Med-Surg Roll Call

  1. Hi all ... thought it was about time to have a Med-Surg roll call .... please repond by telling us if you work in med-surg .... how long you have been there and if you plan on staying in med surg .... also, please let us know if you hold certification in med-surg through ANCC or AMSN. Thanks ....

    I will start ....

    I am a nurse manager for a 40 bed med-surg unit. Love med-surg, but am challenged daily by how busy the unit is and how sick our patient population is. I plan on remaining in med-surg for a number of years (at least until I finish my Masters degree and start teaching). I am not currently certified, but am planning on taking the test in October throught AMSN.

    I think the thing I LOVE the most about M/S is the diversity of patients we see. You really need to be a nursing generalist to be successful in med-surg.
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    About RNPATL

    Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 2,112; Likes: 149
    Nurse Educator; from US
    Specialty: Nursing Education and Critical Care.


  3. by   RN-PA
    I graduated in '93 with an ASN. (This is a second career for me.) After working 9 months in LTC, I got a job working 11-7 in med-surg at the hospital where I had my med-surg clinical rotations. Went part-time after a year, then to 3-11 shift which I like even though it can be crazy-busy. I found I like interacting with patients and their families (SOMEtimes) and got tired of waking patients up and startling them for assessments working 11-7. I worked at that hospital for 4 years and moved to the hospital in my community 6 years ago and continue with 3-11 (actually 1445-2315, and usually, WAY past 2315).

    Like you, RNPATL, I like med-surg for the diversity of the patient population and the variety of diagnoses, ages, etc. My unit also has an oncology emphasis, so we get to know patients who are admitted often due to chemotherapy reactions (neutropenia, dehydration, to name a few).

    I'm med-surg certified through ANCC, but my certification is due to expire this year. I don't know if I'll re-take the test since I didn't keep up with all the CEU's necessary to retain certification and my hospital doesn't pay any more for certified nurses. I took the exam to "make peace" in a way, with med-surg. I never thought this is where I'd be--or plan to be for the rest of my career, but I can't think of another specialty I'd like better.
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    I'm with you, RN-PA.......I never thought I'd stay in M/S for very long, the work is hard and getting harder by the day, but I love it! I'm not as fond of medical---most of our medical pts. are either non-compliant 'frequent flyers' or nursing-home residents who get dumped on us when the facilities can't cope with them---but surgical more than makes up for it. It's such a kick to get post-ops who are really sick or injured and be a part of their recovery process, then see them walk out of the hospital well on their way to good health.

    As an older nurse (46), I wonder sometimes how much longer my back and my poor abused feet are going to be able to take the daily beatings, but I'm committed enough to M/S that I sat for the AMSN certification exam last fall and am now a CMSRN.

    I'm also a float nurse who has cross-trained in OB-GYN and critical care, which may be where I end up later on when I can't run the floors any more, although I may get more involved with parish nursing (another of my 'sidelines') as I get older and don't need to make as much money. That's the great thing about nursing, anyway: if you don't like what you're doing or can't handle it physically, there's always different types of nursing to try!
  5. by   live4today
    Quote from RNPATL
    Hi all ... thought it was about time to have a Med-Surg roll call .... please repond by telling us if you work in med-surg .... how long you have been there and if you plan on staying in med surg .... also, please let us know if you hold certification in med-surg through ANCC or AMSN. Thanks ....
    I am a Med-Surg RN, too. Although I have worked in other areas of the hospital off and on during my 18 years as a nurse, I always end up back in Med-Surg -- mostly because when I interview for a job, the one thing that sticks out the most on my resume or experience status is Med-Surg, and the greatest need still seems to be Med-Surg. I've also found that most hospitals aren't open to allowing experienced nurses the opportunities of changing from Med-Surg to a different expertise. I've tried many times to switch without success. New Grads have it made. They get whatever they want. Oh to be a "new grad" again.

