I love the OR. One patient at a time (who is asleep). No families. One team doing one job together. Doctors treat us good because they NEED us. The day has a beginning and end. The procedures have a beginning, a middle, and an end, you aren't scattered over 8 patients trying to get it all done at once. Only dealing with one service, surgical, so you aren't juggling conflicting orders from multiple services. The technology is soooooo neat. If the patient heads south, you have anesthesia there to work it out, you are never alone. You get to train the medical students, residents, nursing students, and nursing in training. I love to teach. Every day is interesting and you learn something new every day. Your self esteem is pretty in tact, at least where I work, there's not a lot of that infamous horizontal violence that you read here so much. You get a scheduled break and a scheduled lunch (no such thing in the unit I was in before, couldn't even go to the bathroom). In many services we play a little music, we laugh, we tell jokes. We're a pretty tight group and we get along well with the doctors and residents.
It's not all roses. I don't know any nursing job that is. I've had a stapler thrown at me - that surgeon is now gone. There are some mean nurses, so what, I'm every bit as good or better than they are at the job- I just kill em with kindness most of the time or ignore em, they rarely get me riled up. Some surgeons are jerks, okay, so I can really make their day difficult if they really want to play that way. I get to run the room, how often does that happen in nursing, yes, I may have to take the blame some days when things don't work out (like you can't get the equipment they want because it's in use somewhere else), but most of the times I hear thank you after every case, I love that, rarely heard "thanks" in the unit no matter how hard I worked. There's more good than bad and it keeps me in the OR. The only other nursing I want to do is clinical management or teaching.