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Going from med surg to telemetry


I am a new nurse been on a med surg unit for 6months and got a new job going to telemetry unit. I had 6pts on the med surg unit some of them were on the telemetry monitor. I will have 4-5pts on this unit. I floated once to our Tele unit. The patient acuity seemed about the same. I know I will need to learn the cardiac drugs/drips and ekgs. Any. Advice I am a,little nervous because I will only have 2-3weeks orientation! But I am so excited!


Specializes in LTC, med/surg, hospice. Has 7 years experience.

I would ask for a longer orientation.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

There is a lot of overlap. A lot of your tele patients will have the same med-surg issues you were used to seeing in your old job.

Some times in Tele nurses hang certain drips but they do not titrate up or down like in ICU. Some vasopressors are not hang on reg unit at all- at least where I work, EKG printer can give you hints of what kind -issue that is. Even when you re very good at reading them and when you call MD they don't want to hear about those any way. Hops would not promote you if they don't think you can handle it. Give yourself more credit. Good luck.


Has 1 years experience.

I always thought Tele was medsurg?


Specializes in hospice.

Some places combine them apparently, but the hospital I worked at had separate units. The people in straight med surg did not wear tele monitors and did not get q4 vitals. They had standard post op protocol for vitals and then once per shift. If they came to need telemetry monitoring, they got transferred.


Specializes in ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg.

My tele floor has drips and we titrate them too. It's tele/step down. There is a lot of overlap between med/surg. I don't see why you would need a longer orientation. Tele has more patients with either primary cardiac issues (a-fib, chf, cardiothoracic post ops, etc.) and also people who are in for something else but because of their history need a tele monitor. People who have had and MI with stents placed but underwent a total hip would probably be on a tele unit.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

I have only ever worked step down and we definitely do titrate drips, including insulin, cardiac meds and nitro. Acuity can be similar to med-surg but also can be much higher. Develop a good relationship with your fellow nurses and the techs and trust your assessment skills and get comfortable talking to MDs if you aren't already. Congrats on the new job! It is a nice "next step" to med-surg.

I think that will be plenty of orientation time--any more and you might get bored. A lot of it will be learning as you go, because you just aren't going to get the patient span during your orientation to know how to deal with everything. My last floor was med/surg/tele/stepdown, and usually the nurses new to our floor without tele experience worked as med-surg nurses for a couple of months or longer before being trained to do tele. There was some classroom work and a test to take, but the orientation was only two shifts (and they were basically in the same position you will be in, since you'll be in the same hospital). Two shifts was plenty to get started; expertise comes with experience.