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What is Medical-Surgical Nursing?

Higher Education Articles August 20, 2013

The medical-surgical nurse and the duties required of this position are considered to be the main foundation of the entire nursing practice. In fact, according to the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, the original duties of every nurse once included those that are now associated with being a medical-surgical nurse. Today, medical-surgical nursing is considered to be a specialty field that many registered nurses choose to focus on during their medical career.

What was once an entry level nursing position has now grown to become a health specialty field of its own. This growing nursing career specialty actually makes up the largest group of practicing medical professionals today.

The Medical-Surgical Nurse: One of the Most Demanding Nursing Specialties

Medical-surgical nurses hold some of the most important positions in a medical facility. They are up to date and educated on all of the latest technology and cutting edge procedures in the nursing field. In addition to the importance of their role, the medical-surgical nurse holds one of the most demanding and challenging careers in the nursing field.

Typical duties of medical-surgical nurses include the care of adult patients in a variety of settings including clinics, surgical centers, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, home health care and more. The primary role is typically to provide care for patients before and after a surgical procedure. These nurses also tend to patients who are managing an illness with medications. Medical-Surgical nurses are often in charge of numerous patients throughout the day and assist with their care by performing assessments, administering medications, and issuing needed treatments.

Medical-surgical nurses help patients in a variety of ways on a daily basis. Their goal is to:

•Help patients return to normal functioning after surgery
•Offer attention and comfort for those who need it most at that time in their lives
•Supports patients and determines what is in their best interests
•Assist with the end of life care and allow the patient to have dignity and respect in these situations
•Observe and help patients heal physically and emotionally through intuitive experiences

Educational Requirements and Training for Medical-Surgical Nurses

Registered nurses can become certified medical-surgical nurses through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA). The American Nurses Credentialing Center promotes excellence in nursing through its internationally renowned credentialing programs that certify and recognize nurses in specialty practice areas. Most medical-surgical nurses take the extra step to earn their Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse credential to validate their commitment and dedication to the medical-surgical nursing practice and their patients. Successful completion of the MSNCB exam and earning the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse credential certifies that a nurse has earned the highest degree of standards available for a medical-surgical nurse.

An effective medical-surgical nurse is dedicated to providing top quality care to patients and considers their safety to be the top priority. In addition, those who excel in the medical-surgical nurse profession possess above average organizational, technical, and assessment skills and have the ability to effectively communicate and teach patients, their families, and peers.

Being a medical-surgical nurse offers a challenging yet rewarding career in the medical field and allows career growth as medical technology evolves and changes. It is also a good career choice for registered nurses, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employment of qualified nurses with this specialty is expected to grow 26% by the year 2020. This growth will be based on technological advancements, a focus on preventative care, and the baby boomer generation who will have the need for more healthcare services due to their longer lifespan.

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