How to Become a Medical Surgical Nurse

A Medical- Surgical Nurse is someone who assists surgeons during operations as well as before and after surgery. This type of nursing became a high demand career after 2003, when a law was passed restricted surgeons weekly hours.

It is important to know that this type of nursing does not only consist of helping the surgeons during operations. Other duties of the Medical- Surgical Nurse include preparing the operating room for procedures, handling patient charts and medical history. It is also necessary to be knowledgeable with the patient’s type of operation and be available to answer any questions they or family may have. Med-Surg Nurses are responsible for updating vital signs at doctors requested intervals as well as patient care before and after an operation. Constant contact with surgical staff and doctors is important for patient well-being.

Like many nursing specialty fields the first step to becoming a Medical- Surgical Nurse is to obtain your degree to become a Registered Nurse. After this you can then take additional coursework followed then by clinical coursework, this will vary by state and institution.  The clinical part of this field will take place in a hospital where you will be under the close supervision of other trained nurses. In the clinical work you will learn surgical techniques and become familiar with the processes of operative procedures.

While a nurse does not have to be certified to work as a Medical-Surgical Nurse, it definitely helps your resume for employers to see that you are certified in this specialty. There are two different types of certifications that a nurse can take to be better qualified for this field of nursing. One is the Certified Medical- Surgical Registered Nurse certificate and also the Registered Nurse- Board Certified certificate. In order to obtain a certificate from either one of these places a nurse must have at least 2 years in Medical- Surgical experience as a Registered Nurse and also have at least 2,000 hours of practice in the same surgical setting. The Registered Nurse- Board Certified certificate also requires that you have has at least 30 hours of continuing education classes in the previous three years. It is also important to look into what your state may require for this career. Certifications and continuing education classes may differ from state to state.

If this sounds like the career choice for you it will be more then rewarding. Statistics for this career have shown that the request for this type of nurse is due to increase 22% within the next several years. Hospitals with a high volume of patient surgeries and procedures are typically in demand of a Medical-Surgical Nurse as laws have restricted doctors on the hours they can work, making the Medical- Surgical Nurse a necessity.

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