New Grad RN First Job OR or Med/Surg Oncology

  1. 0
    I am asking for any wisdom out there as to if I should work in the OR as I would be trained in all the different areas, or if I should work at the VA on a Med/Surg Oncology unit for my first job? The job at the VA would pay about $10,000 more a year, but include weekends and nights. The OR position would be 4 days a week from 9:00am till 7:30pm, with occasional night call, but not on the weekend.

    Thanks,

    Chadk
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    How about you take the VA position, and I will take the OR position? ha

    You have to decide for yourself.....what are your long term goals? OR jobs in my area are hard to come by as a new grad.

    10 grand is a big pay difference, and are you able to work OT at the OR position.

    Not much advice to give, just some food for thought. Good luck, and congratulations!
  5. 0
    There is not really much overtime in the OR, it is where I capstoned for my last 6 weeks of nursing school. It will be a hard decision for me!!
  6. 8
    ask yourself a few questions:

    how much do you like continuity of care? a) is it absolutely critical for you to develop long-term relationships with patients, or b) do you do fine with turnover?
    a, oncology
    b, or

    are your free times important to you because you have or may develop other interests outside of your work time (hobbies, travel, children, other)? a) critically b) nah, i don't care too much about that
    a, or
    b, oncology

    do you like working in teams when a) you have a lot of opportunity to talk and interact with your coworkers, or b) are you ok working more on your own than not?
    a, or
    b, oncology

    do you find yourself drawn to a) caring for people and families with cancer, with many familiar repeat admissions, some successes, some progress to hospice, some bad deaths, or b) might you be susceptible to burnout after witnessing suffering and losses and prefer your patients to be asleep?
    a) oncology
    b) or

    are you a) a heck of a good problem-solver and like to keep emotions out of things when it gets stressful? or b) a good listener, empathetic, in control of your own psyche, good at therapeutic communication?
    a) or
    b) oncology

    is your free time and a regular schedule worth as much as money to you?
    how do you feel about "taking your work home with you" versus "i gotta leave it all behind me when i walk out"?
    do you have a chance to shadow in each to see how it feels? ask nurses in each why they do what they do...and why they don't do what they don't do. you will learn a lot doing that, and something unexpected will resonate with you.

    no right or wrong answers, and i hope others will chime in with their insights.
    want to always be able to get a job? (or)
    oh, and do you have good veins and feet? (or) do you have a really strong back? (oncology)
  7. 1
    Quote from grntea
    ask yourself a few questions:

    how much do you like continuity of care? a) is it absolutely critical for you to develop long-term relationships with patients, or b) do you do fine with turnover?
    a, oncology
    b, or

    are your free times important to you because you have or may develop other interests outside of your work time (hobbies, travel, children, other)? a) critically b) nah, i don't care too much about that
    a, or
    b, oncology

    do you like working in teams when a) you have a lot of opportunity to talk and interact with your coworkers, or b) are you ok working more on your own than not?
    a, or
    b, oncology

    do you find yourself drawn to a) caring for people and families with cancer, with many familiar repeat admissions, some successes, some progress to hospice, some bad deaths, or b) might you be susceptible to burnout after witnessing suffering and losses and prefer your patients to be asleep?
    a) oncology
    b) or

    are you a) a heck of a good problem-solver and like to keep emotions out of things when it gets stressful? or b) a good listener, empathetic, in control of your own psyche, good at therapeutic communication?
    a) or
    b) oncology

    is your free time and a regular schedule worth as much as money to you?
    how do you feel about "taking your work home with you" versus "i gotta leave it all behind me when i walk out"?
    do you have a chance to shadow in each to see how it feels? ask nurses in each why they do what they do...and why they don't do what they don't do. you will learn a lot doing that, and something unexpected will resonate with you.

    no right or wrong answers, and i hope others will chime in with their insights.
    want to always be able to get a job? (or)
    oh, and do you have good veins and feet? (or) do you have a really strong back? (oncology)
    i think i am going to print this out!! thank you! really a great way to help narrow down one's preferences and goals when faced with a choice like this.
    chadkRN likes this.
  8. 1
    Take the med-surg job for sure. As a new grad, you won't get the kind of all-around experience that you need in the OR. In the OR whatever skills you learned in nursing school could get rusty, and if you wanted to transfer somewhere else later it would be like starting all over. Not that you won't learn in OR but the skills seem to be very specialized, and you may end up pigeonholed later. Just my
    Juwon likes this.
  9. 1
    I was in this same predicament...VA new grad program or L&D new grad. It was hard to give up the bigger salary and benefits at the VA, but when it came down to it, I went with my heart L&D for me!!

    It's great that you have options! Go with you think you will be happiest...
    chadkRN likes this.
  10. 1
    Never worked in an OR but I've worked on a Med-Surg/Oncology unit for as long as I've been a nurse (a measly 2 years ), and I feel I have learned more in these 2 years than some of my peers (who went into "specialized" areas) have in 5 years. I have many more immediate paths open to me than someone who went directly to OR, OB, etc. because I know a lot about a lot of different things. I used to scoff at my teachers when they pleaded with us to do a year of med-surg (I hated med-surg before I did an actual preceptorship in it - what you are calling capstone I believe), but I am a firm believer in its experience now.
    chadkRN likes this.
  11. 0
    Thank you to everyone for you time and responses I appreciate all of your wisdom and advice. I will still be praying about it, but think that the Med/Surg experience is a great place for me to start out and at the age of 39 with 6 years of military experience to have a stable career. Thank you again, I am proud to be a part of a profession that truly cares for people


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