I have been working in a med-surg unit since I graduated from nursing school three years ago. I am fed up with the high patient loads, short staffing and cancellations when census is low, so I would like to move on There is an open position in the OR that I could apply for. I would like to get feedback from OR nurses about the work in this unit. Some nurses have told me that I am going to lose my skills if I transfer to the OR and that the on call time is a killer. I would appreciate your advice.
Nov 1, '02
I am not an OR nurse, but am in CRNA school. As an anethetist, I know that the OR nurse is a team member who we rely on. This nurse needs to have very sharp skills, they are just different than floor nurse skills. They are more like critical care skills. You need to be able to get along with alot of different personalities and be a team member. You need to be willing to do whatever needs to be done in the best interest of the pt and not "its not my job" kind of a person.
It can be very rewarding, I'm sure. Why not give it a try? You may love it!
Nov 2, '02
Bancho, any area of nursing you work in utilizes some skills and not others. I work in ICU, therefore I don't get many opportunities at IV starts (pt already has one when we get him, pt has central line, pt moves out before it's time to rotate sites). I'm not that great at starting IVs because of this. But if I went to work on a med-surg floor, I'd get to start lots of IVs but never touch a Swan-Ganz catheter and do cardiac outputs, like I do now. Eventually I'd not be so great at those things either. So if you go to work in OR, expect to lose a few skills and get really good at others because you do them so much. If you don't like where you are, I say go for it! It's an environment I really enjoyed in nursing school, and if it wasn't for the fact that I plan to go to anesthesia school, I'd probably be working in OR or PACU myself.
Nov 2, '02
Don't worry about losing skills. You lost a lot of the skills you learned in school already by focusing on the med surg ones. That always happens, regardless of the area in which you work, AND you always learn and polish up some new ones.
A couple of things to consider:
1) You would be standing in one place for long periods of time. Would this be a physical problem for you? Think "varicose veins, knees, feet, and back."
2) You would be doing heavy lifting before and after these standing periods. Would this be a physical problem for you? Think "back."
If these would not be problems, I'd certainly suggest you go for it. OR nurses are always in demand and any kind of training (esp. PAID training) you can get to add to your skills is worthwhile.
And besides, if for some reason you hate it, you can always go back to med surg nursing, god knows.
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