Or Nursing

  1. Hi,
    I am a soon to be nursing student and have a question about OR Nursing. Forgive me if I am wrong but here is my insight of it, and if I am wrong please correct me.
    OR Nursing seems to be the "best" type of nursing because you don't have to do nasty stuff like wipe a butt or pick up crap or suction mucus, and it also seems good because you dont get emotionally attached to a patient because you don't really interact with them. Is this correct?
    Also, do OR Nurses also work 12 hour shifts?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   GilaRRT
    hehe...I guess it depends on what you want out of your nursing career. You will still have to do a good amount of "nasty stuff" as an OR nurse. This will vary according to your specific role. (scrub, pacu, circulator, etc) Hours are highly variable and expect to do allot of on call time. Like every nursing role, OR is great for some and horrible for others.
  4. by   RNperdiem
    Substitute "demanding surgeons" for "demanding patients". I considered OR at one point. That said, OR is a place where many nurses stay for a long time, which is good considering how long training and experience has to be to become a good OR nurse.
  5. by   Annony RN
    Compared to some of the suctioning we do in the OR, a trip down the trach is pleasant.

    Sometimes we do have to clean poop. We have a lot of incontinent elderly patients in the OR. Where do you think all those hips are repaired and dialysis grafts formed? Not to mention the occasional rectal tube, oozing bowel prep, and sigmoidoscopy. Then there's the interesting stuff that comes out of bottoms in the OR... potatoes, batteries, vibrators, shampoo bottles...

    Sometimes you have to wipes fat globules off your shoes. Sometimes you almost slip on a soaking wet bloody sponge on the floor during an emerency AAA.

    Sometimes your anesthesiologist did not give enough Zofran and your shoes get puked on.

    Sometimes your heart aches because you wish you had more time to get to know a patient with a new dx of diabetes as he starts to question his medicine and testing regime at home since he will be discharged this afternoon. (What the heck? I meant "do you have any questions about your surgery." You'll be asleep in 10 minutes, I can't play case manager now)

    Sometimes you get the right mix of people in your room and the day feels like 5 minutes. All teamwork and jokes. Even the patients join in because the room just feels happy. Sometimes your surgeon acts like a 5 year old with a broken balloon, your anesthesia tech never shows up until after the pt is on vent, and your scrub forgot to pick suture. You could cope with it all but the CRNA you're working with today has the personality of a brick.

    You have to stay on your toes because everyhting you know about the patient you learned in about 60 seconds of talking to them, assessing them, and skimming the chart. Labs, history, allergies. You have to take it all in like that (imagine me snapping my fingers) because when the surgeon asks to inject with dye it might be up to you to know the pts kidneys can't handle Reno. You need to change your plans for a simple cataract because the woman has an artificial hip, and throat CA.

    You have to LOVE it.
    You have to be a bit nuts.
  6. by   GadgetRN71
    1) plenty of code browns happen in the OR and there are always gangrenous body parts to consider as well as mucus. Anesthesia suctions that, but I've seen nurses and techs get nailed by flying boogers so you're not even safe there.
    2) Like any part of the hospital, you get your repeat patients. I wouldn't say that you don't get emotionally attached either. Think about it, many of these patients are in a powerless situation(having surgery) and they're scared and worried. You are that patients advocate because they cannot speak for themselves.

    Or nursing is exciting and and challenging. If you chose this specialty because you are afraid of poop and don't want to be emotionally involved, you will be a mediocre to poor OR nurse. Good luck on whatever you decide.
  7. by   ASSEDO
    the good part about the or is the patients usually go to sleep, so you don't have to listen to them whine. just the surgeon. however, you will be a captured audience (some times for hours) to the surgeon and anesthesia - who brag about their trips, new cars, their new 4 story homes, boat houses and important people they know and have met along the way. that's enough to make you want to blow your brains out.

    the or is generally nasty, blood, fat, suction,and pus. then you crawl around on the floor trying to make equipment work that noah threw off his art because it didn't work for him either.

    the surgeon is always pushing you to "turn over" his room because he has office hours. he may be overscheduled by his office, but that will become your fault he doesn't care that you are not his employee, but that your work for the hospital that have their own standards, like a clean room and a new set clean insturments.

    you get yelled out, reported, degraded and always in fear of loosing your license because some other happy jack didn't do their work.

    you are exposed to all types of deadly illnesses. poop not always being one of them.

    if you lucky enough to survive two years in the or, then you will have "arrived." if you have not been called a b###h within that time, maybe you will be considered a wimp. you by that time will have accomplished greatness. two reasons why i think nurses never leave the or (1) they have learned to work with a team and will consider nothing less. (2) they have developed skills that are very advanced technically, professionally and become possessive of those skills. you always have to prove yourself to your patient, your team, and yourself. it is not for a lazy, laid back person. it's fast paced, hard work (lifting three hundred pound patient) and lots of call time. speaking of call time, you may be required to sleep in a room less the size of your closet at home, with a rock hard bed. but, if a doctor has to spend then night, you will give up your room and sleep in an empty bed located anywhere in the hospital. possibly the recovery room, which is noisy, lights on and oh yes, sometimes you smell poop and other bodily odors there too.

