Typical Day at Hospital Ambulatory Surgery

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    Hello AllNurses Family!

    I have an opportunity to interview for two different jobs at the same hospital. Please note that I am a fairly new graduate. The jobs they are considering me for are ambulatory surgery and endoscopy. What is the typical day like for a RN in ambulatory surgery at a hospital? Would it be difficult for a new grad to transition?


    Thanks for all you responses, and I hope everyone is well.

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  3. 2 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I worked as a new grad in an ambulatory surgery center. Truthfully I think the only way I picked it up so quickly was because I also worked there as a PCT before graduating. The daily pace can vary a lot! Some days there is down time and other days you are running your behind off. Priority setting and efficiency are key to caring for your patients safely and discharging swiftly when the patient is ready. Common situation: patient #1 has an 8/10 pain and a BP of 180-110s, patient #2's assessment is now 15 minutes late with no tech in site to grab a set of vitals, patient #3 is crazy anxious to leave after being there 10 minutes because they want a cigarette so badly...meanwhile they're still on 3 L of O2.

    Granted not every moment of every day is like this. You may still get to go home 2 hours early because you ran for 3 hours then poof where did all the patients go? I do believe it would be difficult for a new grad to transition to ambulatory surgery with no prior experience, but not impossible if you feel your priority-setting skills and efficiency are up to par. Good luck!
  5. 0
    They are both great jobs. Our hospital ambulatory surgery center and endoscopy center was combined into one unit. I had been a nurse for 20 years before ambulatory nursing, however I had been in administration for 5 years so was really nervous about what skills I had lost.


    Honestly it is really pretty easy. The patient has been seen by his primary MD, his surgeon or gastroenterologist, and gets assessed by the anesthesiologist. So they do not even enter the ambulatory surgery center if these doctors think they are not basically healthy enough to not need to be admitted to a hospital. So you are taking care of healthy patients for relatively minor procedures.

    It can be very fast paced, the center makes it money by doing a lot of procedures every day.

    Paperwork and speed can take priority over patient assessments. Of course they must be assessed but remember they have already been deemed healthy. You will be doing very limited patient assessments.

    In surgery the unconscious patient is giving up all their care to us. You must be their protector, are they signing the correct consent for the correct body part. When did they eat, are the allergic,.......the OR or pre-op check list is critical. Once the patient is unconscious it is too late to discover that they did eat, or are allergic to such and such.

    You may need to start IV's, but in some places anesthesiologists do this.

    There is tons more to know, consider. Look over PACU nursing for some ideas about PACU nursing. But realize SOME of the PACU responses are referring to acute care major surgery PACU nursing. What they say may not apply at all to ambulatory PACU nursing.

    You will probably need ACLS.


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