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I have a question to ask.......


Ok - I am a fresh new grad, and I have a position on a Med Surg floor.

I was always told the only stupid question you ask is one that you don't ask at all. Well heres my question, I keep reading all these negative comments on working on a Med Surg floor. What exactly am I getting myself into? Why do so many people hate it?

So far I enjoy it, true its all new to me and all that might change.

I will be working 7p-7a when I get done with my orientation. Is this a bad shift? What can I expect?

Thank you in advance for any guidance.


Specializes in PACU,Geriatrics,ICU. Has 25 years experience.

There is nothing wrong with Med/Surg nursing. I had fun doing it and learned many assesment skills and how to deal with Dr.'s. Taking off orders and charge duties. It actually prepped me for where I went after that. Some of my most happiest memories are of the Med/Surg floor work I did. Sure it can get hectic and pt's can change quickly but I wouldn't have traded it for anything. I went to ICU and PACU after only because I thought if I din't I would probably wonder later in life if I could have done the critical thinking that is needed in these areas...I guess it could be called personal fulfillment. I am perfectly happy with myself as a nurse now. I work as a NM in a rehab/LTC wing. I do many admission asessments and patients can go sour quickly in that enviroment too. I take care of many patients who are recovering from total joint replacements or fractures. don't always listen to stories people say it's just like labor stories everyone has a horror story!


Specializes in Assisted Living, Med-Surg/CVA specialty.

I think most issues people have with Med Surg is more related to staffing issues/nurse-pt ratios, compared to the amount of work/assessments/meds these people are on. Med Surg tends to get a lot of nursing home patients, who then tend to be on like 15-20+ meds.:uhoh3: polypharmacy issues there!

on my floor we see a lot of alcohol & cocaine abusers, as well as the nursing home patients. The hospital is not in a good section of town and most of our patients are poor or homeless. I believe this is going to be a good learning experience for me.

Thank you for your responses.

It all depends on who you are working with (do they eat their young or are they supportive and kind?) and how your supervisors are and how the doctors treat you and do you have the supplies you need, are your aides hiding and shirking work or are they wonderful, stuff like that. As for working Nights, it depends on how well you adjust to sleeping days and how well you like that night shift.

I wish you well and hope you learn a lot and love your new job. Congratulations on your graduation and welcome to Nursing.

DutchgirlRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in OB, M/S, HH, Medical Imaging RN. Has 33 years experience.

med/surg is the best experience you can get. once you have a year or more of med/surg under your belt the world of nursing is yours.

i absolutely loved med/surg for years....then i got to the point where i just could not do it one more day. it wasn't that i didn't like it anymore i just couldn't physically do it anymore. i'm 52 so alot older than you. you have alot of good med/surg years ahead of you. concentrate on what you like about med/surg, learn all that you can. best of luck!

CABG patch kid, BSN, RN

Specializes in Telemetry, CCU.

Like someone else said, I think it depends so much on your coworkers and how well everyone works as a team, as well as your manager, your equipment and supplies, and the overall work environment. I'm a new grad in telemetry, which I feel is just a specialty med-surg, and originally just wanted a couple years of tele before going on to something else. But now that I'm there I love the crew I work with and if things stay like this, I may want to do tele a lot longer than just a couple years because of the people. Honestly, there are positive and negative aspects of every nursing specialty, it all depends on your experience and perspective. Have fun!!

I have been a med-surg nurse for about 5 years and I have no intention of going anywhere anytime soon. Med-surg nursing can be hectic, frustrating, and overwhelming, but it can also be rewarding, fulfilling, and educational. I have worked both 7a - 7p and 7p - 7a and both shifts have there ups and downs. When working 7p 7a I get to spend some time with my patients while helping get them ready for bed, giving back rubs, etc. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to working night shift, is that it is a lot less political. THere are less people around fighting for time with your patients. There is no physical therapy, no case managers, no physicians making rounds (usually), and less time that your patient's are off the floor for tests and procedures. However the downfall to that is there is often less staff around if something bad starts happening, and night shift can get just as many admissions as the day shift. Also, contrary to popular belief (by some day staff people anyway), not all of the patients sleep from dark til dawn. Hope this helps, and I hope you truly enjoy the med-surg experience. Try to keep an open mind, and remember that you will have good days and bad days, but you can make a difference in the lives of your patients.

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