joining Med-Surg after 5 years

  1. Hi AN friends,

    Looking for tips and tricks, and recs for study tools or courses to help make a smooth transition into medsurg.

    I am making the switch to Med-surg 5 years now into my career as an RN. I worked as a CNA as a float, and then once an RN I went straight into acute psych. My most recent job took lots of patients with chronic medical issues, medical detoxers, pts with IVs, and even PPN and straight cath when needed. it wasnt every day but usually at least 1 with an IV. I have had the urge and desire for a bit now to make the leap back into medical patients. I want to grow and change and utilize myself in different ways. I also am somewhat burned out on psych. Theres only so many times one can be hit, called a Fu#&ing Bi&@h, and get threatened to be killed before it gets old.

    Long story short I always admired Med Surg nursing, to me thats the heart of nursing. MedSurg nurses are rugged and do it all, and I chose the medsurg position over both neuro and oncology becuase this is where I feel I am being pulled at this time. and Im EXCITED about it.

    I want to be as prepared as possible on the floor and do my best. just looking for some good advice to help me prepare best. Thanks!!
  2. Visit jmiraRN profile page

    About jmiraRN, BSN, RN

    Joined: Sep '10; Posts: 366; Likes: 225


  3. by   jmiraRN
    bumpitty bump
  4. by   bd2rn
    Well, I'll give this a shot. I've been a nurse for a LOOOONG time, and I've done all sort of things at various levels. But I've never been "just" a Med/Surg Nurse. I say "just," because I always had to be Supervisor, ER Nurse, etc in combination with taking a regular assignment. I've also taken time off from nursing-a couple of times without the intention of coming back. Anyway, I just started a job as a Med/Surg Nurse on a 18+ bed floor. Yes, I'll have to do Charge, but it'll rotate. Anyway, after a couple weeks of orientation, it seems to me that there are some things you'll want to have pretty good command of: basic assessment skills: v/s, level of orientation, breath sounds, heart sounds, pulses, wound classification, IV insertion and maintenance, and the meds-especially the cardiac and b/p meds. Also, BLS. I don't think it's a good idea for new/returning nurses to do ACLS too soon. Learn your BLS and let the more experienced folks do the ACLS until you get more experience. Also, get yourself a good stethoscope and an organizing tool that works for you. It should allow you to keep track of 4-8 patients, and include pt's name, rm#, DOB or age, date of adm, adm diagnosis, code status, brief list of Prior Medical History, BRIEF History of Present Illness, Systems Review, v/s trends, pertinent problems, and a place to list the things you need to do during your shift, organized by time. Leave yourself room to write notes regarding your shift's events. With all that in place, you'll be in fine shape. Keep us posted! And