Why Med/Surg Nurses are Heroes of the Hospital
Med/Surg nurses are sometimes overlooked. Some people say Med/Surg isn’t a specialty! While, it may not have the speed or excitement of ER or OR nursing, but in many ways, Med/Surg nurses are the backbone of their hospitals. We’ve gathered the wisdom of some experienced Med/Surg nurses to tell you why to choose med surg nursing.
They experience a wide variety of patients.
Med/Surg nurses see every type of patient. Over the course of their careers, Med/Surg nurses will see it all. Veteran Med/Surg nurse Catherine says, “Patients come [to our unit] from ICU, OR, ER, even from other hospitals to get the best care available!”
This variety keeps nurses on their toes and keeps their job fresh and exciting. It is invaluable. Med/Surg nurse Paula says, “I love being a Med/Surg nurse because of the diversity of patient care. You never get bored doing the same thing over and over again. Each patient presents with various care needs requiring nurses to expand their knowledge base throughout their career as a nurse.”
They are constantly learning.
Though nursing school gives you a great foundation, many nurses consider Med/Surg nursing to be just as crucial.
As one nurse puts it, “I loved Med/Surg because of all the things I learned to do like inserting NG tubes, doing Continuous Abdominal Peritoneal Dialysis, epidural pain control, dressing changes, starting ivs, caths . . . I can honestly say that I still remember to this day how to do all of those. . . . Your Med/Surg skills will always come in handy.”
Constantly learning doesn’t just improve tactical skills. It also helps increase job satisfaction and prevent burnout. One veteran nurse who’s been in Med/Surg for 30 years says, “You’ll get the best experience and all the experience you could ever want on Med/Surg. I think every graduate should work Med/Surg for at least a year.”
They are natural nurse leaders.
Because they are constantly learning, Med/Surg nurses also make skillful nurse leaders.
Clinical educator and Med/Surg nurse Susan says: “The experience on the Med/Surg unit gave me the new respect for the specialty of working on the floor. . . I felt the call to teach. As the first clinical educator in the hospital in 2003, I gained a new respect for my bedside colleagues. Working closely then and now with an amazing team of nurses, I bring new evidence-based knowledge to the bedside and the classroom for the team of Med/Surg nurses. It is like I am one of them, a team member, and colleague. Med/Surg is definitely a specialty and I’m proud to be a Med/Surg nurse.”
They are masters of patient education.
Med Surg nursing is the natural patient educator because of their broad knowledge and expansive understanding of patients in a wide variety of conditions.
Chidimma, BSN, finds that patient education gives her work as a Med/Surg nurse a deeper sense of meaning, “I love patient education and the understanding that dawns when something is explained and the patient gets it, it always brightens my day and keeps me coming back shift after shift.”
They make great travel nurses.
This specialty builds a wealth of information, a variety of experiences, and vast knowledge for all kinds of patients. Med/Surg nursing is well-suited for travel nursing.
Nurse Paula captures this well: “Med/Surg nurses can work in any healthcare environment and take care of any patient populations. Med/Surg nurses can go anywhere life takes them.”
Med/Surg travel nurse Michelle McAfee says, “My specialty at my home hospital is outpatient surgery in a GI lab, but I travel as a Med/Surg nurse. There’s such a need for good Med/Surg nurses. I love it — you can see a wider variety of patients and conditions than when you have a narrower focus. Working as a Med/Surg nurse has made travel nursing even more interesting.”
Looking for more on Med/Surg nursing? Check out all our Med/Surg articles.