Why do so many nurses seem to dislike working in Med/Surg - page 2

I've been reading this board for a while and Med/Surg seems to be the place that most people (no everyone) pay their dues and try to get out. What's the deal?... Read More

  1. by   fergus51
    That may be true, but if it is I think many med-surg nurses just perpetuate it. I have never known a med-surg nurse who didn't insist that new grads should start there because it's the general basis of nursing. You can't claim it's the general basis in one breath and then claim it's a specialty in another. Personally I fervently believe med-surg is a specialty in its own right. That's why I don't think new grads need to put in a year there like it's some sort of sentence. People should work there because they love it.
  2. by   begalli
    I've never worked anywhere but ICU. At this point and time, I know I will never work anywhere but critical care. I chose critical care because of the 1:1 nursing that takes place there. I like knowing every-up-to-the-minute-detail about my patient's condition, where they may be going, where they've been, and the impact of what I do has on them.

    I also like the comraderie in the ICU. Doctors and nurses and other members of the healthcare team work shoulder to shoulder with the same outcomes in mind. We make plans and solve problems together. My experience and opinion counts. I also admit that I prefer my patient's NOT on a call light for every single little thing and actually like them sedated and intubated. :stone

    I have no way of knowing for sure, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't work this way on the floors.

    To each their own. I really admire great med/surg nurses. It's a tough, tough job.
  3. by   grimmy
    Quote from imenid37
    hey are you the grimmy form the other bb a few years ago? if so, hi and i wondered where you went. i also am no fan of med-surg. our med-surg units are poorly staffed w/ tons of very ill nursing home type elderly pt's. also grouchy immature docs to deal w/. those peolpe who work there are something between saints and psychotics. honestly, you couldn't pay me enough to work there. thnakfully someone does like that type of nursing. i think med-surg nurses really are the most overworked and underpaid in our profession.
    [font=book antiqua]
    i think i am! i had to take time out to move to va and get my orientation over...and it was very stressful, and i'm glad its coming to a close. not to say that i'm not loving what i'm doing...i do love it! i started work only 3 days after i moved into my new house, so let's just say i didn't get a whole lot of sleep for a while. :chuckle
  4. by   NurseCard
    I'm currently a med surge nurse and am getting out of it pretty soon! I think med-surge requires a person with a lot of energy, a high tolerance for stress, and a love for unpredictability and "organized chaos", if you will. I simply do not fit the bill. I was considering psyche nursing, but now have actually decided to try and take a break from bedside nursing, period, for a while. I've worked at the bedside on a med surge unit for almost six years now, and to say that I'm burned out is an understatement. I'm currently trying to use my healthcare experience and my prior bachelor of arts degree to get an administrative job in my state's government. Wish me luck!

    Don't get me wrong, I still plan on working PRN as a nurse. I don't want to lose/waste my skills.
  5. by   KRVRN
    Too many pts with too high of acuity is what deterred me.
  6. by   ScarlettRN
    I look at med-surg as the place where there are too many patients who don't need to be in the hospital in the first place, but are on some sort of break from home, expecting to be waited on hand and foot. Then the nursing home patients who are sent to the hospital because, from what the med-surg nurses believe, the folks at the nursing home want a break from that patient. When I have been pulled to the m-s floor, I feel more like a cross between a waitress and an assembly line worker, setting up meds and passing them, straight down the line.

