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Med Surg vs. Pre/Post-Op

CNA/MA   (12,345 Views 7 Comments)
by thelittledoe thelittledoe (Member) Member

thelittledoe specializes in Surgical.

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Can someone please explain to me the difference between med-surg and pre/post-op? The reason I'm asking is because I start a patient care assistant job in a few weeks on what the hospital calls their "pre/post-op" floor. I thought this was the same thing as med-surg, but I have come to find that the hospital also has a separate "med-surg" floor. Thanks a bunch! :)

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35 Posts; 1,555 Profile Views

A medical or surgical floor is for patients who would have had a longer and normally more complicated surgery and need to stay overnight. Cnas on this type of floor will take vitals, draw blood, and assist the patient with any other tolieting or bathing needs. Pre op is where the patients will go before they are having surgery. This is where a CNA will normally get vitals and maybe help with a last minute surgical scrub if necessary. Patients here haven't had surgery yet. The post op is normally a short stay unit, post op is where patients will go after an hour of recovery in the pacu (post anesthesia care unit) where nurses will focus on one to one care on the patient as they me up from surgery. Post op is short stay where the patients are mostly awake, possibly drowsy and just normally need to urinate and try to get up and eat before they are able to go home. In this type of unit a CNA will normally maybe take more vitals, assist the patient in eating something little and helping them try to get up and walk. Patients in this unit come and go quickly as they are only in there for approximately one hour. Hope that helps! Good luck!

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thelittledoe specializes in Surgical.

125 Posts; 4,080 Profile Views

Ahh thanks Nursestudent14, but I'm still confused. The hospital actually has a separate building called the "Same Day Surgery Building". So now I'm really confused. I will let you know specifically when I find out what exactly the difference between the three are.

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Same day surgery is what it says. Patients come in to preop where vitals are taken, iv and meds are started, basic assessment is done. Then to or, then to post op where the patient will stay 1-3 hours depending on surgery then go home. What you would do as a cna in preop would probably be help get pat dressed, bring them to room, get vitals and then hand them off to RN. In post op, you would probably just do vitals and assist in whatever the RN would need you to do. Usually this is your healthy patients with less intensive surgeries such as eyes, urology procedures, and the like.

Med surg on the other hand is where patients are staying overnight for monitoring in which you would do basic patient care such as vitals, bring whatever they need such as food and drinks, help with baths and so on.

Hope that helps with your questions.

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loriangel14 is a RN and specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

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It may depend on the facility.My hospital has med surg and a medical/post-op floor. Post-op patients go there after recovery if they are being admitted for a day or two.

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Nursestudent14 pretty much summed it up, but theres a few things Ill add. Even patients who wing up being admitted to Med/Surg after surgery still go to post op immediately following their surgery.

Also, Med/surg isnt strictly a post surgical unit. Its a combination of medical and surgical patients, with the majority being medical patients who dont have surgery, at least where I work. Some medical patients might eventually go to surgery and then come back on the floor after, but they would still spend time in pre and post op. Med/surg also has a lot of patients coming from the ICU, and occasionally TO the ICU if their condition worsens.

The hospital I work at is fairly small, so they also combine telemetry and peds with med/surg, rather than having seperate units, so its possible we have more medical patients than med/surg units for bigger hospitals.

The same day surgery is probably exactly what it says. People who have relatively simple procedures that arent likely to require hospitalization before or after.

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thelittledoe specializes in Surgical.

125 Posts; 4,080 Profile Views

Thanks everyone! Very helpful. I realized what same day surgery was but was confused as to what a separate pre/post-op floor was if med/surg was also separate. I think I have everything straight now. Thanks again! :up:

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