Need advice from experienced RN's

  1. I have been an OR nurse for two years at a smallish hospital (six OR rooms + one cysto - no major neuro, trauma or heart). I went into the OR straight out of school - no floor experience. Now- I'm burned out with the OR, and I want to go somewhere else - ICU, floor, step-down unit, I just don't know.........What do you think? I would really appreciate your imput. I work with an organ procurement group now, but the hours are killing me, and I would like something with independence, but it is not necessary. How about home health, or hospice? I would really like some advice from those of you with much more experience than me.

    Thanks in advance for the great advice I know is coming!!!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    How about a surgery unit, and request to be oriented as if you were a new grad. You'll probably whiz through, and it will be interesting for you to see what was happening before and after the surgeries.
  4. by   NurseCherlove
    Well, I don't have as much experience as you, but from what I always see, hospitals are always wanting RNs for med-surg. Like Canoehead said, request to be oriented like a new grad. Work there for about a year and you should be able to have your pick of places to work after that.
  5. by   psychnurse37
    You are on the right track by asking others for suggestions. You have to first decide where you see yourself in 5 or 10 years. Do you want to work in a hospital? a doctors office? teaching other nurses (inservice or nursing program)? long term care? hospice? school nurse? Public health nurse?traveling nurse? What field- peds? geriatric? dialysis? psych? med surg? ER? ICU? ????????????
    What about working at a larger hospital, there may be more options there.
    Apply somewhere and tour the units with openings, but go in with an open mind and try to "feel" how it would be to work there.
    There are so many different fiels of nursing, and we are getting to be as specialized as doctors. Try to broaden your experience if you haven't found your niche.
    If you are a people person, perhaps that is what you missed in surgery. I work in psych and we get to use our people skills all the time. But, psych isn't for everyone.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is... explore your options, listen to your heart and compare "apples to apples" (make a list of plusses and minuses for all the options and make a decision based on facts!) You may make a mistake, but you can learn from mistakes and find the job meant for you. Just keep on being the best nurse you can be!
    Best of luck! (I guess you're from Alabama, and so am I)
  6. by   bamaRN34
    Update: I have just been offered a job in the SICU at a larger hospital. I have worked there with organ donor management last month, but I couldn't get a good feel for the atmosphere. I believe everyone would be very helpful, but after reading posts about new grads in the ICU (which I feel like one right about now!), I am a little worried about moving straight there. Thing is, I am a surgery nurse. I am used to one patient at a time. Eight to twelve (gasp!) on the floor would swamp me! I don't think I could handle that - or could I? Please help....
  7. by   RN007
    Would they let you spend a 1/2 day in the SICU so you can see it in action? Be sure and ask about orientation. Also, would PACU interest you? Seems like the perfect place after working OR. I agree with an earlier post: Go inside your heart and find out what you might want to do. The options are many! Good luck!
  8. by   msnrn3
    Well, I am as experienced as they come. I have done ICU,Med-surg,ER, Home Health, Pediatrics, PACU, but not OR.

    If you went to OR right out of school, you may want to try med-surg as the others suggested, and with a new grad orientation. Then, give that a year or more to decide where you want to go from there. I do not think Home Health would be a good place to go until you get med surg experience. The people you will care for on med surg will give you a variety of medical situations and increase your critical thinking. Then, if you decide to go to Home health at some future time, you will have a good knowledge base for the health/illness conditions of the home health clients. There is a lot of autonomy in home health, and you need to have confidence in your assessment and critical thinking. It was very rewarding, I did it for 6 years. Then, if you tire of home health and need a change again, you will be an even better hospital nurse because you will be better at understanding discharge planning and anticipating the needs of a patient when they get home. Hope this gives you some insight. Go ahead....take the path less traveled.
  9. by   TazziRN
    SICU is an ICU....you should not have more than 2 pts. Where are you getting 8-12 from?
  10. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from bamaRN34
    Update: I have just been offered a job in the SICU at a larger hospital. I have worked there with organ donor management last month, but I couldn't get a good feel for the atmosphere. I believe everyone would be very helpful, but after reading posts about new grads in the ICU (which I feel like one right about now!), I am a little worried about moving straight there. Thing is, I am a surgery nurse. I am used to one patient at a time. Eight to twelve (gasp!) on the floor would swamp me! I don't think I could handle that - or could I? Please help....
    Eight-twelve pts on SICU? You can't mean that you would have that many pts yourself.
  11. by   bamaRN34
    I meant 8 to 12 on a floor - not SICU - that's why I am leaning toward the unit....smaller nurse to patient ratio. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
  12. by   zoniekat
    How about PostPartum couplet care? Or Gyn? Outpatient dialysis? I work in Women's Services which has both couplets and gyn's. Love it. It's clean, less complicated than many other areas. Usually happy.

    Postpartum is nice as there are not a lot of IV's and meds and I&O's. You spend a lot of time teaching. The charting is less complex as well. There is the breastfeeding teaching which can be very stressful and frustrating. That's the worst of OB nursing.
  13. by   nursemary9
    Hi

    At the beginning of my career. MANY years ago, I worked for 10 yrs in Psych; Did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING involving hand on med-surg nursing; In fact, the last say 7 yrs of this 10 yrs was in management.

    I needed to leave that setting for my own sanity & thanks to wonderful Upper Management Group at that Hospital, they allowed ME to tell them where I wanted to go.
    I chose a Rehab unit and they gave me an orientation just like a brand new grad--at my request. That was the best thing I ever did; The Orientation!!
    I eventually ended up in Oncology--but that's a LONG story.
    So, as long as you get orientation, you should do fine.
  14. by   rita359
    Quote from bamaRN34
    Update: I have just been offered a job in the SICU at a larger hospital. I have worked there with organ donor management last month, but I couldn't get a good feel for the atmosphere. I believe everyone would be very helpful, but after reading posts about new grads in the ICU (which I feel like one right about now!), I am a little worried about moving straight there. Thing is, I am a surgery nurse. I am used to one patient at a time. Eight to twelve (gasp!) on the floor would swamp me! I don't think I could handle that - or could I? Please help....


    I would not think your patient load in a surgical ICU would be 8-12. That might be on a med surg floor but if my patient load in an ICU was that high I would run the other way fast. I work med surg and cannot imagine a ratio more than 8 even there. Have done 8 and worked at staff meetings on getting that ratio reduced. Now we have 7 which is better but still not good.

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