Published May 22, 2001
Hi just finished nursing school and will be graduating on June 2, Yeah for ME!! I was hired as a Med/Surg nurse and now I am second guessing myself. I have been shadowing a nurse for 2 weeks,(giving meds and doing assessments along with her) Well, I feel totally inadequate. I know Nothing!! I have been thinking about going into Psych which was my first choice, but everyone keeps telling me that I need to get Med/Surg experience.Has anyone worked as a Psych nurse and then went into something totally different. I am making myself sick over this! Please help!
Congratulations on choosing nursing as a career! I say that if you really want to be a psych nurse then go for it! You don't have to start your career off in med-surg if you think that you won't be happy. I worked with a nurse who went into med-surg after spending 6 years on a psych unit and she adjusted just fine! If you are thinking about a career as a travelling nurse then getting a med-surg position is the best thing to do as most companies will not hire you until you have completed a full year as a med-surg nurse in an acute care setting! Whatever you decide to do--good luck and welcome to the nursing profession! :) :) :)
Congratulations burger 914. Welcome. The good thing about nursing is that you have alternatives if you don't like or feel comfortable in what you're doing.
I don't feel that you're giving yourself enough time to learn med/surg. I want to reassure you that many of us have gone through the same experience. If you go by the standard, most employers have a probationary period of three months, six months, or one year. If you're new, many employers will extend a three month probationary period without negative consequences. Has your preceptor indicated to you that you need to find another area to work?
Consider the fact that if you go into psych, you will still have to know some med-surg, because many psych patients have physical problems that require intervention. Best wishes.
Zee_RN, BSN, RN
Med-Surg nursing is OVERWHELMING when you are a new nurse. Give it a chance, if you have any interest in med-surg. If your true love is Psych nursing, look around while you're learning the med-surg role.
I agree with Mijourney, too...we get lots of transfers from the Psych unit when their patients get sick...so you'll need good physical assessment skills too. And many of them take the same medications as any other adult...especially the geriatric psych patients.
Psych has very little to do with med/surge. Strange that they require it. They must just want gen nursing experience. Don't worry just try to keep up with everything. It is easy to feel overwelmed at first. Hopefully everything will come together.
The thing with psych is that you get patients who have med/surg needs. It really helps to recognize some of those needs if you have background working the floor. I wouldn't want to work psych without at least some experience on med/surg. Some physical problems cause or exacerbate mental problems, like UTI's or even constipation, dehydration, etc. Mind and body work synergistically.
Initially when I graduated, I began my career in Psych nursing. After working Psych for 1 year, I transferred to a cardiac telemetry unit. I worked in this area for 1 year and then transferred to the ER. After 3 years in A level II trauma cneter, I transferred back to psych. I now work in geriatric psych (actually, I rotate to all the psych units d/t shortage of staff at times). I transferred out of psych initially because I felt inadequate when it came to assessing the physiological needs of the psych patient. I would not trade my experience in the medical area of nursing for anything. You need medical experience regardless of where you work because the bottom line is, "YOU ARE STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PATIENT AND YOUR LICENSE IS ON THE LINE" We have had patients who had an MI, A stroke, Seizures, Hypoglycemic episodes, DKA, DT's, Hypertensive crisis, etc. etc. on the psych units. There are more medical emergencies but I will not list them all. The bottom line is, you can transfer to psych but this will not eliminate the problem of feeling inadequate in med-surg nursing. You will just be in an area where you don't feel inadequate as often. However, you most likely will need the experience of med-surg nursing in your career. I suggest sticking with it for at least a year. You will not regret the experience. I might add, we also get colostomies, PEG tubes, Central lines, mahurker caths, etc. etc.
Create well-written care plans that meets your patient's health goals.
This study guide will help you focus your time on what's most important.
Choosing a specialty can be a daunting task and we made it easier.
By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X