dcsimg

Career Story: Registered Nurse In Surgery Department Of A Hospital

Registered Nurse In Surgery Department Of A Hospital

Job Title: Registered Nurse

Education: Fresno City College •• B.S.N in Nursing, California State University in Fresno

Previous Experience: I worked 15 years as a pattern maker for metals manufacturer, doing industrial engineering work. I wanted something different (better working conditions - air conditioning, more money, etc...)

I did a work-study program before graduating through a program open to outstanding college nursing students who have completed their junior year. I developed competency in clinical nursing by working at a health care facility.

Job Tasks: I work in a hospital setting. It is indoors in a clean and air conditioned environment. We have eight hour shift rotations with a half hour for lunch.

I am on my feet most of the day. My job requires patient care in the medical surgery division. I am the charge nurse.

As most nurses do, I provide patient care that maximizes self-care and independent functioning, facilitate positive adaptation to changes in health status, promote health or slows health deterioration, and support death with dignity and comfort. Nurses are highly valued members of the health care team.

I work with doctors in the treatment of patients in my division. I am responsible for the assessment of patients (noting vitals and reporting any changes), carefully administering medications (I always triple check), patient teaching such as answering questions the patient and/or family may have about the condition (disease process, how to self care, etc).

I am responsible for up to nine patients during a shift. I am required to catch any errors and report any potential problems.

We are a teaching hospital, therefore at times I will have a student nurse to teach and "help me" but ultimately the patient is my responsibility and we are working under my registered nurse license.

There is no traveling required with my job. I work weekends and holidays. I self-schedule. I get 26 paid vacation days, 13 paid sick days, federal holiday pay, night and weekend pay differential, retirement and health benefits. Overall an excellent compensation package deal.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: My days vary, with different patients to take care of and need to deal with thier families as well. I'm on my feet and always have something to do (paperwork, attend to patients, keep up with new medications). The day shift is very busy, evening is a bit more relaxed as the patients go to sleep, while night shift is mostly all paperwork and in the early morning it picks up as they awake. Nurses need to be organized, and able to think. The pay is good and benefits are great.

Job Tips:
1. Knowing and understanding your pathophysiology is very helpful.

2. Do not be afraid to ask any questions if you do not know.

3. Be prepared to accept constructive critism it is only to help you ultimately become more independent.

4. It is important to be organized.

5. Don't gossip - it is very annoying.

Additional Thoughts: Great job, as flexible as you need, clean environment, and you can work independently in a part of the health system.

Popular Schools offering Rn Registered Nursing Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

  • Programs: MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Degrees: Master
UEI College
Chula Vista

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

  • Programs: Nursing , Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Associate, Diploma

Wilkes University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited online degrees and certificate programs ideal for working health care professionals, instructed by experienced, respected faculty dedicated to mentoring and personalized support for every student.

  • Programs: M.S. with Major in Nursing - Nursing Informatics, RN to BS, RN to MS - Nursing Informatics, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor, Doctorate

Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Nursing Online
  • Degrees: Master
Brightwood College
Sacramento, San Diego, Vista

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Nursing , Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Associate, Diploma

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Doctor of Education - Nursing Education
  • Degrees: Doctorate
Unitek College
Concord, Fremont, Hayward, Sacramento, San Jose, South San Francisco

Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career. 

  • Programs: Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Certificate
National Career College
Panorama City

Choosing a school and a new career path can be a very overwhelming process.

  • Programs: Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • Degrees: Certificate

Get the hands-on training you need to succeed at Blake Austin College.

  • Programs: Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Certificate

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: MSN Nursing Administration & Leadership (Master of Science) - Online
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Registered Nurses

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Registered Nurses, including: