Med Surg rotation....

  1. Hi all, I don't post often but do read quite a few posts and I really enjoy this site. I have just finished level 1 of clinicals and everyone is warning me that level 2 will kick my butt. It is our med-surg rotation and I just don't understand what makes it so difficult. Any input would be very helpful!!

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    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 26; Likes: 1


  3. by   MegNeoNurse
    That's hard to say, every program is different. Med/Surg was our first clinical rotation and I didn't think it was difficult at all. Are you in the RN prog? Every rotation there are more aspects of nursing that you are introduced to that will be applied to clinicals, so its very hard to say for sure.

    I guess I would suggest talking to the upperclassmen and see why they say its so hard. In our program, OB/Peds is the "hardest" from what I hear.

    Good luck to you!
  4. by   nurse4theplanet
    I give you my opinion based on the way my program worked, but your program may be different.

    First semester was "Nursing Fundamentals". You learn a little bit about an intro into nursing. How to speak to your pt, how to obtain a thorough history and perform an assessment, how to make a bed/give a bath, HIPPA laws, the nursing process...a little bit about acid/base, F&E, and common d/o's COPD, MI, etc. Just the basics, enough to give you a good understanding of what is required of you as a nurse and what is normal from your patient.

    Semester two was Med-Surg. At this point you are expected to have mastered skills taught in the previous semester. You take that foundation and really begin to dig in deep to specific disorders of each body system. You take your physical assessment skills and you start applying that to your practice. What s/sx will you look for in a pt with XXX disease, etc. It is a very overwhelming amount of information and you begin to think on a higher level than what was required in your first semester.

    I too thought OB/PEDs was my hardest semester, simply because that is the field that I *least* desire to work in. Psych was the easiest. When I look back over the entire program, it doesn't really get learn to cope with the stress better, you learn how to study, and you build upon your existing knowledge.

    Good Luck!
  5. by   Alexsys
    In my school Adult Health 1 was general med/surg. Adult Health 2 was critical care. We were all nervous about it as well, I think that by the time you get there, you will be ready for it
  6. by   blackberry4eva
    Quote from sc1973
    hi all, i don't post often but do read quite a few posts and i really enjoy this site. i have just finished level 1 of clinicals and everyone is warning me that level 2 will kick my butt. it is our med-surg rotation and i just don't understand what makes it so difficult. any input would be very helpful!!

    hello, i think we are in the same boat. i will be atking med/surg in the spring. i too am somewhat concerned how next semester is going to be because i felt this one was hard. just go into it with a positive attitude and know that you can and will get through it, though it is not going to be easy.good luck!
  7. by   Bonny619
    you'll be removing staples before you know it!
  8. by   RN BSN 2009
    I have a med/surg rotation next semester, but we will be holding eachothers hands
  9. by   AuntieRN
    I too found OB and Peds to be the hardest classes. Med/surg was not as hard to me as it was to others. Everyones perception is different so you have to just go into it with an open mind and not listen to what others have to say about it. What's hard for one person may be easy for someone else. Good luck to you. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
  10. by   Achoo!
    For me, med/surg exposed you to more new things. Not necessarily hard, but new and different. Working with central lines, NG tubes, ostomies, traction, etc..You have to work through the disease processes more. Your patient is confused- why? Is it a perfusion issue? Is it metabolic? is it a sensory perception problem? Hypoxia? What assessments do you have to make to help determine this. It just applying more of what you have learned about disease proccesses. I loved it

    Onto a cardiac unit next semester for me!
  11. by   Daytonite
    Hi, sc1973!

    My recollection of our med/surg semester which was some 30 years ago (and I don't think has changed all that much since) is that we started getting patients on the medical and surgical units of the hospital during our clinical time. We focused on major medical conditions like diabetes, ulcers (which people are not commonly admitted for today), other GI problems, dehydration, stroke, peripheral vascular diseases, and a lot of pneumonia and people with various stages of COPD. Because 30 years ago people were admitted the night before surgery, prepped in the hospital and stayed a couple of days after surgery, we often had a chance to be a part of the entire experience. Today, however, you may spend time in an outpatient surgery are since many surgeries are now done on an outpatient basis. Although you will probably get patients in clinical who have had surgery that requires some hospital stay.

    You will need to be learning about diabetes, fluids/electrolytes, basic lab results, and probably ABGs. These subjects tend to come up time and again with all patients so they are introduced to everyone early in their training. Other than that, you will need to learn about the various diseases as your instructors have you encounter them in your lectures. Just remember that you are now going to need to start putting together the information from all those pre-requisite courses that you had to take. So, pull out your old anatomy/physiology book as well as a book on disease process or pathophysiology, if you have one of those. I just posted to a thread on the Nursing Student Assistance Forum for someone who wanted some ideas on where to go with a care plan for a patient having an appendectomy. Since this is a basic surgical patient, I posted a very basic outline of what needs to be considered in the care of a post-op patient. You might want to take a look at what I put there as these concepts will be a help for you when you get to the study of the surgical patient. Here is a link to that post:

    Don't panic and try not to be too affected by what other students have to say. Remember that everyone's experience is different. You may find that you will not have much trouble understanding some of these new concepts you will be learning at all. Try not to burden yourself down with too many pre-conceived notions of how difficult it might be. You can spend some hours during your holiday vacation from school doing a little bit of studying. There are some very nice sites on the web for learning about diabetes. It's relatively painless to go to and read the sites that are set up for consumers since they are easier to read and written for the lay public. They make a nice, easy introduction to many of the topics you will be learning. If you want a list of some of these web sites, let me know. :1luvu: