients and it was "team nursing" which i rather do "primary nursing".
  13. by   shannonRN
    love it!! proud to say i'm a med-surg nut! have been doing it for 1 year. before i did that i worked about patient loads....beds, baths, dressing...all before 9 am. i personally have found it to be a wonderful learning experience. eventhough the stress can be a bit much at times. yes, sometimes i have felt like i wasn't able to provide the greatest of care because i'm running my a$$ off, but it has helped alot with prioritizing and time management. i also have learned a lot about many different conditions being that in our hospital if everywhere else is empty...put it on med-surg!
  14. by   OrthoNutter
    Shannon....when you've been there quite a bit longer than a year, tell me how much you love it then. :P I did medsurg for three years before escaping to Ortho....sadly things aren't much improved here either on our really busy days but fortunately those really busy days aren't every day.

    Still I've booked my ticket out....because things are only going to get worse.