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Career Story: Registered Nurse In A Medical Surgical Ward

Registered Nurse In A Medical Surgical Ward

Job Title: RN Med Surg Float Pool

Type of Company: I work for a non-profit hospital in Massachusetts.

Education: BSN, Nursing, Fitchburg State College

Previous Experience: I started working on a medical surgical floor fifteen years ago and I am still in the same hospital.

Job Tasks: I am a registered nurse in a 220 bed non-profit hospital. I work the Baylor shift (7PM-7AM) every Saturday and Sunday night. I work twenty-four hours and get paid for thirty-six. I float to different departments within the hospital depending on need.

Charge nurse duties are also part of this job at times. I start my shift with introducing myself to the patient. I do a complete assessment of the patient, give them any prescribed medications they may need, transcribe doctors orders. If I am on a cardiac floor, we monitor their cardiac rhythm.

Throughout the shift we also care for the patient's hygiene. We perform any basic care such as bathing the patient, mouth care, etc. A lot of times patients will need new IV lines started in order to have IV fluids or medications given through them. We often talk to doctors to report patients' lab values that may be off.

Sometimes the patients have to be transported off the floor for a certain test or procedure. We on the night shift have to take them ourselves since there's no transport available on the night shift.

Another very important role nurses have is explaining things to patients. A lot of these patients have a new diagnosis, and need to be informed about them in order to help care for themselves at home.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is being able to interact with the patients and their families. Teaching is also an important factor and one of the best parts.

One of the worst parts about the job is having to work short-staffed at times, as it increases your work load.

Job Tips: You have to love nursing to be a nurse. Don't just do it because the money may be good, or that there is job security, you truly need to love what you do.

Always be willing to help out and observe other more experienced nurses when you start. You will learn a lot from them. Hands-on will give you more than any book.

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