Medical/Surgical

RNs, LPNs & CNAs Find Nursing Jobs Working in Med-Surg

Med-Surg Nursing is Fast-Paced, Challenging & Rewarding

Medical-surgical nursing, med-Surg or MS, is by far the largest nursing specialty in the nation. When someone is admitted to a hospital on a general floor, that is usually a med-surg unit.

Many nurses and assistants enjoy fast-paced careers that help keep them on their toes, and provide a varied set of patients to care for. Med-surg does just that. All the different types of general medical problems that people could be hospitalized for usually admit to the med-surg units of healthcare facilities.

Some nurses view med-surg as a place to get their feet wet and hone their skills and other nurses call med-surg their lifelong career home. Kathy Lattavo, MSN, CMSRN, is a med-surg nurse with more than four decades of experience under her belt. This is what she had to say about med-surg nursing to the past president of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN):

“I like med-surg because there’s a wide variety of patients with complex disease processes. I think you have to use very good clinical decision-making skills to figure out what’s going on with your patients because of that variety.”

What is Med-Surg Nursing?

Med-surg nurses and assistants are responsible for taking care of acutely-ill adult patients that might be recovering from surgery or could have a wide variety of medical problems and diseases. Med-surg nurses provide care for patients before and after surgeries and medical procedures. Besides hospitals, you can also find med-surg units in other healthcare facilities, such as outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, and specialty surgery centers.

What are the responsibilities of med-surg part-time and per diem nurses? Medical-surgical registered nurses are responsible for taking daily assessments, post-surgical assessments, and caring for patients’ wounds. In addition to providing basic care to patients, med-surg nurses also continuously monitor and assess patients’ needs and health status and evaluate whether patient treatments (medications and other routine aspects of care) are effective based on the health outcomes of the patients.

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RNs, LPNs, & CNAs Working Med-Surg Jobs are Multi-Talented

Multi-taskers will find themselves at home working on med-surg floors. Med-surg nurses must be able to wear “different hats” in order to coordinate patient care and advocate for safety and the best care standards. Local travel, part-time, and PRN med-surg nurses typically have higher patient ratios than some of the other nursing specialties – such as intensive care.

Therefore, RNs, LPNs, and CNAs who work on med-surg floors must be able to provide care for a handful of patients at the same time. At any given moment, a med-surg nurse might be:

  • Providing patient education
  • Administering medications
  • Admitting new patients
  • Discharging other patients
  • Communicating progress with the entire care team
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