Med Surg

Optimize patient care with our Med Surg Templates. Streamline documentation, enhance communication, and ensure consistency in medical-surgical settings.

By Joshua Napilay on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is a Med Surg Template?

A Med Surg Template, short for Medical-Surgical Template, is a standardized document or form used in healthcare, specifically within the context of medical-surgical units in hospitals. It is a structured framework to guide healthcare professionals in documenting and managing patient information consistently and organizationally.

The template is designed to streamline the documentation process for patients admitted to medical-surgical units, which are departments that typically handle a wide range of medical conditions requiring both medical and surgical interventions. These units cater to patients with diverse healthcare needs, such as those recovering from surgery, managing chronic illnesses, or undergoing diagnostic procedures.

The content of a template may include sections for vital signs, medical history, surgical history, current medications, allergies, physical assessments, laboratory results, nursing care plans, and progress notes. The template helps healthcare providers record essential patient information efficiently, facilitating communication and coordination among healthcare team members.

Standardization through templates is crucial in healthcare to ensure patient records' consistency, accuracy, and completeness. This is particularly important in medical-surgical units where patients often have complex health issues and may require interdisciplinary care involving various healthcare professionals.

Healthcare facilities can enhance communication, improve patient care coordination, and promote adherence to established clinical guidelines by employing a template. Templates also contribute to more efficient workflow, allowing healthcare providers to spend more time on direct patient care rather than on documentation tasks. 

Med Surg Templates promote quality healthcare delivery and patient safety within medical-surgical units.

How does it work?

1. Accessing the template

Locate the Printable Med Surg Template, often available in electronic format on hospital intranets or healthcare information systems. Ensure the template adheres to relevant healthcare standards and complies with the facility's documentation policies.

2. Patient identification

Begin by entering essential patient information, such as name, date of birth, medical record number, and admission date. Verify and cross-reference patient details with the hospital's electronic health record (EHR) system to ensure accuracy.

3. Medical history

Document the patient's medical record, including pre-existing conditions, chronic illnesses, and relevant past medical interventions. Indicate any known allergies and current medications, providing a comprehensive overview of the patient's health background.

4. Surgical history

Record details of any previous surgeries, including dates, procedures, and outcomes. Specify if there are any post-surgical considerations or complications that might impact the current medical-surgical care plan.

5. Vital signs and physical assessment

Capture current vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature. Perform a physical systematic evaluation and document findings in the designated sections.

6. Laboratory results

Include recent laboratory results, diagnostic tests, and imaging studies relevant to the patient's condition. Highlight any abnormal findings or trends that may guide further medical-surgical interventions.

7. Nursing care plans

Collaborate with nursing staff to outline and document specific care plans tailored to patients' needs. Clearly articulate nursing interventions, medications, and monitoring requirements.

8. Progress notes

Regularly update progress notes to reflect changes in the patient's condition, responses to treatment, and any new developments. Ensure that progress notes are timestamped and signed to maintain accountability.

9. Review and approval

Collaborate with interdisciplinary team members, such as physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals, to review and approve the completed template. Ensure that all relevant stakeholders have access to the updated information.

10. Storage and retrieval

Save the completed template in the patient's electronic health record for future reference. Facilitate easy recovery by organizing templates based on patient identifiers and admission details.

When would you use this template?

The Med Surg Template proves invaluable in many scenarios within the medical-surgical setting, serving as a versatile tool for healthcare practitioners involved in caring for patients with diverse medical and surgical needs.

  • Admission and initial assessment: During a patient's access to the medical-surgical unit, the template is a fundamental resource for clinicians. It systematically gathers critical patient information, such as medical and surgical history, for a comprehensive initial assessment. This is particularly essential when dealing with individuals who may have complex healthcare needs and require a holistic understanding of their health status.
  • Ongoing monitoring and care planning: The template plays a pivotal role in continuously monitoring patients. Healthcare professionals, including nurses and physicians, utilize it to regularly document vital signs, track changes in medical conditions, and formulate nursing care plans tailored to individual patient needs. The structured format ensures consistency in documentation, aiding in the continuous evaluation and adjustment of care plans to optimize patient outcomes.
  • Interdisciplinary communication: For a multidisciplinary healthcare team comprising physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals, the template serves as a common language. It facilitates clear and concise communication among team members by providing a standardized framework for sharing patient information. This is crucial in a fast-paced medical-surgical environment where effective communication is paramount for coordinated care.
  • Transition of care: During changes of care, such as handovers between shifts or when a patient is transferred between units, the template ensures that critical patient information is seamlessly transferred. This aids in maintaining continuity of care, preventing information gaps, and promoting patient safety.

