Surgical vs Medical

  1. Hello,
    I am in my fourth year of nursing, and must choose what area I would like for my final focus. I would like to someday work in the emergency department as I enjoy faced paced environment. Would surgical or medical be a better choice? Where would I learn more and benefit me in the long run?
    Thanks for all your help!
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    About mid-winter

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 1


  3. by   silentdivide
    I would suggest Medical for sure. You can't go wrong with either, but keep in mind that the majority of patients coming in through ER have not just undergone surgery. The culture and knowledge expectations of a surgical floor is usually tailored to the particular surgery they deal with (i.e. ortho, cardiac), whereas medical has a much wider exposure. You'll see everything in ER.

    My experience: I've done both surgery and medical and am casual in ER right now.
  4. by   Fiona59
    Part of it really depends on how large your class is and how many hospitals are located in your area. We were asked about where we'd like our final placement and and very few got what they wanted. I asked for surgery or women's health and wound up in LTC!

    There are always lots of spots for Ortho in my area, having said that with the "no empty bed" policy in my health region every "specialty" unit winds up with surgical overflow. Ortho has wound up with urology patients and Opthamology has wound up with general surgery appi's, choli's and breast surgeries because those units were full.

    Also, bear in mind how many preceptors are willing to take students in any one facility. I know three very good preceptors that are refusing to accept a student this semester because they've had back to back students for the last two years.
    Last edit by Fiona59 on Oct 7, '12 : Reason: I can't spell
  5. by   joanna73
    If your goal is to work Emerg, why not ask if you can do your placement there? You may not get it, but you never know. I knew of 4 students who completed placements in Emerg when we were in 4th year. I went to the OR, which I loved.
  6. by   SaoirseRN
    If you can't get an emerg placement, do surgical. In my experience, surgical wards generally end up with some medical patients anyway, and it's never a bad thing to have some surgical experience.