I've got a career dilemma. Please help.

  1. Hi, I'm not an ER nurse but an OR RN. I've been trying to get a job as a circulator to relocate to a big city but no luck so far. I'm convinced it is due to my limited professional experience (a little over a year) in the OR. I've got BA, nursing degree, foreign language skills, and three honors from nursing school but it seems like none of them has helped.

    So I decided to go to school for surgical tech instead of looking for a job as an OR nurse. I know financially it's a bad career move but it is okay by me. I like scrubbing and want to go back to OR nursing when I'm done with school. While I'm in school, I would like to work in the ER (level 1 trauma center) as a tech to gain invaluable experience and grow professionally. Don't get me wrong. I love being in the OR and I want to do whatever it takes to become a great surgical nurse. I'm positive the ER experience as a tech will help me tremendously in the OR. I also enjoy and used to working in a fast-paced environment. Most of all, I appreciate a humbling experience of saving someone's life.

    I'm going to submit my resume for a tech position but I'm wondering if they would consider hiring me even with my nursing background. I'll be bummed out if they won't. I need to learn how to put the IV again but I will be able to pick up other responsibilities as a tech pretty fast from my OR nursing experience.
    I'm hoping to get an interview for this job. What are your thoughts on working as an ER tech? How should I be prepared for an interview if I get one? Thank you for your help.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   HappyJaxRN
    I'm not sure about this, but I don't think you can work as a tech with an RN license. Could be wrong...

    I've heard of nurses loosing their license and working as a tech....

    Why not apply on a med/surg floor for 6 months and then reapply for the ER?
  4. by   carachel2
    Quote from jjchko
    Hi, I'm not an ER nurse but an OR RN. I've been trying to get a job as a circulator to relocate to a big city but no luck so far. I'm convinced it is due to my limited professional experience (a little over a year) in the OR. I've got BA, nursing degree, foreign language skills, and three honors from nursing school but it seems like none of them has helped.

    So I decided to go to school for surgical tech instead of looking for a job as an OR nurse. I know financially it's a bad career move but it is okay by me. I like scrubbing and want to go back to OR nursing when I'm done with school. While I'm in school, I would like to work in the ER (level 1 trauma center) as a tech to gain invaluable experience and grow professionally. Don't get me wrong. I love being in the OR and I want to do whatever it takes to become a great surgical nurse. I'm positive the ER experience as a tech will help me tremendously in the OR. I also enjoy and used to working in a fast-paced environment. Most of all, I appreciate a humbling experience of saving someone's life.

    I'm going to submit my resume for a tech position but I'm wondering if they would consider hiring me even with my nursing background. I'll be bummed out if they won't. I need to learn how to put the IV again but I will be able to pick up other responsibilities as a tech pretty fast from my OR nursing experience.
    I'm hoping to get an interview for this job. What are your thoughts on working as an ER tech? How should I be prepared for an interview if I get one? Thank you for your help.
    I don't see why you don't just switch to the ER as an RN ? Most large hospitals have internships for graduate nurses OR those switching departments. They would train you.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Gosh - I would think with a solid orientation you'd be great in the ER. I say go for an ER RN position. Most places (at least in my area) wouldn't hire an RN for a tech position. However, many new grads and non-ER experienced RN's get hired.
  6. by   NNEKA RN
    I agree with the other suggestions. Why not apply to a MED-SURG unit for 6 months, and then switch to ER?

    That is what they do in my hospital...
  7. by   CEN35
    WOW! That whole post seemed somewhat confusing, and really didnt make much sense to me?
    You circulate, but want to scrub so you thought going to school for scrub tech and working in the ER was the answer? That's what I got anyways?

    I came out of school into the ER, worked 7 years, went to the PACU/OR for reasons unamed. As an OR nurse i don't really see how ER would help? Anesthesia does the IV's, NG's, A-lines, Central Lines, codes, meds, intubation's etc etc. Unless you are considering becoming a CRNA?

    As far as working as a tech, when you ahve an RN? You can do it, but remember techs don't get into all the technical stuff. If your hospital would hire you as a "TECH", you would be a "TECH" to the hospital. Not an RN. You would not be able to do any of the "RN" scope of practice things as a tech. Not because of any state doing, but because of hospital policy and procudure/liabilities.

    I have seen this type of thing already. If your an MD, and you volunteer, the hospital views you as a "volunteer", not an MD.

    Stick to the nursing thing, don't apply anywhere as a tech.

    As far as scrubbing? I don't think we have any scrub RN's here? There is a shortage of RN's to work in the OR, and techs/scrubs are not allowed to chart on the OR record. So you have to circulate.............that's the scene here.

    GOOD LUCK!!
  8. by   jjchko
    Thank you for all your replies. I applied for a tech job already but it sounds like the chances are slim. Oh well. I really want to work as a circulator but no one would contact me for an interview. I'm trying to find an internship program to see if I'm qualified.

    My heart is with the OR nursing. I've been circulating in all surgical services, taking calls and in charge on weekends. Although my experience is short, I believe I can be a very good circulator with some training in a new hospital with different settings. I'm very disappointed that I can't get a job that easy. One of the problems might be because I don't have a current license of the state I'm relocating. I already applied for a temporary permit and a license endorsement.

    I'm not trying to become an ER nurse but I would like to pick up some minor skills and watch over the shoulders of the ER nurses as a tech. I love watching the shows (trauma, critical hours and surgery stuff) on the discovery channel. I can't wait around for a circulating job to happen, so I decided to move first and go to a scrub school (although I'm experienced with scrubbing minor cases) and hopefully work as an ER tech until I can find a position in the OR. Thank you again.
  9. by   hollykate
    Did you call the hospitals you put applications in at? Maybe there is a missing part to your application- believe me it is not your lack of a state license.

    I agree with many here- if you are an RN- no one will hire you as a tech. And I can not believe you would rather take Tech pay than RN pay, there is a substantial difference.

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