New grad hired to Med-Surg. What should I review, if anything?


After almost 7 months of applying for jobs I got offered a hospital position on a Med Surg floor. I have a couple of weeks before my orientation starts.

Did you review anything before starting? Med Surg, meds, and skills, seems like so much information to try to review. I don't know if I should take it easy and relax or start reviewing. Advice appreciated. Thanks! :nurse:


3 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Orthopedic, Emergency. Has 5 years experience.

Relax, no worries, your on orientation for several weeks. Take it day by day, if at end of day you do not understand procedures and or clinical advice your preceptor taught you, then go review until it makes sense. You will most likely soon find out that you remember a lot more than you think.

Specializes in LTC. Has 6 years experience.

Congrats on getting a job! Everything will come together. It never hurts to pull out an nclex book for review.

joanna73, BSN, RN

1 Article; 4,767 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics.

I would spend some time reviewing your medication classes, a few common procedures, and maybe some of the more common diseases such as stroke, MI, diabetes, renal need to know common signs and symptoms for these illnesses.

Although you're on orientation, some prep work can't hurt. Your preceptor will expect that you know the basics.


72 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Telemetry, SICU. Has 1 years experience.

Congrats on the job! You knowledge and skills will grow tremendously. In my experience, I learned SO much more on the job than reviewing. Your employer does not expect you to know everything, just to be willing to learn. It wouldn't hurt to review common diseases as the poster above me suggested since you will become very familiar with them in your new job. It also would help to review basic rhythms (if your unit has telemetry.) Also know how to locate your organization's policies and procedures since that is an important reference to know. Good luck to you! :)

Specializes in Complex care, tele. Has 1 years experience.

Definitely review your meds and your commonly seen diseases. I've been a nurse for over a year now, and I still review the less common medical conditions - I often have 2 or 3 days in a row with the same patients, and I like to have an understanding of how their histories shape the patient I spend my day with. Having a face/experience to go with a condition has helped me understand the treatments and medications much better than reading the dry material in the nursing books. I might not be as knowledgeable on day one, but by day 3 I seem to have a pretty good idea of what I'm doing.


23 Posts

Congratulations! If you have a smart phone, Lippincott's has an "NCLEX Q&A" applications that I have found helpful to keep me refreshed while I have been applying for jobs. I have been applying in California for months with nothing!! What state do you live in?

Congratulations again, and enjoy your 2 weeks freedom!


Specializes in Rehab, critical care. Has 3 years experience.

review and relax. At the very least, spend time reviewing the most common meds dispensed, usual dosage, side effects.... lasix, bumex, protonix, pepcid, solu-cortef (which, by the way, is incompatible with many things; always check incompatibilities, and flush liberally in b/w IVP meds so you don't risk any incompatibilities), reglan, zofran, morphine, dilaudid (all the pain meds lol), cardizem, digoxin, dilantin, benzo's, etc, all of the antibiotics, phenergan (must be diluted in 10 mL NS, but usually not given peripherally if you can avoid it), heparin.

so, pretty much, know all pain meds, all anti-emetics, all abx, all anti-coags, all anti-anxiety meds, oh, and insulin and hypoglycemic protocols, too, and BP/rate control meds. Good luck! Reviewing helps build your knowledge base, but you will learn much more from exposure and experience. Knowing your pharm is imperative for pt safety (holding meds, etc) and knowing that hey, maybe they're anxious and tachy b/c I (or RT) just gave them their first breathing tx. Or hey, maybe that guy next door can't breathe now b/c I gave an asthmatic metoprolol lol (which apparently isn't usually an issue in asthmatics under good control; I don't know, though, haven't encountered this lol. (anyway..the point is, you know your stuff so that you can question orders that just don't seem right, and you know more than you think you do. You know enough to know when something is way off, like hey, morphine 100 mg...that can't be right lol), etc.