Outpatient Surgery Center RN (plastics/cosmetic, etc)

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    In such a place, what is the difference between the clinic nurse and perioperative nurse specifically? What does it take for a new grad to possibly find a job in an outpatient surgical center like this? Is OR experience necessary for most positions? I'll be starting nursing school soon, so I don't really know--can we elect to do rotations in the OR during school to help with this introduction? Basically, knowing how to break into this field would be some great help!
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    I think it's a hard field to break into. From my experience there was only one actual nurse in the whole place, and she was the surgeon's wife! She also scrubbed in and recovered the pts. I also did a little of this when I was an LPN. I think most if not all programs have you do rotations in the OR, but it is not scrubbing in. I would start looking online for these types of jobs to find out how often they are posted as well as what the general requirements are.

    good luck!
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    I work as a RN in a plastic surgery center, and it really is not a job for a new nurse. I don't know of any place that would hire a new RN without at least a year or two in both the OR and PACU. In small surgery centers, there is absolutely no back up like there is in a large OR within a hospital facility. If something goes wrong it is 100% on you. There may be a couple of MAs around, if you're lucky, but if that patient crashes you better know what you are doing or they will go down the drain faster than you can say "nursing license".
    anononurse and lindarn like this.
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    @taketwoaspirin: Do you recommend then trying to get experience in the OR or PACU first? Or will med-surg also work?

    Thanks for the feedback!
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    Yes, I absolutely would recommend that. I hate to sound like I'm negative about surgery center nursing. I really am not, I love working in surgery centers - no call, no weekends, holidays off. It really is a very nice job, but it can also be overwhelming with responsibility (esp. in the PACU) when you are alone and have no back up. I always advise people to get at least a couple of years under their belt in a large OR before making the move. The problem with being a new nurse in an environment with little to no back up is that you don't know what you don't know until it hits the fan. Those are not the times to have an a-ha moment. Get hose in a large OR where there is someone to help get you through it.
    anononurse likes this.
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    Plastics is very difficult to get into. After my first year as a nurse (med-surg), I decided I wanted to get into plastics. I randomly sent my resume out. After a few months, I got the call. I took the position and fell in love! I eventually moved out of state and tried to do the same (send out my resume) with no luck. The nurses at these places love this type of nursing so much...they will stay until they retire. I know I would have.

    As mentioned, I had no prior OR or PACU experience. I was lucky enough to work with a fantastic CRNA that taught me so much. She would also never leave me if I felt uncomfortable with the patient. Even when she did leave, the doctor and the rest of the staff (scrub techs) were still in the facility if I needed anything.

    So, my opinion differs somewhat of the other post. Plastic surgeon's will hire an RN without experience because they can mold you into what they want you to be. If you have previous experience, it may be hard to change old ways and old habits. Plastics docs want things done THEIR way b/c it's their practice. I helped the doc when hiring a new nurse after me. He tried out a nurse with hospital OR experience; however, fired her a week later b/c she wouldn't change old habits. He then hired a nurse who had one year of med-surg experience. She is still working there and working out great.

    So, I say go for it. If you have a great staff who is willing to teach, you will have no problems.
    ceebeejay and kerryt like this.
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    @usnwbama: Thanks for that encouragement: I am definitely going to give it a shot!!
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    Quote from danceluver
    In such a place, what is the difference between the clinic nurse and perioperative nurse specifically? What does it take for a new grad to possibly find a job in an outpatient surgical center like this? Is OR experience necessary for most positions? I'll be starting nursing school soon, so I don't really know--can we elect to do rotations in the OR during school to help with this introduction? Basically, knowing how to break into this field would be some great help!
    It is a difficult field to break into without experience and proper training. I think in order to break into the field of aesthetics, you need to have some background in cosmetic medicine. I would suggest taking a course that can provide you with history, and hands on instruction. This will help you when you are speaking with aesthetic offices about your experience.

    A course I found out of Chicago is Expanded Aesthetics. It looks like they have a program coming up on November 10-11th.

    Best of luck!
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    I am an RN at a plastic surgery center. I scrub in for surgeries under our plastic surgeon and am often the only assistant in the OR with him. There may be 2 RNs for big cases and an MA to help on the side. The practice I work at is great and is never understaffed. I went into plastic/reconstructive surgery straight out of nursing school. I am an RN with a BSN; I do not have any OR/PACU or Critical Care experience as an RN. I had one OR/PACU rotation in nursing school, did my practicum in the ICU and that is all the experience I had. I did have an in at the practice in which I am currently working for though (a few of my friends are patient coordinators there). I am catching on very quickly and the plastic surgeon I am under likes the fact that I have not had the chance to pick up bad habits; I am a clean slate and they can train me however they want. I absolutely love it! I do a lot of studying/research on the side because of my lack of experience. I could see it being an extremely difficult field to get into; I am one of the only RNs at the practice that has no previous OR, PACU or Critical Care experience. Normally they would not hire new grads but they made an exception with me because of the people I knew. Advice I have: make the highest grades you can and get as much OR and Critical Care experience you possibly can. It will show you ability to go above and beyond. Go to local cosmetic surgery practices, ask if they are hiring RNs and drop off your CV or Resume. See if you can set up a meeting with HR. Even if they aren't hiring at the time, HR will have your resume, already have spoken with you, and will think of you first when an opening does become available. Good luck with everything!


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