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Telemetry versus Med/Surg floor for beginners?

Posted

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

I am a nursing student with one year left to go. I just wanted to get opinions on what floor would provide more valuable experience for a student to get experience and their foot in the door. I'm trying to make a decision about a job this summer. Thanks.

beckylpn1

Specializes in Oncology/Med-Surg. Has 10 years experience.

I currently work on an Oncology/Med-Surg floor and we get alot of pts with telemetry monitors. Even though across the hall is the Telemetry floor, we still on occasions get tele pts. I love the Med surg aspect, and the oncology part has been a good experience. The one thing that I can count on is not knowing what is wrong with my pts from shift to shift. Love it!!!!!

Patchouli

Specializes in Tele/PCU/ICU/Stepdown/HH Case Management. Has 12 years experience.

i have the same dilemma. i know that med/surg offers great skills in time management, etc. i have an interest in acute care though, and my thinking has been that tele kind of offers both time management and acute care. it seems that tele will put me closer to my goal.

CABG patch kid, BSN, RN

Specializes in Telemetry, CCU.

IMHO, a tele floor is very similar to a med/surg floor in the sense that you will use the same time management and organizational skills needed to balance your patient load. The main difference is that you may see more of a variety in the pt population in med/surg, but I still had quite the variety in tele.

For example, I had pts with chest pain rule-out MI, post PTCA, post heart surgery, CHF exacerbation, COPD exacerbation, pneumonia, lung ca, pulmonary HTN, renal failure (acute and chronic), liver failure, anyone with cardiac history who needs tele monitoring, even the electrolyte imbalance or new diabetic. Point is, you will see quite the variety! The bonus to working a tele floor is that you will learn your rhythms, which will give you quite a foot forward if you ever decide to specialize further. Good luck in whatever you choose!

CABG patch kid, BSN, RN

Specializes in Telemetry, CCU.

i have the same dilemma. i know that med/surg offers great skills in time management, etc. i have an interest in acute care though, and my thinking has been that tele kind of offers both time management and acute care. it seems that tele will put me closer to my goal.

sorry to be the fly in honey here, but if you are working on a med/surg floor in a hospital, it is acute care. the patients will be pretty sick. now if you were meaning critical care, then you will find those people in the icu!

gambutrol

Specializes in SICU, Burn Unit, PACU, CCU.

Better choose med/surg floor as a training ground.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

I have found there to be not a lot of difference between the two.

Many telemetry patients are med-surg patients on a heart monitor.

They often have the same list of chronic illnesses, but they have been admitted for a cardiac cause.

You will still need to manage their diabetes, CHF, COPD and bipolar issues.

I am on a tele floor and 99% of our patients are medical cases. Loads of time management skills obtained and valuable tele knowledge gained.

vashtee, RN

Specializes in DOU.

I would do the telemetry floor. I agree that it is a lot like med-surg plus a heart monitor. Not only might you get a head start on heart rhythms, you will also learn a lot about BP medications. Also, our tele floor seems to get a lot of codes.

Personally, I chose tele (I am in my second year of nursing). Lots of medical cases and even some surgical, along with valuable tele experience gained (I plan to go on to ICU one day).

LPN_2005/RN_10

Specializes in Cardiac Care, Palliative Care. Has 5 years experience.

I started out and currently work on a tele unit. You will get both telemetry and med-surg experience! Also it will impress future employers when you have telemetry experience!

ijuanabhappy, ASN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

Thanks for your replies. The only drawback to the telemetry option is that it is a smaller hospital and in this position I would not get to perform/practice nursing skills.... only patient tech skills. Not to downplay tech skills, they are important but I am so nervous about clinicals and checkoffs come August that I was really wanted the practice. Maybe I am looking into this too much? Some people say the skills will come in time. The med/surg is in a large teaching hospital with lots of internships. decisions, decisions. :)

Tait, MSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 14 years experience.

I have always worked on Telemetry Med/Surg floors. I guess I don't really see the distinction.

Tait

Patchouli

Specializes in Tele/PCU/ICU/Stepdown/HH Case Management. Has 12 years experience.

exactly! i am interested in maybe going to icu someday, but i would love to learn the rhythms and meds for tele because i believe the things i will learn will put me closer to my goal sooner. i think either floor will be a challenge, but the kowledge obtained on tele will probably make life in the icu easier. not only that, but if i'm going to get pulled from the icu then i am going to need experience on a floor.

NewRN2008, ASN, RN

Specializes in Ortho; Gyn; Urology; HBOT; Emergent. Has 8 years experience.

My vote is for med/surg. i work on a med/surg, we get overflow of medical and we get ppl on tele. its not overflow of tele that i dont know wth is going on and its not overload of tele to worry about missing something. its not, i will repeat, NOT my strong point, and it gives me the chance to research and clearly understand about my pt's issues.

-H-RN

pinkiepie_RN

Specializes in General adult inpatient psychiatry.

Thanks for your replies. The only drawback to the telemetry option is that it is a smaller hospital and in this position I would not get to perform/practice nursing skills.... only patient tech skills. Not to downplay tech skills, they are important but I am so nervous about clinicals and checkoffs come August that I was really wanted the practice. Maybe I am looking into this too much? Some people say the skills will come in time. The med/surg is in a large teaching hospital with lots of internships. decisions, decisions. :)

I'd go for the teaching hospital, emphasis being on the teaching. The nurses will probably pull you in to see cool skills/procedures. Take what opportunities you can. I didn't perform a single skill during clinicals in my last semester other than vitals (I had leadership/management with a NM and community at a jail), and will come out alright with my skills because I worked as a tech during the semester. If there's no tech, the nurse does VS, linen changes, etc.

What skills are you particularly anxious about? Can you get into the skills lab to practice or practice at home with supplies? Some people I know went through all of NS without working in a hospital and they did just fine. I also went to a school where they told us "You won't get to practice alot of skills in your clinicals. Focus on theory and you'll get to the skills."

Just some food for thought. Good luck with your decision.

Hi,

Just to throw in my 5 cents. There's not a lot of difference between telemetry and med/surg, at least in the acute care hospital I worked for. Telemetry in fact is also med/surg with the addition of mostly heart patients (CHF, CADs, post open hearts[2nd, 3rd, 4th day post], pre, post interventional procedures [PTCAs, cardiac caths, pacemakers/AICDs, to name a few]). Of course, patients are all on cardiac monitors. So, in case you choose telemetry, you have to brush up on your EKG skills; care of patients with CHF, CADs, pre and post interventional cardiology, pre open heart, post open heart (not fresh open heart), patients with pacemakers/AICDs, and the like.

In the end, I will say go where your heart is, you're the only one who will know and feel it ;). Good luck.

ijuanabhappy, ASN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

Thanks everyone. I have made the decision to go with the nurse extern position at the teaching hospital in med/surg as opposed to the patient tech position in telemetry. I just feel it will be a good learning experience for me even though the hospital is farther away. Hopefully I made the right decision! :)

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