    Med-Surg does offer the diversity of patients that other areas of nursing do not offer, so I feel like a "Family Practice Nurse" who sees all, dabbles in a lot, but specializes in nothing specific. If there's an orifice on the body, you'll explore it in Med-Surg. :chuckle

    I do not hold certification in Med-Surg. Nurse recruiters have pretty much done the steering of my nursing experience into Med-Surg with no hopes of getting out of it. So, from my's true if you start in Med-Surg, you'll retire in Med-Surg. Careful which area you start in. :uhoh21:
  6. by   RNPATL
    Wow ... great responses. I agree with you cheerfuldoer to some extent about starting in med-surg and retire med-surg .... although, from my experience, the more the shortage of nurses grows, the better chance for nurses who desire to work in other areas of nursing. I have always viewed med-surg as a stepping stone for other specialties .... for me, I really do enjoy it, but believe that as I get older, I will need to do something that will not be as physically challenging (like teaching).
  7. by   4theBetterGetter
    hi all! rn asn since 1989. prior to that na since 1978. mostly med/surg. i have tried other settings but always return to med surg. like most of you i also wonder how much longer my tired ole body will hold out! :chuckle
  8. by   DutchgirlRN
    I worked Med-Surg as an LPN for 12 years and now as an RN for 3 years. I work in Acute Care Med-Surg. I am studying for certification. When I pass I'll be the only nurse in the hospital certified. I think there are one or two CCU certified but I know for sure there are no Med-Surg certified nurses. I'm going through the AMSN nurses for my certification.
  9. by   BeccaRN
    I have worked straight midnights on a busy surgical floor for 5 years. It has been quite an experience and I have learned a lot and it has been very rewarding; but, at this point I'm wanting to change. Just can't decide what I want to do. It's a toss up between ED and ICU.
  10. by   RNPATL
    Wow .. there are some terrific responses to the Med-Surg Roll call .... lets see if we can get some more people to list on here ..... we have a lot of lurkers ... this is a great forum, but it is only as great as you make it. Lets see some of those lurkers come out of the dark and post in the Med-Surg Roll Call .... it will be nice to hear from you.

    For those experienced MS nurses .... if you already have not posted ,,, please do!

    Remember - everyone is welcome.
  11. by   Rae05
    I am a recent grad and have worked now for six months on a general surgery unit that also sees med cases. I am thinking about transferring though to possibly L&D. I do think that this floor is great for experience and to acquire my skills, but I am already feeling a little burned out. I don't know whether I should stay that full year or transfer now. Is it true that it is harder to change specialities if you continue to work in the med-surg field? I just thought that some of you could offer your opinions on my decision. I am sure that I would definitely leave after a year to pursue my interests in L&D and later in the future mother/baby. Thanks
  12. by   SharonH, RN
    Even though I am not currently at the bedside I still consider myself a med-surg nurse as I have been providing care to adults for the past 12 years in a variety of settings. I love the variety of patients we see and in particular I love working with the elderly. I am currently working on my master's (CNS) in adult health and am certified through ANCC. I do belong to the AMSN and I attended my first convention in Chicago this past September. It was great.
  13. by   NurseCard
    I too am a med-surge nurse, working on a general surgery unit, and we too see a lot of general medical patients as well. I've been working on this unit for almost six years; four years as an aide and almost two years as an RN.

    I'm feeling rather burned out lately and would like to try something different. My biggest interest is in psyche nursing, but I also wouldn't mind giving home health a go. But, once you've been in one place for so long, it becomes scary, the thought of venturing out! Plus, I LOVE my manager; she is an absolute sweetie and I have a lot of loyalty towards her.

    I do have the opportunity to take the test to become med-surge certified; next month actually... and I haven't studied!! Since I'm thinking of changing specialties, I don't know if I'll even bother or not.
  14. by   Tweety
    O.K. I'll chime in. I've been in med-surg for 14 years. Currently working in trauma/med-surg (lots of ortho trauma). I like med-surg because of the variety, it's multi-system, and it's a daily challenge.

    I'm a little discouraged with the ratios and the hard work. I'm moving to day shift where the ratio is 5 by yourself with no help, or 7 with a CNA. 3rd shift is 8 or 9 to one and it's wearing me down bit by bit over time.

    I'm seriously considering moving on to critical care. However, my unit is going to open an intermediate trauma unit where the ratio is 4:1, so I may go into that.

    Sorry to be a bummer. But we all know med-surg is tough. Only the strong survive!