Post-it post 9/26/21-Med-surg training as a new nurse

The post-it reads ‘Med-surg training has fallen on the way side to the detriment of new nurses.

When I fought tooth and nail to become an OR nurse, over the objections of my teachers, I first had to do some time on the medical surgical floor.

This taught me many things.

How to keep a clean room.

How to keep a clean patient.

How to take orders off.

How to stand up to a doctor when they would not call back and the patient was writhing in pain.

Or the flap that the nurses were supposed to be assessing for blood flow turned darker and darker and the MD would not call us back.

How to approach a doctor when the patient needed something.

This was over 20 years ago.

I did my time on med-surg and I learned a lot.

I have noticed there is a trend these past few years.

There is no time spent on the med-surg floor.

There is no time learning how to be a nurse.

Besides nursing school, which does not teach you how to be a nurse.

It just shows you how to keep a patient alive.

6 hours twice a week, during the school year, is not enough.

Now nurses go straight into specialty roles; be it OR, or OB, or ED, or special care nursery.

And they have to be taught on the specialty floor all the skills they should have learned on a med-surg floor.

In addition to the specialty floor details and skills.

I do not think that is a good thing.

And it is setting the new nurses up to feel worthless.

Or to feel like they know it all and the senior nurses know nothing.

I am not sure what is worse.

I am sure that there are studies that say it is a good thing to go straight into specialty.

But I could see the pendulum swinging back the other way.

Did I like being a med-surg nurse?


Did I learn very valuable skills?


Do I still use those skills today?

Double yes.

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