With nearly two million Med/Surg (Medical Surgical) nurses currently employed in the United States, this specialty consistently stands out as the most popular choice among healthcare professionals! Its unique challenges, variety of tasks, and incredible opportunities for growth have made Med/Surg a favorite choice among both new and seasoned nurses looking for a fulfilling and rewarding career. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of what Medical Surgical nursing involves and provide valuable tips for success in this field.
Med/Surg, short for Medical Surgical nursing, is a diverse and dynamic specialty of acute care that forms the backbone of our healthcare system. Med/Surg nurses are RNs (Registered Nurses) who care for diverse adult patient populations and treat a wide range of medical conditions. Often, Med/Surg nurses perform a variety of pre- and post-surgical tasks to support patients who are ill or injured. They may administer IVs, dress wounds, prepare patients for procedures, and attend to patients’ needs during a hospital stay. They also communicate with patients’ family members during times of injury, illness, or surgery, providing education and reassurance during often stressful times. However, unlike ICU nursing, most patients in need of Med/Surg care are not in critical condition.
This specialty is often considered a stepping stone for many nurses because it provides a solid foundation in nursing skills. Unlike specialties like labor and delivery or oncology, Med/Surg nurses must be prepared for any number of medical conditions. Due to the variety of tasks involved and diverse patient population, this specialty is also ideal for new nurses looking to gain experience and skills in an acute setting. Medical Surgical nurses must possess comprehensive clinical knowledge encompassing all bodily systems, diseases, and conditions in order to deliver high-quality care.
While Med/Surg patients may not require constant supervision, nurses are still responsible for performing an assortment of important tasks. Med/Surg nurses have a multitude of responsibilities that require exceptional critical thinking, time management, relational and organizational skills. Some common tasks include:
Med/Surg nurses generally provide care for patients aged 18-108, and the medical conditions they encounter are just as broad. Common illnesses a Med/Surg nurse may treat include:
Med/Surg RNs mainly work in acute care hospitals, though they make excellent clinicians in ambulatory settings, long-term care facilities, and home health as well. Hospital Medical Surgical units are generally fast-paced and collaborative environments. Med/Surg nurses are a crucial part of the multidisciplinary team, along with physicians, surgeons, physical and occupational therapists, dieticians, palliative and hospice nurses, social workers, and case managers.
New nurses who start in Med/Surg find that the variety of cases they treat prepares them well for work in other specialties. The fast-paced environment of Medical Surgical units prepares nurses to handle anything! Over time, med/surg nurses establish impeccable time management systems, learn to navigate challenges effectively, and establish an extraordinarily well-rounded foundation of disease and disorder knowledge. Med/Surg nursing also allows you to learn what you like and don’t like as a nurse while honing your assessment and hands-on skills. On the other hand, some nurses simply love Med/Surg for what it is: busy, rewarding, and never boring!
The average salary of a Med/Surg nurse is around $100,000, which varies depending on years of experience. Nurses just starting in this specialty can expect to make around $85,000. Your location, years of experience, certifications, and education all affect your earning potential.
Travel Med/Surg nurses make even more! Medical Surgical RNs who travel with Advantis Medical earn, on average, 30% more than their permanent counterparts. This compensation is paid out weekly and includes tax-free housing and per diem stipends. Plus, Advantis Medical travel Med/Surg nurses enjoy a full suite of medical and 401(K) benefits available starting day one!
Now that we've covered the basics, here are some valuable tips for succeeding as a travel MedSurg nurse:
Nurses who wish to demonstrate their commitment to the specialty of Medical-Surgical nursing can obtain the following certifications:
Both organizations require that nurses possess an active RN license, with at least two years of full-time nursing practice and at least 2,000 hours of clinical hours to qualify. Hours must be completed within a three-year period in a medical-surgical setting.
While MedSurg nursing primarily focuses on general medical and surgical patients, MedSurg/Tele nursing combines elements of both Medical Surgical and Telemetry nursing. Telemetry nurses specialize in monitoring patients with cardiac conditions
In a MedSurg/Tele setting, nurses must be adept at caring for patients with medical and surgical needs while also providing continuous cardiac monitoring. This requires a more refined cardiac skill set and the ability to interpret and respond to changes in heart rhythms.
There has never been a better time to capitalize on the high demand and competitive pay of MedSurg nursing. On average, travel MedSurg nurses earn 30% more than their permanent counterparts while enjoying competitive benefits, flexible scheduling options, and the opportunity to work for world-renowned facilities anywhere in the country. Med/Surg nurses are always needed in all 50 states, and you can earn a premium by traveling anywhere from an hour to a state away!
At Advantis Medical, we place MedSurg nurses on coveted travel assignments daily. Our nurses enjoy concierge support, competitive pay, weekly direct deposit, housing reimbursement and travel planning assistance.
Ready to embark on your Med/Surg nursing journey? You can browse exclusive, high-paying travel job openings from the #1 rated travel nurse agency today! Choose to work with one of our dedicated Pro Recruiters to receive white-glove service or express your interest in specific jobs directly on our individual job pages. Start your next adventure today by searching for exclusive Med/Surg travel nursing jobs with Advantis Medical!