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Thread: step-down unit or med-surg floor?

  1. #1
    Junior Member JSwan's Avatar
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    Question step-down unit or med-surg floor?

    I will be graduating from nursing school in August and would like to get a year of experience in an acute care setting before getting into travel nursing. A nurse friend, who works at the hospital where I want to start out, recommended looking into several floors (a cardiac step-down unit, neuro step-down unit, and a post-surgical floor) for the quality of their management and level of nurse satisfaction. Of those, is there one unit or floor that would give me more advantages when looking for travel nursing jobs? I know I should get med-surg experience, and it sounds like any of those floors would offer that. But are there more opportunities for nurses with, say, cardiac monitoring or post-surgical experience?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: step-down unit or med-surg floor?

    I work on a step unit in a level 1 trauma center. Overall, I have to say that this will prepare you for what ever you may encounter. I worked on this floor for 3 years as an LVN before I got my RN, and I have been there for 3 years now as an RN. What you need to be effect in this kind of unit is an ability to prioritize, delegate, and not be afraid to ask for help. In our facility, the MDs prefer to have their patients on our floor because they know their patients will get the close monitoring they need to prevent them from coding.

  3. #3
    justatraveler
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    Re: step-down unit or med-surg floor?

    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    I will be graduating from nursing school in August and would like to get a year of experience in an acute care setting before getting into travel nursing. A nurse friend, who works at the hospital where I want to start out, recommended looking into several floors (a cardiac step-down unit, neuro step-down unit, and a post-surgical floor) for the quality of their management and level of nurse satisfaction. Of those, is there one unit or floor that would give me more advantages when looking for travel nursing jobs? I know I should get med-surg experience, and it sounds like any of those floors would offer that. But are there more opportunities for nurses with, say, cardiac monitoring or post-surgical experience?

    Thanks!

    Please don't choose a unit because you think it will make you more marketable as a travel nurse. Please choose a unit you love; the jobs and money will follow.

    Also, if you do choose one of these units be aware that many hospitals are requiring 2 years or more of experience.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Moderator SoldierNurse's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: step-down unit or med-surg floor?

    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    I will be graduating from nursing school in August and would like to get a year of experience in an acute care setting before getting into travel nursing. A nurse friend, who works at the hospital where I want to start out, recommended looking into several floors (a cardiac step-down unit, neuro step-down unit, and a post-surgical floor) for the quality of their management and level of nurse satisfaction. Of those, is there one unit or floor that would give me more advantages when looking for travel nursing jobs? I know I should get med-surg experience, and it sounds like any of those floors would offer that. But are there more opportunities for nurses with, say, cardiac monitoring or post-surgical experience?

    Thanks!
    I cannot speak regards to the best marketable for travel nursing contracts. However, my first nursing job out of school was a Telemetry Stepdown Unit. IMHO, a Cardiac Stepdown Unit would give you very marketable experience.
    Cary James Barrett, RN, BSN


  5. #5
    justatraveler
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    Re: step-down unit or med-surg floor?

    Quote Originally Posted by MagRedC5 View Post
    I cannot speak regards to the best marketable for travel nursing contracts. However, my first nursing job out of school was a Telemetry Stepdown Unit. IMHO, a Cardiac Stepdown Unit would give you very marketable experience.
    HOW marketable is a another nurse who's unhappy with the unit he/she is working on. There's nothing more annoying than having a nurse on the unit who's hates that particular unit. And when that behaviour ( being on a unit cuz it's "marketable") pops up that nurse won't be marketable at all.

    Going onto a unit just to get your next travel assignment easily is paramount to going into nursing to snag a doctor. IMHO

    Edited to add: If you want to be marketable go into Hemodialysis either Chronic's or Acutes. With the dramatic rise in obesity, hypertension, and DM the patient population rises 9% every year. A sure thing. And HD nurses don't grow on trees. It's one of the areas where even NP's/PA's are thriving if you desire that route.

    There is not another nurse be it ICU, M/S, ER who can "float" to dialysis. It's a very narrow speciality and warrants the big $$$$ and a job in most any place.

    Also, unlike fancy surgeries i.e. plastics, CABG, etc heading to Thailand etc. a patient can't go "out of town" for treatment.

    Check out the stock of the two major players and you'll see where HD stands. Fresenius and Davita.

    Again HD might not be your cup of tea. But if all you're looking for is marketability you won't regret it.

  6. #6

    Re: step-down unit or med-surg floor?

    Quote Originally Posted by justatraveler View Post
    HOW marketable is a another nurse who's unhappy with the unit he/she is working on. There's nothing more annoying than having a nurse on the unit who's hates that particular unit. And when that behaviour ( being on a unit cuz it's "marketable") pops up that nurse won't be marketable at all.

    Going onto a unit just to get your next travel assignment easily is paramount to going into nursing to snag a doctor. IMHO

    Edited to add: If you want to be marketable go into Hemodialysis either Chronic's or Acutes. With the dramatic rise in obesity, hypertension, and DM the patient population rises 9% every year. A sure thing. And HD nurses don't grow on trees. It's one of the areas where even NP's/PA's are thriving if you desire that route.

    There is not another nurse be it ICU, M/S, ER who can "float" to dialysis. It's a very narrow speciality and warrants the big $$$$ and a job in most any place.

    Also, unlike fancy surgeries i.e. plastics, CABG, etc heading to Thailand etc. a patient can't go "out of town" for treatment.

    Check out the stock of the two major players and you'll see where HD stands. Fresenius and Davita.

    Again HD might not be your cup of tea. But if all you're looking for is marketability you won't regret it.
    I worked in a dialysis clinic for 4 months. Ran out screaming. Cried every day before work and prayed I wouldn't kill anyone. Now my experience may not be typical, as the clinic I worked in had serious problems. But you must have good manual dexterity, and learn quick. This was a chronic clinic. Acute is a little different, you only run 1 patient at a time.

  7. #7
    Junior Member JSwan's Avatar
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    Re: step-down unit or med-surg floor?

    Thanks, everyone, for your advice. It helps to hear about different people's experiences so I can get a sense of what the working world is like.

    Justatraveler - I can understand your concerns. It sounds like you've had some bad experiences with people who go into nursing for the wrong reasons. I too think that going into nursing just to meet doctors is questionable - physicians usually have hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to pay off, so where is the money in that? Haha just kidding!! Seriously though, I had never even heard of the doctor-seeking nurse type until after I started nursing school.

    Anyway as for going into something I don't love just to be marketable - I know a lot of people who do that (usually business majors and pre-med majors), and I know it's not for me. Please keep in mind that, as a student, my only experiences have been on med-surg and psych units, and so I have no idea what other areas I might enjoy because I have had limited or no exposure to them. I very likely won't find out what I enjoy until I actually get into the working world. I figure that as long as I have to try different things and see, I might as well try something that will afford me the option of moving around. Moreover, I hear that it's not necessarily the work itself, but also your coworkers that make the difference in whether or not you love/hate your job.

  8. #8
    Junior Member JSwan's Avatar
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    Re: step-down unit or med-surg floor?

    MagRed -

    How are things going in Iraq? My thoughts are with you. I hope you return home safely.

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