suggestions to begin Med-Surg?

  1. Greetings, all! I'm an LPN with two years in LTC. I want to change direction and go to a med-surg floor in a nearby hospital. Problem: I am insecure about my skills, since they are now rusty. Can anyone contribute ideas about how to "brush up" before I make the change? I do not want to be a drag on other busy nurses with CONSTANT questions! Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Visit lynniepooh profile page

    About lynniepooh

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 22


  3. by   shannonRN
    isn't that what an orientation is for? i'm sure that you know more than you give yourself credit for. i switched from rehab to med-surg about one year ago, and had the same reservations. i had a couple of coworkers who were really helpful, so that helped tons. i would also come home from work and review disease processes that i wasn't familiar with. i would tell the manager that you are interviewing with, your feelings. and don't forget to ask about your long, if it can be extended if you do not feel comfortable...hope this helps and good luck to you!!
  4. by   Sleepyeyes
    Yeah, I came from LTC too, and you bring unique talents to MS. For instance, you know the diff between someone whacked out on pain meds and someone with Alzheimers.
    You can find what you're Foley=ing.
    You can find the vein you're IV'ing (well, most of the time)
    The labs come back in minutes, not hours (days).
    It'll improve your LTC skills too, if you ever decide to go back. Good Luck!
  5. by   live4today
    I can appreciate how nervous you must be. I'll be looking at returning to nursing again myself after having a five year sabbatical away from the field. Nervous is good! I'd be concerned if you weren't nervous. Just be straight up with the Nurse Manager hiring you in regards to your nursing background thus far, and do NOT be afraid to assert yourself when letting her/him know that you would most definitely need a good orientation...which they should give you without question anyway. Let us know how you do, and how receptive the staff is when you begin working with them. I'll be thinking of you, and will say a prayer that things will work out for you. Much success to you in the Med/Surg area. :kiss
  6. by   lynniepooh
    Thank you for the advice. What do you all think is a typical orientation?
  7. by   Sleepyeyes
    Ours was classroom for 1 week and floor orientation for 2 weeks with a preceptor, but you could have more if you felt you needed it.
  8. by   live4today
    I think a typical orientation for a returning nurse to the hospital setting should be a minimum of four weeks. Any additional time should be based on an individual basis and how comfortable the nurse is to be on her/his own after four weeks.
  9. by   rebelwaclause
    Brush up on all the systems. Brush up on your s/s's for med-surg floor stuff, like ESRF, DM, DKA, CHF, MI's, CVA's, etc. Also study your labs. Increased BUN in a CHFer could be? Why are H/H values important for a chemo patient? Vital signs 80/40 post 2 units of PRBC...What's your gotta do's, should do's, and could do's? Should you refuse an assignment taking care of a patient with MRSA and another with neutropenia? A patient falls, what do you do?

    Just a few things to start "remembering." (Not to scare you, if you are!). You'll do just fine...Keep asking questions. Network here and find a good solid nurse at your new job who doesn't mind mentoring you. And..Welcome to Med-Surg!
  10. by   debRNo1
    I just started med-surg from LTC and although Ive been a nurse
    LPN/RN for 10 yrs my orientation will be like a new grad which is fine with me !!! 4-6 weeks ??

    Did anyone take a test called PBDS ?? Its an assessment tool they use to see where your at with your skills- just curious

    It was those could do should do GOTTA do questions and some videos to watch.........and respond to "quickly"

  11. by   flashpoint
    LOL. I am going to Med-Surg day shift after three years in ER night shift. I start back on the floor tomorrow. It's been years since I've done a bath or a shower (did med-surg nights before I was in ER0. I've never admitted a patient to the floor since we've changed all of the paper work and they've changed all of the medication times to odd hours instead of even. The floor also has CNAs now to do vital signs and glucose checks and other such activities. My supervisor (who moved from ER to med-surg last week) says my biggest problem wil be that I have such a "now" attitude that it's going to drive me nuts actually having to wait for doctors and things and the pace is a lot slower...LOL. I've seen those med-surg nurses work and their pace is far from slow!
  12. by   majrn
    Lynniepooh, welcome to the floor! You will do well, like riding a bike, you never forget once you practice alittle. Ask for adequate orientation as the others have stated and you will do fine. Good luck.