What do the results mean?

Interpreting the results documented in a Med Surg Template is crucial for healthcare professionals to make informed decisions regarding a patient's care. Common results encompass vital signs, laboratory findings, and physical assessments, each providing valuable insights into the patient's health status.

  • Vital signs: Vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature, offer immediate indicators of a patient's physiological state. Within the normal range, they signify stability and normal functioning. Deviations from the norm, such as elevated blood pressure or tachycardia, may suggest potential issues, prompting further investigation or adjustments to the care plan.
  • Laboratory results: Laboratory findings, such as complete blood count (CBC), chemistry panels, and specialized tests like HbA1c, provide objective data on the patient's internal health. Normal results generally indicate the absence of acute abnormalities. Abnormalities, however, might prompt additional diagnostic measures or adjustments to medication regimens. For instance, an elevated blood glucose level in a patient with diabetes may indicate inadequate glycemic control, necessitating alterations to their treatment plan.
  • Physical assessment: The physical assessment section evaluates the patient's overall well-being, examining neurological status, skin condition, and musculoskeletal function. Within normal parameters, these findings reassure healthcare providers of the patient's general health. Abnormalities, such as neurological deficits or skin abnormalities, could signal underlying issues, prompting further investigation or specialized care.

Research & evidence

The evolution of medical-surgical templates within healthcare documentation addresses the imperative for standardized and efficient recording of patient information (Amccartney, 2023).

Traditionally, manual paper-based charting prevailed, but it proved time-consuming and error-prone and needed more standardization across healthcare institutions. The late 20th-century shift towards electronic health records (EHR) prompted the integration of templates, acknowledging their pivotal role in ensuring consistent and comprehensive documentation (Bri, 2023).

Structured templates emerged as essential tools for healthcare providers to streamline workflows, improve team communication, and enhance overall patient care quality (Burns, 2022).

Research and evidence supporting the use of medical-surgical templates highlight vital benefits. A systematic review in the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice emphasized that standardized nursing documentation, facilitated by templates, improved accuracy, completeness, and efficiency (Nursa).

Complementing this, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association demonstrated that structured templates within EHRs contributed to better adherence to clinical guidelines, resulting in improved patient outcomes (Nockunas, 2023).

The evidence underscores the multifaceted advantages of using templates in medical-surgical settings, including enhanced communication, reduced documentation errors, and facilitation of data retrieval for research and quality improvement initiatives (LevelUpRN).

As the healthcare landscape embraces digital solutions, ongoing research explores ways to optimize template design and integration into EHR systems, ensuring these tools evolve harmoniously with technological advancements to enhance patient care and outcomes continually (Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services).


Amccartney. (2023, May 8). What is Medical-Surgical Nursing? | NurseJournal.

Bri. (2023, October 3). Med Surg Nursing 101. Host Healthcare.,recovering%20from%2C%20a%20surgical%20procedure.

Burns, D. (2022, November 29). Pursuing a career in Med-Surg Nursing. Incredible Health.

Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services. (n.d.). Medical Surgical Unit (Med/Surg).

LevelUpRN. (n.d.). Medical-Surgical Nursing. LevelUpRN.

Nockunas, B. K. (2023, November 2). Free Medical Surgical Nurse Practice Test (2023). |.

Nursa. (n.d.). Medical-Surgical | Medical-Surgical Nursing Specialty: Guide to Med-Surg jobs.

How do you create a Med Surg template?
How do you create a Med Surg template?

Commonly asked questions

How do you create a Med Surg template?

Use our intuitive drag-and-drop tools on the Carepatron platform to create a template. Design customized forms efficiently without coding experience or technical training.

When are Med Surg Templates used?

Templates are used during patient admission and ongoing care. They provide a structured framework for recording vital signs, medical history, surgical information, and nursing care plans.

Who creates a Med Surg Template?

Healthcare professionals, including nurses, physicians, and administrators, can create Templates. Carepatron's user-friendly tools enable easy customization to suit specific needs.

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