Those who work at a hospital- med surge floor specifically


I have been working at an assisted living facility/ nursing home for about a year now, and applied to a hospital on the medical surgical floor. I have an interview soon and was trying to get some insight from those who work on that floor or at a hospital in general. Whats a typical 7-3 shift like and or a 3-11 shift like? How many patients do you usually have?

Thanks in advance for any replies! :-)


28 Posts

I work in Peds at our hospital, but frequently pick up shifts on other floors. Normally you have around 10-12 patients. The major differences that I have found between LTC and the hospital is that you do more at the hospital. For example, you do vitals, blood glucose checks, pull IV's and foleys, etc. I know it is different in every state, I'm in GA. Overall I prefer the hospital because it is constantly changing.

As far as shifts, I am pretty sure the majority of them are 12 hour shifts. There are a few part time positions that come open every once in a while that are 8 hours, but most are 12's. Good luck at your interview!!


52 Posts

With 12 hour shifts does that mean you only work 3 days a week?


366 Posts

Specializes in None.

Thank you! :-)

NICUmiiki, DNP, NP

1,774 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Has 8 years experience.
With 12 hour shifts does that mean you only work 3 days a week?

Exactly. Unless you pick up overtime.


837 Posts

I have anything from 6 (sitting in an open bay watching them all) to 15 or more. Normally 10/12.

First shift is the busiest

Second shift is still busy.

Night shift is least busy.

Specializes in Acute Rehab, IMCU, ED, med-surg. Has 10 years experience.

30-bed ICU, nurses w/2-1 patients, maybe 3 if the ICU has overflow from step down or can't transfer med-surg patients b/c those units are full.

CNAs in my unit have sections w/10-15 patients (10 on days, 15 on nights). Many times, however, if CNAs are pulled to sit in 1:1s w/ patients, the floor CNA's load can be up to 30.

Hope this helps.


125 Posts

Specializes in Surgical.

Congrats on your interview. The aides on our medsurg floor usually do 8 hour shifts while the RNs do 12s. It depends on the hospital. My schedule is as follows for 7-3:

0700- report, glucose scans, prepare surgical beds, check the transport list so I know which patients need to be cleaned first

0800-help with breakfast feeding, answer call bells, pass washcloths and help with baths

0900-make sure all patients got fed except npo, turn sedentary patients, check incontinent patients, check all drains, suctions and foleys to make sure they aren't full

1000-fill water pitchers for patients

1100-glucose scans, eat my own lunch, turn and change patients

1200-noon vital signs, early surgical admissions

1300-answer call bells, help with lunch, turn and change patients

1400-empty laundry, empty all drains, suction and foleys, restock

1500-give report and help oncoming shift

My 3-11 shift is as follows:


1600-vital signs, glucose scans

1700-help with dinner or eat own dinner, turn and change patients

1800-walk orthopedic patients

1900-check suctions etc, turn and change patients

2000-prep patients for bed

2100-call bells, glucose scans, turn and change patients

2200-restock, empty suctions etc, empty laundry

2300-report and help oncoming shift

I usually have 8-16 patients depending on the census and staffing ratios. My biggest advice is to write down a page for each nurse with their patients on it an then make notes (IE room 16 needs pain meds) that way when you see that nurse you can give her all pertinent info and not forget anything. Good luck!


382 Posts

I work 3-11:00 on a surgical floor. Mostly orthopedic patients with general surgery patients mixed in as well. I have anywhere from 4-12 patients usually. We get vitals, pass water, get report from the RN, do blood sugars right before dinner, get people up for dinner (we get almost everyone up for dinner. hardly anyone is on bedrest.), a lot of our patients need to walk multiple times so we make sure they're doing that..Get them washed up after dinner, help them back to bed..Do second sets of vitals around 20:00, more blood sugars, emptying drains, refilling ice packs, etc. and while all this is going on we're usually still getting surgicals back, or discharging people. It's busy, but you learn a lot!

My typical floor and shift is med surg trauma from 3-11 but occassionally float to other floors. Like others have said you do basically CNA care. Starting off my shift I fill up the water pitchers, clean the white boards to get organized with input and outputs, take vitals then makes rounds such as changing cleaning or anything the patients needs. take things to labs discharge clients, our ratio mostly is 30 patients and one CNA helping out but sometimes on other floors theres 2 CNAS which makes it easier. I have also worked the morning shift and its the same routine, but you need more time managment because more people are running around such as doctors PTs, RTs, social workers families, breakfast than lunch dinner trays and bathing the patients. There is a lot to do but if you have good nurses who know there basic CNA care and do not ask for much and help out than everything runs smoothly. Working in the hospital is just more fast pace and you learn a lot espcially if your going to be a nurse or are in a nursing school. There are times when I am a sitter and just have to watch the patients in the room.