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Popular Bedside Nursing Jobs (RN)

by Elizabeth Russ

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    00:01 I don't know about you, but when I think of nursing jobs, my initial thought is always inpatient, in the hospital, at the bedside.

    00:08 And while we'll explain in the next module just how like incorrect and narrow-minded that line of thinking is, it is definitely a huge aspect of nursing.

    00:18 Let's take a look at some of the most common inpatient bedside nursing jobs, just to give you an idea of what you maybe could see yourself doing one day.

    00:25 First, we have med surge, and I would just like to squash the idea that you have to start here in med surg, although it's never a bad idea if you do.

    00:33 I did. So obviously it's the best choice.

    00:36 But if we're being honest, I only did so I could hop over to the Pedes hospital associated with it. But it's fine.

    00:41 Med surg is a little bit of everything.

    00:43 It is the medical and the surgical admissions that do not require that higher level of ICU care.

    00:49 Your patients are sick, obviously, or they wouldn't be in the hospital, but they're not on ventilators and they usually don't require one on one nursing ratios.

    00:58 You usually have 4 to 8 patients depending on your unit and where you live. And if you work at a larger hospital, the med surg floors will have specialties. They focus on GI liver, oncology, respiratory, transplant, on and on. And if you work at a smaller hospital, there's not as many patients.

    01:16 So all of them are just kind of mashed together.

    01:18 And I mean, that's a good learning experience.

    01:20 You'll see a ton of different things no matter what in Med Surge, and some people love that, and they stay forever, and thank goodness for them and others.

    01:27 They leave as soon as they figure out what they like and what they don't like.

    01:31 If you aren't sure what you want to do, this can be a great place to start.

    01:36 This is ideal for people who aren't sure like what they like yet and what totally grosses them out. People who enjoy a little bit of chaos and people who want their patients to be awake because they're going to be very awake in med surge.

    01:49 Let's go to the opposite end of the spectrum, the ICU or the intensive care unit. This is where the sickest of the sick are.

    01:56 You usually only have one or two patients.

    01:59 They are on a ton of drips.

    02:01 They may be ventilated and require a ton of small adjustments throughout the day.

    02:06 This is a haven for people who enjoy details being very organized and don't want their patients to talk back to them very much, if at all.

    02:14 This is a much more high stress job in that you'll see a lot of death and just high stress situations.

    02:22 Also, a lot of awesome recoveries, though, which is a really cool flip side because you get to literally bring people back to life, but that's just something to kind of keep in mind. You will see more death on these units.

    02:32 Pediatrics, this is the best specialty of them all, the place I spent my favorite years as a nurse, the land of the younger humans.

    02:40 You either love or you hate peds, and you'll probably figure it out immensely quickly in clinical. I obviously loved it, but I acknowledge that not everyone sees the world of wonder that this patient population is you are wrong if you don't see that, but it's totally fine.

    02:56 Moving on, we also have labor and delivery.

    02:59 Another unit that I don't see the, we won't go there.

    03:02 My nightmare is basically what this unit is, many people's heaven.

    03:06 This is where the babies are delivered, and the pregnant patients are monitored with pregnancy complications and where people recover for like a day or two until we send them home after they have made these beautiful babies, and they have no idea what they're doing. This is a wonderful for people who are very patient, can you tell I am not, and enjoy a lot of patient interaction.

    03:27 It's also really good for people who don't pass out during surprise C-sections.

    03:32 In case you can't tell if that was me, I almost passed out in a C-section.

    03:36 I was not proud. Someone caught me.

    03:37 It was fine. Everything was fine.

    03:39 But eat before you go to clinical, moral of the story.

    03:41 Moving on to the NICU or the neonatal intensive care unit.

    03:46 This is for the tiny preemies and the newest of humans.

    03:49 This is a place of a lot of cuteness, but many ups and downs emotionally and in intensity as well.

    03:57 It's hard to watch parents lose babies.

    04:00 It's awesome to see them take them home kicking and screaming, but not all of them are going to get there.

    04:06 And babies tend to be very, very dramatic and go from being totally fine to like, really not fine in a matter of seconds.

    04:13 It requires precision and absolute love of parent education. And it really is, it's a world like unlike any other.

    04:23 Next, the O.R., if you like technical procedures more than you like humans, this is for you.

    04:30 Just kidding. But really, you do sometimes have to talk to people before they go to sleep. But this is your place.

    04:35 If you are organized, and you don't really like your patients to be awake, and you don't mind looking at the inside of humans all day long.

    04:43 And we cannot forget about our friends in the emergency department.

    04:47 The emergency department nurses are, they're a mystery to me.

    04:50 I love getting to know my patients and I don't live for the thrill of nursing and the ER is just a ball of never ending chaos where you will learn so many skills, interact with every single type of human, with every single type of illness.

    05:05 And you will never, ever, ever have two shifts that are the same.

    05:09 And just when you've sort of stabilized your human, and you feel accomplished, then you send them off upstairs to never see them again.

    05:16 Like that sounds insane to me.

    05:17 It's ideal for people who enjoy the high of tackling a really acute situation, like a trauma, that don't mind the chaos, that don't need an ending to their patients stories because they just get to stabilize them and send them away, and they want to be constantly thrown into new things.

    05:32 I am sorry, ER nurses.

    05:34 I really tried to make this sound great, but I don't know how you do what you do.

    05:37 But I really appreciate you for existing, and thank you.

    05:40 Now, there are more inpatient jobs out there, but these are just the most common. But what about if you can't imagine yourself in the hospital? Non-bedside jobs are coming up next.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Popular Bedside Nursing Jobs (RN) by Elizabeth Russ is from the course Is Nursing Right for You? (RN).


    Author of lecture Popular Bedside Nursing Jobs (RN)

     Elizabeth Russ

    Elizabeth Russ


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