So I was actually really excited to write this blog because SO much emotion goes into this topic! One week a year, we celebrate Med-Surg Nurses for all of their hard work, devotion, and care! ONE WEEK a year…. I know guys, I know….we should be honored everyday! For 12+ hours a day, we are taking care of people with really acute illnesses. For 12+ hours a day, we could be dealing with the worlds most difficult family member, and we just have to push through. For 12+ hours a day, we deal with chasing pain, wiping butts, discharging patients, and by the time we get one out, we come back to a little sticky note on our clipboard that has another patient’s name ALREADY assigned to you. Sound Familiar? Nothing like a new admit right after you got one out to say:
“HAPPY MED-SURG WEEK. NURSE!”
Listen….as a float nurse, I get sent to many units and places in my hospital. I can whole heartedly say that Med-Surg Floor nurses have one of the most DIFFICULT jobs in the entire hospital. It’s not the the skill and acuity that’s hard, it’s the junk that comes with it! I know many who used to do it would agree! I know nurses taking as high as 7 patients at a time, and they are responsible for admitting, discharging, turning over, charting, passing meds, and the list goes on. Whether it be 4 or 7 patients, it can be an extremely difficult task. When you throw difficult family members, pain seekers, high acuity, and hospital turnover into the mix, it can honestly drive you absolutely nuts. I have had my fair share of days that have made me want to pull my hair out. We are assigned to care for multiple patients for 12+ hours, and sometimes it DOES seem like the Force is most DEFINITELY NOT with us!
You guys can all hear my pain and frustration with this position. All of God’s nurses in this world just said A-MEN, girl-fran! We’re all a little tired of hospital business shenanigans and difficult institutionalized patients…..but there is something about this job that keeps us coming back. As a med-surg nurse of 4 years, I can name about 3 reasons why I absolutely love working med-surg nursing and why I think they are some of the strongest and most beautiful nurses in the field.
- It Teaches Us Patience We Never Knew We Had – To be a med-surg nurse, you have to have the patience of a saint! This job will test you like no other. Between difficult personalities, difficult situations, and just honestly, the craziness of patient turnover, you have to be able to regain and calm yourself throughout your shift. Things can become so intense for different reasons, and sometimes there isn’t enough help! These nurses have to be patient waiting for docs to call back, patient with the charting and tasks at hands, and patient with sometimes very difficult or very sick patients for 12 hours straight. It can be very testing, but this job will definitely shape you!
2. It Teaches and Gives You Strength – These nurses are some of the STRONGEST people I know….emotionally, mentally, and physically! This job can literally take a toll on you! We are moving patients all day long, pushing heavy equipment, comforting sick patients and families, and all while holding it together to complete their charting and prioritizing care. As a med-surg nurse, you are sometimes tempted to want to vent to your difficult patient and tell them all about the sick patient next to them who is way worse off, but you just cant. You hold it together and cater to their needs. Sometimes, that can be very difficult. Surviving a 12 hours shift can be extremely difficult, but it is also very rewarding when you get that patient that leaves a mark on your heart! You know, the ones that keep you coming back! These nurses are SO strong!
3. These Nurses Are True Warriors – In my bias opinion, I think Med-Surg floor nurses have the hardest job in the hospital. Half the battle of being a med-surg nurse is dealing with the charting and the turnover. Sometimes, the hardest part of my job isn’t my very sick patient. It tends to be more of the demands of keeping up with charting and other tasks. Sometimes we stay way past hours to catch up on charting because we chose to spend time with our patients in our day. Nothing makes me more upset when I leave work feeling like I didn’t get to really take care of my patients. These nurses get to know and love their patients for an entire shift. They talk with them and help guide their care. Sometimes, it’s a battle to choose whether to spend time with your patients or leave “on time.” I see MANY choosing the first. And that actually makes me happy. We all have families to go home to and want to just leave on time for once, but I see many staying for the patients…..Because guys, that’s why we came into this profession….because we LOVE and CARE!
So to all of my Fellow Med-Surg Nurses, Hear me Loud and clear when I say I LOVE YOU, and THANK YOU! I know how hard you work. I know “that” feeling when the admissions and discharges never end. I know the feeling when “that” patient keeps calling, and you can’t not answer. I also know “that” feeling, when you leave after a long day of intense care and you get a hug and genuine thank you from a patient. I know that feeling and I LOVE IT! So Cheers to the toughest/best job ever!!! Happy Med-Surg Nurses Week to all “My Peeps” out there!!!
Your Heart Is Mine,