Medical surgical nursing or med surg nursing is one of the most common nursing specialties out there, but many people do not understand what it is.
This type of nursing focuses on caring for patients before and after a surgical procedure. Med surg nurses are often the last person the patient sees before heading to the operating room and the first person they see when they get back to the floor. It’s a complicated area that requires a vast range of knowledge and the desire to help and support patients when they’re dealing with fear, pain, and uncertainty.
What is Med Surg Nursing?
Med surg nurses care for patients before and after any medical surgical procedure. In addition to prepping patients for procedures and answering any questions they might have, a med surg nurse must also consider how the patient’s underlying health issues will affect their recovery from any medical surgical procedure.
Med Surg Nursing Job Description
Medical surgical nursing job description and duties vary significantly depending on the type of facility they work in and the procedures that their patients are having.
Generally, though, in this role, a medical surgical nurse provides direct patient care at the bedside both pre and post-surgery. Nurses in the med surg nursing field must be able to keep up with a fast-paced environment and have a wide understanding of various health conditions as many patients have comorbidities.
Role And Responsibilities Of A Medical Surgical Nurse
The role of a medical surgical nurse changes slightly depending on the patient population they work with and the type of surgery the patient is having or recovering from, but some medical surgical nursing job duties are the same across the board. They include:
- Assessing, planning, and implementing patient care plans in consultation with other members of the healthcare team
- Evaluating medical information
- Providing direct bedside care to patients both before and after surgery
- Inserting catheters, starting IVs, and monitoring patient vital signs
- Preparing and administering appropriate medications as ordered
- Educating patients about surgical procedures
- Assessing patients for post-op complications
- Maintaining and updating patient charts
- Adhering to best nursing practices, standards, and protocols
Medical Surgical Nurse Education Requirements
Specific requirements for med surg nurses vary by facility and state, but the general education, licensure and medical surgical nurse certification requirements are as follows:
- Graduate of a diploma program
- State board certified nursing license
- Bachelor’s degree in nursing or BSN preferred
- Master’s degree in nursing or MSN highly preferred
- At least two years of experience working as a medical surgical nurse in a similar facility
- Competency in electronic patient management systems such as e-MDs Chart and Mediexcel
- In-depth knowledge of best practices in medical surgical nursing
- Ability to rotate both night and day shifts, public holidays and weekends
Medical Surgical Nurse Salary
Salaries depend on where the nurse works, how much experience they have, and their level of education. Advanced certifications are available in this field, like a Certiﬁed Medical Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN), which generally results in an increased salary.
A certified medical surgical nurse salary is, on average, about $62,500. Newer nurses with less experience should expect to start at around $37,000 per year while those with master’s degrees, certifications, and a lot of experience can make as much as $92,000.
Now that you have a better understanding of the medical surgical nursing job description, you can see why so many people feel that medical surgical nurse jobs are so rewarding and why it’s one of the most popular specialties in the field.
Join the medical surgical nursing team at Sunbelt for a rewarding career where you feel valued and supported in a location you love. We also place candidates in a wide range of specialties, including the ER Nursing and Oncology Nursing fields.
Ready to search for your next job? Search Medical Surgical Nursing Jobs.