101 Careers in Nursing

By Jeanne M. Novotny; Doris T. Lippman et al. | Go to book overview
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Medical-Surgical Nurse
1. Basic description—Medical-surgical nurses are Registered nurses (RNs) who specialize in the care of patients admitted with nonsurgical (medical) and surgical conditions. These nurses work to promote health, prevent disease, and help patients cope with illness. They are advocates and health educators for patients, families, and communities. The medical-surgical nurse has an incredibly complex job. The entry-level medical-surgical nurse makes nursing judgments based on scientific knowledge and relies on procedures and standardized care plans. Nursing care is directed toward alleviating physical and psychosocial health problems. Advancing to an intermediate level, the medical-surgical nurse with experience becomes more skilled in developing individual and innovative care plans to meet client needs. With a broader base of experience, a more advanced clinician cares for clients with complex and unpredictable problems. The most common place of employment is the hospital.
2. Educational requirements—RN preparation; often requires MSN preparation. Certification is available through ANCC.
3. Core competencies/skills needed:
Excellent observation and assessment skills
Skill in recording symptoms, reactions, and progress
Skill in administering medical treatments and examinations
Knowledge of convalescence and rehabilitation requirements for patients
Skill in developing, planning, implementing, evaluating, documenting, and managing nursing care
Patient and family education
Ability to help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health
4. Compensation—Varies with place of employment and geographic location.
5. Employment outlook—High
6. Related Web sites and professional organizations:
Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses: http ://amsn. inurse .com/
American Nurses Credentialing Exam: www.nursingworld.org/ancc/

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