    On the other hand, when I got out of nursing school, I think it taught me how to become organized, how to keep my head in hectic situations, to multitask, and to be flexible.
    The hospital I work in now is great because there are real CNTs who pass ice and take vital signs, and actually keep up with the I&Os other than IV fluids. I haven't worked the floor that often because it is a small hospital, so I am usually either the ED nurse or the supervisor, but when I have taken patients, I feel free to be a nurse and not a waitress.
  7. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from mjlrn97
    The only thing is, I don't see myself being physically able to do this work when I'm 50 or 55
    I said that too and this year I will be 50 and I am still on Acute Med/Surg/Tele.
    I love med/surg and find it hard to give up. I have been looking around in other areas such as case management but just can't make up my mind to actually leave med/surg. As of Jan 1st this year I did change my status to part-time. However I'm still averaging 30-36 hours per week. Someone is always asking me to work for them or split a shift with them and even though I don't mind saying "no" I get to thinking about the amount of money and always say yes. I've finding my job more difficult over the past 6 months due to menopause.
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    I hear you, Dutchgirl. In fact, today I was told by one of the assistant department managers that I'm not cutting the mustard because I refuse to move beds around the floor. I can do just about anything else, including repositioning and lifts, but my back (which has been bad since I was a lass of 14) will NOT permit me to push/pull our heavy beds with heavy patients in them on carpeted floors. So now what am I supposed to do, quit? I don't THINK so..........it pisses me off to be put in such a position, where I KNOW I'm good at what I do, but feel pressured to either put my entire livelihood at risk by going ahead and doing something that may injure me to the point of ending my career, or to allow myself to be eased out of a job I love. :angryfire

    The hell of it is, I understand where the management is coming from........I know they need people who are strong and healthy, because med/surg is hard physical work and I'm having a harder time every year coping with the aftereffects of a tough shift. But for pete's sake, we have a nurse in her 50s who can't cope with more than 2-3 patients while the rest of us are dealing with twice that number, and she goes into orbit if you ask her to take an admission; there are a few more who are older and more crippled up than I am, and I don't hear anyone complaining about THEM not being able to move beds. It just makes me mad........I'm one of the best nurses they've got, and the fact that I've got a few physical limitations shouldn't mean I've become disposable, should it? :uhoh21:
  9. by   mattsmom81
    MJLRN97, I hear ya loud and clear. Medsurg was much more physically demanding than ICU was which was one reason I liked ICU better...most patients stay in the bed and it is easier to work with them.

    The physical demands of nursing start to take its toll on us when we get to be our age for sure. I wish there was more support for us out there but there is generally very little...sadly. One thing I tried was to take a charge position (desk jockey) which was less physical... but the desk drove me crazy...LOL!

    My advice is start looking now for a less physical job and begin to lobby for it...I see too many nurses stick with the hard physical work too long and really ruin their health/backs/ etc. Good luck!
  10. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from mjlrn97
    I'm one of the best nurses they've got, and the fact that I've got a few physical limitations shouldn't mean I've become disposable, should it? :uhoh21:
    I cannot imagine management doing that! I feel fortunate in that the hosp and management I work for are very understanding. I think some of it has to do with the nursing shortage but also the fact that they do see us as people and not simply employees. I have limitations also. I cannot lift a patient to and from a chair or BSC. I never have a problem getting help. Some of the young techs think I'm just lazy but that's ok, one day they'll be 50 y/o also We have 2 other nurses on our floor who are in their late 50's and just like you and me, we keep up fine with a full patient load (5-6) don't grump about admissions, but sister when that 12 hours is up, whew! It's time to bathe and go to bed, forget supper, I'm too tired to eat!
  11. by   BETSRN
    Quote from LovePeaceJoy
    I've been reading this board for a while and Med/Surg seems to be the place that most people (no everyone) pay their dues and try to get out.

    What's the deal?
    I did med-surg before going into my specialty (Labor/delivery). I liked it but that was way back when.......... I think nowadays, the patients in the hospital are much sicker and the staffing is such that each nurse has too many of those sick people. That's my take on why people get out.
  12. by   BETSRN
    Quote from James Huffman
    There's no prestige in med-surg. I think that's one of the primary reasons nurses tend to not like it. Med-surg is viewed as the beginning arena for one's career, so anyone who remains in med-surg is seen as someone who can't cut it in a more "advanced" area.

    Jim Huffman, RN
    You're the first one I have ever heard say that. I would NEVER think that those in med-surg cannot hack it elsewhere! What an odd idea!!
  13. by   steelcityrn
    I guess this is when "to each their own" comes into play. Nursing has alot of doors, and thats one very interesting one QUOTE=LovePeaceJoy]I've been reading this board for a while and Med/Surg seems to be the place that most people (no everyone) pay their dues and try to get out.

    What's the deal?[/QUOTE]