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So what is medical/surgical anyway?


What kinds of problems do patients who are on these floors have?



Specializes in Med-Surg, Long Term Care.

On our 65 bed unit, we have pretty much any problem you can think of and we have patients from 2 years old to 100 years old. We get all kinds of surgery patients (most orthopedic and neuro patients go to our "sister unit", but we still get them if the other unit's full. They have CVA patients along with hip and other fractures, total hip and knee replacements just to name a few). The unit I work on has a cancer emphasis, so we get patients who need to receive chemotherapy, radiation, and those who have to be hospitalized because of the effects of chemo and rad. (dehydration from vomiting and/or diarrhea, neutropenia, to name a few). We get a lot of people with GI bleed who are given a lot of tests (including colonoscopies) and may need to receive blood transfusions, and we give a lot of different blood products in my unit for the cancer patients.

Some other common diagnoses are: exacerbation of COPD, pneumonia, kidney stones, change in mental status, sepsis, cellulitis, DVT's, bowel obstructions, diverticulitis, abdominal pain (often pancreatitis), anemia, ESRD (end-stage renal disease-- people needing hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis) and lately, a lot of meningitis. The most common surgeries are appendectomy, lap. chole, hernia repair, gastroplasty, bowel resection, hysterectomy, prostatectomy, and breast lumpectomy. We see a lot of patients with the following types of cancer: breast, lung, prostate, and colon.

Many patients have medical histories that also must be cared for even if they are admitted for a hernia repair. Many are Type I diabetics, have extensive cardiac histories, have psychological histories and/or dementia, respiratory problems (asthma, COPD, CHF) that also must be managed during their stays.

For more information about Med-Surg, the Medical Surgical Nursing BB here at allnurses has many topics that may tell you more. Click below to find it:


Our med/surg floor was mostly postop patients - total knees, hips, back surgery, colon resections. Most of our care was focused on pain management, dressing changes, monitoring I&Os, etc. Seemed like there was a run on orthopedic surgeries when I did it last semester. A lot of people schedule their elective surgeries until after the holidays too.

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