Q&A with Med-Surg Nurse, Sandra D. Fights, MS, RN, CMSRN, CNE speaks with Med-Surg nurse, Sandra D. Fights, MS, RN, CMSRN, CNE. She is the president of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and the Freshmen Division Coordinator at the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in Lafayette, Indiana. She is also pursuing her PhD at Capella University.

Below she talks about what it's like to work as a med-surg nurse.

Q: What is your current position?

I teach at a school of nursing, and I've been working with freshmen, which is an entirely different experience. I feel like a background in med-surg is what sets [Short Code Error: type value must be either online or ground].

Q: Med-surg is often recommended as a good place for new grads to start out. Is this a good idea?

It really lets the students or the new graduates learn their practice and learn how to care for groups and coordinate care among multiple disciplines. While many people do say that med-surg is a good foundation and a good place to start, I'm not sure that it fits all nurses. You really have to look at what you want your practice to be.

Q: What kind of changes have there been in med-surg nursing in the last few years?

Way back when, patients would come in for their testing, and we'd have time to sit and talk with them. That's not the way it is today. The patients who are there are very sick. They don't come to the hospital until they're very ill. They require a lot of care.

We have a lot of technology that helps us do what we do. And while that's fabulous, we have to, as med-surg nurses, make sure we don't let the technology stand in front of the patient because the patient is always first.

One of the biggest things right now is the electronic medical record and getting used to using that system. Our new nurses who are coming out of school are really comfortable with the whole thought of point-and-click. For some of the nurses who have been around for a while, that's a real struggle.

Q: What do you see for the future of med-surg?

I see that med-surg has an opportunity to really be one of the leaders in providing quality patient care. I think our ability to organize and coordinate is going to become even more important. We're going to have much more of an opportunity to impact the environment of the patient.

I'm very hopeful that the number of patients and the number of staff are going to balance out. We want to be connected with our patients, to show them compassion. We want to make sure that we are committed to providing the highest quality of patient care to them. Med-surg nurses are right at the core of that, and we have a real opportunity to be leaders.

Q: Any other recommendations for aspiring med-surg nurses?

This is a grand time to begin to learn nursing. I invite you to begin considering med-surg nursing as your specialty. I think it is the most rewarding of fields. But, I would also say that if med-surg isn't for you, please find that part of nursing that meets your needs. You need to be involved in the division of nursing that really speaks to your soul. If med-surg is it, I would love to welcome you into that part of our profession. If not, go find your path.