Should new grads jump right into Med-Surg?

  1. Hello,
    I just graduated December 10, 2004 and I am working at a hospital on a Med-Surg floor. I love working with the patients but I have new found respect for us nurses. This floor is so short staff that they did not give us orientation but just started giving my friend and I patients (she is a new grad also) as if we had been in nursing for years. Now I know that they prepared us for a lot of things in clinicals but when you are a new grad this is really overwhelming especially when you have not been oriented to the floor you are working. Needless to say that this particular floor has a high turn over rate. Wonder Why??? I am really trying to hang in there because they say everyone needs some med-surg. I like psychiatric nursing and that is what I eventually want to do but I tell you it is discouraging. I start this semester back getting ready to finish up my pre-req's so that I can go into the mobility program in fall. I would really like to hear your point of views.
  2. Visit shunda profile page

    About shunda

    Joined: Sep '01; Posts: 113
    mental health technician

    10 Comments

  3. by   NYCRN16
    I dont think there is any reason why new grads should not take a job on a med surg floor, its great experience!

    HOWEVER...I would get your butt out of this place ASAP!!! You are basically handing your license over if you stay on a place where they did not give you any orientation!! Get out of there ASAP, dont worry about getting a bad reference or anything like that, I am sure that other hospitals in the area have had plenty of people come to them looking for work after leaving this place and know what goes on there. No matter where you work you will feel new and vulnerable, but you cant be expected to hit the ground running right out of school, and if anything happens to your patients you will be the one they hang. You should get at least 4 weeks of orientation at a minimum. Good luck to you, and let us know when your last day is there, hopefully it will be soon!!
  4. by   rnmi2004
    New grads without orientation on a med-surg floor? This hospital obviously doesn't care for the safety of its patients or for the well-being of its employees. Get out of there A.S.A.P. You will burn out in a very short period of time--that is, if you don't lose your license first.
  5. by   NursesRmofun
    My personal opinion is that med-surg is the best experience out of school! Hang in there! You didn't get *any* oreintation!? That's not good. :uhoh21:
  6. by   javanurse2000
    I was hired at a LTC facility my first year out of school....I clocked in so that I could start my orientation. The night nurse was ready to count both carts with me even though I told her I was orienting. When the other nurse came she told me there was no orientation. :uhoh21: I said, "very sorry but its just not safe" - I clocked out and left. I still work for the company at a different facility - I got a great orientation there! I sure can't imagine working med/surg w/o an orientation. I worked at our hospital over the summer a couple of years back...6 week orientation before you ever get on the floor. Shame I couldn't stay there but the LPN pay was terrible. Most hospitals around here don't even hire LPNs for the floor anymore....the trend is PCTs with the RNs. Does your hospital acknowlege they should have oriented you or is this the norm?
  7. by   proud2BLPN
    Thats too bad that you didn't get an orientation, but working on a med/surg floor is excellent experience. I worked for 1 1/2 yrs on a med/surg floor after I graduated, and the experience I gained there was amazing. I also had a great staff to work with, which helped. I wish you luck, and congrats. :hatparty:
    Quote from shunda
    Hello,
    I just graduated December 10, 2004 and I am working at a hospital on a Med-Surg floor. I love working with the patients but I have new found respect for us nurses. This floor is so short staff that they did not give us orientation but just started giving my friend and I patients (she is a new grad also) as if we had been in nursing for years. Now I know that they prepared us for a lot of things in clinicals but when you are a new grad this is really overwhelming especially when you have not been oriented to the floor you are working. Needless to say that this particular floor has a high turn over rate. Wonder Why??? I am really trying to hang in there because they say everyone needs some med-surg. I like psychiatric nursing and that is what I eventually want to do but I tell you it is discouraging. I start this semester back getting ready to finish up my pre-req's so that I can go into the mobility program in fall. I would really like to hear your point of views.
  8. by   LPN34
    An LPN with med-surg experience is a hot commodity. It's getting harder and harder for LPN's to get their foot in the door with acute care facilities, and it seems that the industry steers us toward office nursing and long term care.

    With med-surg on your resume, it opens many more opportunities for you down the road.

    I can relate to your situation. I got into med-surg by working as a contractor. On my first 12-hour shift, I followed another nurse for "orientation" for 4 hours, then let go with my own patient assignment for 8 hours. No other orientation after that. I stayed at that hospital for 2 1/2 years. How did I get through it? I was not afraid to ask questions. If the other staff nurses were too busy to help, then I took my question to the charge nurse. Patient safety always came first. Besides, the patient can sense if you are not comfortable with a certain procedure and could become leery of the care they are receiving. Therefore, I was never ashamed to bring a more experienced nurse into the room with me to show me how to check the settings on the PCA machine or to get a second opinion on my assessment. Eventually I became proficient and a source of help for other nurses.

    I am not saying you should stay if you feel strongly about the inadequacy of you working conditions. I am merely suggesting that you do some soul searching, while taking into consideration the job market for LPN's in your area. What will be your choices WITH the med-surg experience? What are your choices if you don't have that experience? Will you be at peace with the path you have chosen?

    If you should decide to stick it out (which most responders have smartly recommended against), then get a whole year of med surg under your belt, proudly update your resume, then please PLEASE PLEASE start sending it out to other prospective employers.
  9. by   stbernardclub
    How can a hospital expect you just out of school to just jump right in there with no orientation? Thats not a hospital I hope to be a patient in!
  10. by   Hairstylingnurse
    Quote from shunda
    Hello,
    I just graduated December 10, 2004 and I am working at a hospital on a Med-Surg floor. I love working with the patients but I have new found respect for us nurses. This floor is so short staff that they did not give us orientation but just started giving my friend and I patients (she is a new grad also) as if we had been in nursing for years. Now I know that they prepared us for a lot of things in clinicals but when you are a new grad this is really overwhelming especially when you have not been oriented to the floor you are working. Needless to say that this particular floor has a high turn over rate. Wonder Why??? I am really trying to hang in there because they say everyone needs some med-surg. I like psychiatric nursing and that is what I eventually want to do but I tell you it is discouraging. I start this semester back getting ready to finish up my pre-req's so that I can go into the mobility program in fall. I would really like to hear your point of views.
    Shunda, you and your friend should really insist on an orientation. Not only is that dangerous for you( you could lose your lisc. before the ink is dry on it )but it is also dangerous and unfair to your pts.A good orientation will make you and your friend much better nurses. And trust me with the nursing shortage we don't want to lose any working nurses, we need all we can get. Best of luck and do what you think is best. But if possible get an orientation.
  11. by   URO-RN
    It depends on the individual. Some are ready and some are not.
    But, how can one find out if one does not jump in?.
    You can always come back if you feel you are not "there" yet.(with skills etc).
    There is no shame in that.
  12. by   Magikchild
    I started in med surg, and have singe worked surgical icu, med ICU, ER, Psych, LTC, drug &alcohol rehab, open heart, PICU, hi-tech peds homecare,and more.
    get the Merck Manual and Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. Carry them with you & use them whenever you encounter something new.
    Report your lack of orientation right up the chain of command, to the DON then board of nursing if necessary. Quit if you recieve no satisfaction, and document everything re this issue, for the board if necessary.
    Always have a written agenga when meeting with superiors, lest ye forget an important issue, point, or specifically troubling situation where help was denied you. Do it tomorrow.
    Yup, I'm an LPN too, and nurses eat their young.
    Last edit by Magikchild on Jan 9, '05 : Reason: content

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