Hi, I have been a Med-Surg RN for 10 years. I choose to stay on Med-Surg because I find in challenging and very interesting. I like caring for patients with a wide variety of diagnoses and several different age groups. Several opportunities to "specialize" in OB/GYN, ICU, ER, and ACU have been offered to me. But, I find that Med-Surg is itself a specialty. My problem is that I feel like I have to defend how I feel about M/S, and almost apologize at times for choosing to stay with Med-Surg. I feel like the other specialties look down on Med-Surg nurses and the physicians treat us like we don't know what we are doing. We have a very well run and professional 40 bed unit. I am continuously learning and I can remember one time, taking care of a 4 day old under bili lights, and a 104 year old with a fractured hip! I learned so much from each of them. I think that's great!! (Our pediatric unit is combined with our med-surg unit) Does anyone else feel this way? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to command a little more respect from our peers and the physicians? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Nov 3, '98
The things that I dont like about med/surg are probably the things you love about it. I started on a med/surg floor and am ICU/flight nurse now.
You have to do so much teaching in so little time to prepare the patients and families to care for the medical problems at home. A few days is not enough time for a newly diagnosed diabetic to understand his/her blood sugar problem. If you have a diabetic teaching specialist in your facility that helps some but you are there for 8 or 12 hours answering questions and teaching this person what to do on a daily basis for the rest of their life. Their diet has to change and they need to know what to do with an exercise program and how to manage their blood sugar when they get sick.
Just too much for me, I prefer the fast paced ICU or a critical transport. Trying to stabilize a cardiogenic shock patient is easier and less stressful for me than teaching someone how to walk carefully on their new hip using a cane or walker.
We each have our specialities and if you have found yours stay with it, I respect the med/surg nurses for all the work and interaction with patients and family and the rehab part of getting them home and acting independently again. All the planning, decisions and endless answers to questions....just too much for me.
Nov 3, '98
I am currently working as a CNA in Sonoma county and I will be a basic BSN this coming summer 1999(I want to be a Med/Surg nurse after I passed my NCLEX exam). What I see and feel about Med/Surg nursing are completely different than yours. I think that Med/Surg nurses have a broader knowledge and a highly skill of time management. We have to take care of patients with a variety of diagnosis as you mentioned earlier. In addition, we handle a heavier load of patients than ICU or OB (a minimum of 6 patients/8 hours shift). If the physicians or anyone else doesn't pay as much respect to you as they would to other nurses in other departments, I think you should ignore it (I would do so if I was you). What I should concern the most is how the patient would rate the quality of care that I provided to them.