New Grad Scared to Start in Med-Surg

Updated | Posted
by SuperSassySally SuperSassySally (New) New Nurse

Has 1 years experience.

medsurg-best-place-start-nurse.jpg.4d88e97e49badcfb9330a6c88d7023ee.jpg

Hello!! At 55 years old, I am starting my new career as a BSN Nurse.... 

My Issue:  I have heard terrible stories about the drama and chaos on the Med-Surg Floors. However, I have done a bit of research that Med-Surg experience is the most flexible and most required for future positions such as home health, working a circulating nurse in the OR, or for an Insurance Company or Big Pharma. 

Do you agree that Med-Surg is the place to start?

Feedback appreciated.... ALSO, at 55 I am physically fit but a bit concerned about my physical endurance to get thru the 12 hour shift... tips please! 

No Stars In My Eyes

Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN. Has 43 years experience. 3,353 Posts

In my opinion, med-surg covers a lot of the basics; where I worked the med-surg floor often got the overflow from other services. I'm sure it's different now-a-days, though, as I graduated in 1971! And we had 8 hour shifts back then, and Team Nursing instead of the way they do assignments now. Personally, I loved it, but I don't think I could do it now unless I had a very low # of pt assigned to me... (I'm about to turn 73 and have been retired for 5-6 yrs, so things are bound to be WAY different now!) I don't recall being involved in drama and chaos back then. There were the usual personality frictions, but the charge nurses were generally pretty good about matching us w/ workers who worked in the same manner (fast, slow, whatever)....and I think assignments are all done differently now.

Wish you the best!

No Stars In My Eyes

Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN. Has 43 years experience. 3,353 Posts

🤣 ...and if I didn't make this clear, I know it is all done differently now! 😂

SuperSassySally

SuperSassySally

Has 1 years experience. 2 Posts

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences !!  Best !! 

NewRNin2022

NewRNin2022

Specializes in RN, ADN grad - 2022. 1 Post

Hi Sally,

I’m a new grad and RN at age 51.  I can relate to your concerns about being in good enough shape to get through a 12 hour shift.  I’m also worried about fitting in the much younger nurses.  I’m trying to diet and exercise more to improve my strength and stamina.  

Nurse Pompom

95 Posts

On 7/12/2022 at 11:49 AM, SuperSassySally said:

medsurg-best-place-start-nurse.jpg.4d88e97e49badcfb9330a6c88d7023ee.jpg

Hello!! At 55 years old, I am starting my new career as a BSN Nurse.... 

My Issue:  I have heard terrible stories about the drama and chaos on the Med-Surg Floors. However, I have done a bit of research that Med-Surg experience is the most flexible and most required for future positions such as home health, working a circulating nurse in the OR, or for an Insurance Company or Big Pharma. 

Do you agree that Med-Surg is the place to start?

Feedback appreciated.... ALSO, at 55 I am physically fit but a bit concerned about my physical endurance to get thru the 12 hour shift... tips please! 

Personally I think ICU is where it's at if you want all of the doors to open to you (or ER). Med surg can be chaotic yes, depends on the unit, your manager, your coworkers, etc.. 12 hours is an acquired taste, but you will get used to it, no worries.

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 50 years experience. 4,154 Posts

I loved med-surg but I loved studying diseases as much as I did interacting with the patients.  If you need constant intellectual stimulation, med-surg can give you a great background to take to a specialty in the future if that is what you want.  

TAKOO01

TAKOO01, BSN

Has 6 years experience. 1 Article; 257 Posts

I think the whole "start in med surg" canard is out dated. You should apply where you want to work. And there are many jobs that do 5 8's if you don't want to do 3 12's.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 29 years experience. 3,561 Posts

It depends on your end game/goals. For home health, med surg is the preference, and it is for many jobs, as it covers so many disease processes. But it's not necessary. As far as being busy, ICU can be worse depending on patient assignment. If you wish to work OR, try there. But get your applications out, and good luck!

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 30 years experience. 9 Articles; 4,338 Posts

I started out in Med-Surg. I find that these days, not all Med-Surg units are really that broad in terms of population seen. The hospital I work for has specific Med-Surg floors for Neuro, CV, or Ortho. On occasion each of those may have overflow patients from other specialty units but we try to minimize this because nurses are trained for specific skillsets that those specialties require. We do have a high acuity Med-Surg unit that does everything from Neuro to Pulm to CV so I would say that would be a good one to start at.

middle-aged newbie

middle-aged newbie, RN

Has 1 years experience. 4 Posts

I'm 51 and a new nurse. I started on a med-surg specialty unit this year. I am handling the 12 hour night shifts physically just fine. However, the other night shift nurses are all very young and most of them are extremely immature. I wouldn't mind except that the gossip and talking behind my back and lack of support are unbearable. It's so bad that I dread going to work. Is this the norm out there in the nursing world? 

Although I'm on a specialty unit, we get a lot of overflow from other units, as of late. I'm seeing a wide array of patients. It's very interesting. I would love my job if the situation wasn't so bad with my coworkers. I hope you find a better experience out there-best of luck to you. 

CommunityRNBSN

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 4 years experience. 835 Posts

On 7/12/2022 at 11:49 AM, SuperSassySally said:

medsurg-best-place-start-nurse.jpg.4d88e97e49badcfb9330a6c88d7023ee.jpg

Hello!! At 55 years old, I am starting my new career as a BSN Nurse.... 

My Issue:  I have heard terrible stories about the drama and chaos on the Med-Surg Floors. However, I have done a bit of research that Med-Surg experience is the most flexible and most required for future positions such as home health, working a circulating nurse in the OR, or for an Insurance Company or Big Pharma. 

Do you agree that Med-Surg is the place to start?

Feedback appreciated.... ALSO, at 55 I am physically fit but a bit concerned about my physical endurance to get thru the 12 hour shift... tips please! 

No girl, run!  Okay, I’m biased. I started off in outpatient, where I remain. It’s been ideal for me. If you have hospital aspirations, of course you need to work in a hospital. But look at all your options before you decide.