What is a Medical Surgical Nurse?

If you are fascinated by medical surgeries and drawn to the caring and assisting roles of nursing, medical surgical nursing may be the perfect career for you. Medical surgical nurses are vital to the well-being of patients that are undergoing surgery and to the doctors operating on them.

What Do Medical Surgical Nurses Do?

Medical surgical nurses support surgeons, other surgical staff, patients, and patients’ loved ones throughout every stage of the surgical process. They have a lot of responsibilities. Before surgeries, they prepare the patients both physically and emotionally. They set up IVs, administer medication, and prepare the tools for the surgeons and anesthesiologists. They also provide explanations of the procedure, special instructions, and support and reassurance for the patients and their loved ones.

During surgery, medical surgical nurses continue to be in charge of monitoring and reporting vital signs while getting the right instruments and equipment to the doctors at the right time. In the event of an emergency, they join the doctors in administering life saving treatments. These nurses are every bit as vigilant and necessary in the operating room as all of the other medical professionals involved.

After surgery, the role of a medical surgical nurse continues. Medical surgical nurses help move patients from the operating room to recovery, and then to their hospital room. Every step of the way, they monitor vital signs, help administer medications and change dressings. They recap the surgery to the patient and their loved ones, serve as liaison’s between the patient and the rest of the surgical staff, and provide instructions for post-surgery care.

Where Can Medical Surgical Nurses Work?

Medical surgical nurses are obviously needed in every hospital surgical department. There are a wide variety of options within the surgical department. You can specialize in recovery or intensive care post-operation. If you enjoy high energy and intense environments, you can work in the emergency department. If you prefer a more structured atmosphere, you can work in an outpatient surgical office. Medical surgical nurses of all varieties are always needed in the military.

How do You Become a Medical Surgical Nurse?

Medical surgical nursing is a specialization. Your first step is to become a registered nurse. You will need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited program at a four-year university. You can go straight into one of these programs, or start with an associate’s degree at a community or vocational school and transfer.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

You then need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses and complete a residency. The residency is your chance to get as much exposure to the surgical environment as possible. You will need to show this initiative in order to get into a master’s degree program. Finally, you need to pass the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse Examination.

Now that you know what a medical surgical nurse is, you can determine if this nursing specialization is right for you. Medical surgical nurses help save lives and serve as the backbone of surgical procedures and patient care. There is never a dull moment of work for these nurses.