Ever wondered what it’s like to be a Med/Surg nurse?
We start our day with bedside shift report for six patients. We greet them and complete their assessments. Usually, the majority of these patients need insulin to treat their high blood sugar, which we give at breakfast along with Lactinex (a probiotic Med/Surg nurses love, it helps keep our patients’ GI tracts happy!)
Now it’s 0750. We give four patients prn pain medications. Five minutes later, two of them need nausea medicine. One of them needs help getting out of bed; another needs a quick clean up and linen change.
And now it’s 0830. We enter assessments in the computer, have conversations with family members and call physicians about critical values. We administer a long list of meds to our patients — don’t forget the flu shot!
Interdisciplinary Rounds begin at 1030. Then it’s time for more insulin, Lactinex and pain meds.
We squeeze in a lunch break, then administer all our new medication orders. Three of our patients have discharge orders. We collaborate with discharge planners, social workers, home infusion companies, families, and rehab facilities and say goodbye to our patients.
Now we have empty beds. Here comes a transfer from OBS, a transfer from CCU, and an ER patient. We settle all these patients in, complete transfer documentation, assessments, and answer the families’ questions.
Throughout of all this, we help our coworkers, clarify orders with healthcare providers, manage a Rapid Response, answer a chair alarm nearby, and squeeze in a bathroom break. We change dressings which are removed minutes later by the patient’s doctor. We re-apply dressings, more doctors remove them, we re-apply them again. We rotate IVs, complete lab draws, and remove Foleys.
We go home knowing we made a difference. And in the morning, we come back in again, maybe a little tired and achy from the previous shift, with a smile on our face and the desire to help our patients again. -Rachel Turner, MSN, RN, and Elise Morris, BSN, RN