What is a Medical Surgical Nurse?

Med Surg Nurses are in demand

Medical Surgical nursing is a nursing specialty that is very broad and involves providing clinical care to an adult patient population--most often in the hospital setting. Med surg nursing is a specialty that can be found on many different units--from the operating suite to the recovery room. According to the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses, medical-surgical nursing is the single largest nursing specialty in the United States. 

“Medical-Surgical Nurses are the master coordinators of the unit, juggling care for many patients at a time while keeping the entire health care team on the same page (Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, 2017).They have high-level critical-thinking skills, vast clinical knowledge, and stay calm under pressure. Many nursing specialties require similar skill sets, but it is the intense level of coordination from the time patients arrive until after they leave the hospital that distinguishes Medical-Surgical Nursing,” according to the latest AMSN Scope and Standards of Practice

“Even after leaving the inpatient setting, the Medical-Surgical Nurse continues to provide care to patients in subacute care facilities, home care agencies, ambulatory care clinics, outpatient services, residential facilities, skilled nursing facilities, private practice, adult day care agencies, primary care and specialty practices, schools, insurance companies, and private companies. 

If you’re looking for a job that will truly give you the chance to do a little bit of everything, med-surg nursing is right for you. According to the AMSN, the role of the medical-surgical nurse includes acting as a: 

  • Caregiver
  • Care coordinator
  • Client educator
  • Case manager
  • Counselor
  • Client advocate
  • Consultant
  • Researcher
  • Administrator/manager
  • Staff educator
  • Expert witness.

Life of a Medical Surgical Nurse

Med Surg Nurse Duties Are Broad

What does a medical surgical nurse do? The life of a medical surgical nurse is unique because there is so much variety in their day-to-day med surg nurse responsibilities. There is no specific med surg nursing book with all the answers of what a med surg nurse may encounter on a day-to-day basis. Be prepared: expect anything!

If you love direct interaction with patients, you’re in luck. A medical surgical nurse plays a key role in patient care, and the AMSN notes that medical surgical nurses are the frontline providers who have more facetime with patients than any other professional in the hospital while also planning care, listening to patients’ concerns, and answering loved ones’ questions. 

Typical medical surgical nurse job descriptions will include the following medical surgical nurse responsibilities: Providing direct clinical patient care to adults of different acuities at the same time, giving medications, coordinating with the healthcare team and ensuring all paperwork and charting is up to date in the EMR or file. Also, as a medical surgical nurse, you can expect to interact with an interdisciplinary care team that includes doctors, therapists, other nurses and many more healthcare professionals that work in the medical surgical setting.  

Why Travel as a Medical Surgical Nurse 

Med Surg Travel Nursing Jobs

There are countless reasons why a med surg nurse should pursue a life as a medical surgical travel nurse. From great pay (typically 15 percent higher than permanent staff positions), excellent benefits and the ability to see the country, why not take your career on the road as a med surg travel nurse? 

If this sounds intriguing to you as a med surg nurse, you can sign-up for email job alerts. Once you do that, you’ll get an instant notification every time a medical surgical travel nursing job comes up in our database that meets your search criteria. Do you want to learn more about the benefits to becoming a travel nurse? Click here for a full list of all of the perks available as a med surg travel nurse. 

Read More About Medical Surgical Travel Nursing Salary and Requirements from the link below.

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