We’ve all heard it: “Go to a Med-Surg floor and get your skills before transferring anywhere else,” or “Med-Surg is a great starting point.” With the evolution of medicine and patients being more chronically ill than ever, Med-Surg nurses are caring for 4-6 “sick” patients at a time depending on the hospital and unit. Considering many of these patients were ICU status less than 30 years ago, it takes exceptional skill to expertly organize and prioritize the care of Med-Surg patients. Therefore, as the nursing profession is trending toward specialization, so is Med-Surg nursing.

I recently made a post on my Instagram account about this and received almost 200 comments from Med-Surg nurses everywhere telling me why they loved their jobs and why their skills were different from other specialties. Med-Surg nurses can receive different types of certifications including the most common CMSRN (Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse). Many hold other certifications in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), Chemotherapy certification, and more related to their specific specialty.

As many of you know, I am an ICU nurse and it is my calling and passion. I frequently hear people telling me they want to work in the ICU, but for all of the wrong reasons. Yes, ICU nursing is challenging, but every area of the hospital is challenging in a different way. I have floated to Med-Surg floors to help the nurses and I literally bow down to them, I don’t know how they do it. Some of them probably feel the same way about my job, but my hat is off to them. I am not trying to one-up any specialty, but I do not feel that Med-Surg nurses get the credit they deserve at times. So, you guys rock!

From my perspective, Med-Surg nurses get a wide variety of patients, develop countless nursing skills that may not be obtained on other units, learn about many different medications, and are experts in time management and efficiency. If you are a Med-Surg nurse reading this post, please comment on why you love your job, your unique skills/certifications, and how your job is “specialized.” I think everyone needs to be educated regarding what you do on a daily basis.

Thank you for being such imperative aspects of nursing care.


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