    nurse that work for auditors, utilization review or insurance companies don't'smell poop. maybe you should try that..
  8. by   Annony RN
    LOL I can just see Noak tossing those old camera/illuminator/insufflator settups off the ark. I guess that explains why we seemed to have 2, and only 2, of each type of crappy system that was not compatible to any other system.
  9. by   JbelRN83
    Quote from smithbc1
    the good part about the or is the patients usually go to sleep, so you don't have to listen to them whine. just the surgeon. however, you will be a captured audience (some times for hours) to the surgeon and anesthesia - who brag about their trips, new cars, their new 4 story homes, boat houses and important people they know and have met along the way. that's enough to make you want to blow your brains out.

    the or is generally nasty, blood, fat, suction,and pus. then you crawl around on the floor trying to make equipment work that noah threw off his art because it didn't work for him either.

    the surgeon is always pushing you to "turn over" his room because he has office hours. he may be overscheduled by his office, but that will become your fault he doesn't care that you are not his employee, but that your work for the hospital that have their own standards, like a clean room and a new set clean insturments.

    you get yelled out, reported, degraded and always in fear of loosing your license because some other happy jack didn't do their work.

    you are exposed to all types of deadly illnesses. poop not always being one of them.

    if you lucky enough to survive two years in the or, then you will have "arrived." if you have not been called a b###h within that time, maybe you will be considered a wimp. you by that time will have accomplished greatness. two reasons why i think nurses never leave the or (1) they have learned to work with a team and will consider nothing less. (2) they have developed skills that are very advanced technically, professionally and become possessive of those skills. you always have to prove yourself to your patient, your team, and yourself. it is not for a lazy, laid back person. it's fast paced, hard work (lifting three hundred pound patient) and lots of call time. speaking of call time, you may be required to sleep in a room less the size of your closet at home, with a rock hard bed. but, if a doctor has to spend then night, you will give up your room and sleep in an empty bed located anywhere in the hospital. possibly the recovery room, which is noisy, lights on and oh yes, sometimes you smell poop and other bodily odors there too.

    nurse that work for auditors, utilization review or insurance companies don't'smell poop. maybe you should try that..
    hi i just graduated this may 2007 and have decided to pursue my nursing career in the or. unfortunately during nursing school we never had a clinical rotation in the or. i was lucky enough to have more than enough instructors who provided plenty of days of observation in different or throughout my rotations. so i had an idea of what i was getting myself into. i was fortunate enough to find a hospital more than willing to teach and hire my new blood into their or team. i think the youngest rn they have graduated 2 years ago and was excited to find out i was joining their or suite. so my question is do you suggest i read up on perioperative or wait for the hospital's training? i always feel better when i read before going into something. i guess it's just a matter of getting my feet wet. thanks so much for any input.
  10. by   ASSEDO
    congrats! two books are a must have:
    (1) standards, recommended practices, and guidelines for aorn, get the lates edition. last years edition may be outdated. buy for aorn website.
    all hospitals should follow this book!! it is a standard. the cnor is based on this book, or cerification. it is a wealth of information.

    (2) care of the patient in surgery, alexander's mosby. don't settle for anything else.

    see if your new facility will send you to 55th aorn congress, located in anaheim, calfornia, march 30-april 3, 2008, make your room reservation and register congress asap. rates on congress will increase by feb. room rates may be snapped up quickly. its a big production! you will be impressed. people talk about congress for years. you will be hooked in a grand way.

    good luck!!
  11. by   JbelRN83
    thank you so much! i can't wait. i start orientation november 12th. our first week is a general orientation and i'm lucky to have one of my close friends from nursing school to be in that same orientation but after the first week we're split up into our specialties. so with that said i'm on my way to get those books and read up. i really appreciate the advice!

    Quote from smithbc1
    congrats! two books are a must have:
    (1) standards, recommended practices, and guidelines for aorn, get the lates edition. last years edition may be outdated. buy for aorn website.
    all hospitals should follow this book!! it is a standard. the cnor is based on this book, or cerification. it is a wealth of information.

    (2) care of the patient in surgery, alexander's mosby. don't settle for anything else.

    see if your new facility will send you to 55th aorn congress, located in anaheim, calfornia, march 30-april 3, 2008, make your room reservation and register congress asap. rates on congress will increase by feb. room rates may be snapped up quickly. its a big production! you will be impressed. people talk about congress for years. you will be hooked in a grand way.

    good luck!!

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