What's the difference between these nurses? - page 2

Hi. What's the difference between MED/SURG, ER and OPERATING ROOM nuses? Or should I say how is it different working in those areas? I'm interested in all three (but more towards ER) and I would love... Read More

  1. by   LPN1974
    Quote from imastudent
    OHHHH so that's what I do or will do in my BSN program :hatparty: ok that cleared a LOT up! thanks! what was i thinking trying to figure out what my specialty should be when i haven't even had any hands on experience HAHA :chuckle

    No.....while you are in school you should get a taste of it all.
    Then you will decide what your specialty is after school.
  2. by   JessicaInOr
    Quote from imastudent
    Hi. What's the difference between MED/SURG, ER and OPERATING ROOM nuses? Or should I say how is it different working in those areas? I'm interested in all three (but more towards ER) and I would love to hear about each of them before I decide to gain experience.

    Also, if I become either NP or a CNS who specializes in surgery, would it require a lot of bedside nursing?

    Thank you! :hatparty:
    My suggestion is to spend some time in Med/Surg. That is where you will seriously learn some organizational skills. You will need that regardless of where you go.

    I have spent most of my time in OR, ER, Trauma Unit, and ICU. I love Trauma and I love OR. Many feel OR is boring. The scrub tech gets to do more than the nurse ... or so it seems. But I still love OR.

    I was a pharmacy tech during college. I recall going into OR to fill the pyxis and I saw a surgeon holding a tumor up to the light and he was looking at it. I was hooked that very moment.

    He saw me staring at the tumor and asked me if I knew what it was. I just stood there like a dolt looking at the tumor. I said it didn't look like a "part" but it was cool nonetheless. :chuckle The next procedure I watched was a BKA. Below the knee amputation. It all looked like ground hamburger at the time but I was in love with OR from that moment on. The surgeon was young and very cool. He told me to put on a mask and watch if I wanted. The drugs I was carrying could wait, I was watching surgery!!!

    I must have asked a million questions. He even opened the artery of the leg he was amputating and he showed me a yellow stick. He asked if I knew what that was. I didn't have a clue. He said it was cholesterol. He snapped it like a twig. It even sounded like a twig snapping.

    Then I got to know a neurosurgeon and she was great! I still love that woman to this day. She showed me my first brain mapping.

    One very cool thing about surgeons is that they love to teach. They also love to show off. First surgeon I encountered wasn't very nice though. I walked in OR to fill my Pyxis and he thought I was a nurse. He asked me if I was the G.. D... nurse. I replied no, I was G.. D... Pharmacy. Then I turned around and walked out. I promptly went to the nurse manager and she did something that shocked me. She got a fly swatter and it had "surgeon spanker" sewn into the threads of the swatter. She took me back into the OR suite and insisted the surgeon apologize to me for his poor childish behavior. I was floored, I had no idea nurses could talk to doctors that way! You know what? He DID apologize. Then he showed me abdominal surgery.

    It's all VERY cool.
  3. by   deadhead359
    Quote from imastudent
    yea..that's what a figured what im missing. nursing experiences! i havent even been to a hospital for years...i just wanted to get some info in nursing but one thing led to another and now im just full of info and none of them fit into places :uhoh21: but ill figure it out after i finish my BSN program =)
    Hi
    I'm glad to hear that you are interested in nursing. It is a great profession. What brought you to nursing? Sounds like you are anxious to start and that's good! Lots of luck to you.

    If you are entering a BSN program you will experience all types of nursing from psych, peds, maternal/child, med/surg, community as said before. In my experience, OR, ER and ICU experiences are not as easy to get. Usually only a few students get to rotate through these areas. Don't worry, you'll sort yourself out and you will find an area that interests you.
  4. by   suzanne4
    Quote from LPN1974
    You should do a rotation in every department that the hospital has.
    That includes med/surg, ER, surgery, Pediatrics, OB, recovery, and I may be missing some.
    You won't have the option of opting out of these rotations. They are required.
    It could last 4 to 6 weeks in each department, that's MY estimate, it might be more.
    And you may even do some rotations in facilities outside of the hospital.
    You could be going to some nursing homes in the area, or maybe some other places your instructors have arranged for you to go.

    I'm not sure what your other questions mean.
    Maybe someone else can answer those.
    You do not do rotations in PACU or ER, only as electives. They are not part of the core curriculum. Same as with surgery.
    Instructors do not do the arranging of clinical sites, it is the college or program that does............
  5. by   JVanRN
    I don't like this icon.
  6. by   imastudent
    Quote from suzanne4
    You do not do rotations in PACU or ER, only as electives. They are not part of the core curriculum. Same as with surgery.
    Instructors do not do the arranging of clinical sites, it is the college or program that does............
    really...then im going to select those electives! (i LIKE this smily btw haha)

    oh and do all registered nurses have to learn how to give injections? i dont know if this is a bad thing but thinking about putting needles through people's arms, etc scares me

    also do you have to write papers or turn in research papers while youre in the bsn program?
    Last edit by imastudent on Apr 9, '05
  7. by   imastudent
    Quote from deadhead359
    Hi
    I'm glad to hear that you are interested in nursing. It is a great profession. What brought you to nursing? Sounds like you are anxious to start and that's good! Lots of luck to you.

    If you are entering a BSN program you will experience all types of nursing from psych, peds, maternal/child, med/surg, community as said before. In my experience, OR, ER and ICU experiences are not as easy to get. Usually only a few students get to rotate through these areas. Don't worry, you'll sort yourself out and you will find an area that interests you.
    Thnx! It's nice to hear that it is a great profession because I've read some posts with "we're so underpaid" and "im burnt out and it's only my first month" etc and it was starting to discourage me..it made me wonder if i should really go into nursing and i cant say that there are other careers that i also want to persue because i am only 19 yrs old :uhoh21:

    I've always been interested in diseases and their affects on people (im not morbid i promise =D and i dont want to work with infectious diseases at all) and although i dont do this anymore i used to watch surgeries on tv and i always find myself stopping the chanel whenever i see stories of people with disorders that make them age faster than normal, kids with bg, deformed faces or suffering from that mucus build up disease, etc. My dad used to freak out whenever I watched shows that took the viewers into the surgery room and when he saw a glimpse of blood he actually made me change the chanel even if he wasn't going to watch tv with me these are some of the things that brought me into choosing nursing as my career .. like ive said earlier in my posts .. im scared at the thought of having to give injections and seeing people die/suffer in pain, etc but i have so much interest in those topics .. also ive never seen people in critical conditions .. my life has been the opposite of what goes on in the hospital and that makes me hesitant to go in there .. so much responsiblies and death or life situations..also the bedside nursing worries me because believe it or not ive never done my own laundry before..maybe two times..but who knows, with some experience i might come to love it and with more experience ill become a pro at it :hatparty:
    Last edit by imastudent on Apr 9, '05
  8. by   JessicaInOr
    Quote from imastudent
    really...then im going to select those electives! (i LIKE this smily btw haha)

    oh and do all registered nurses have to learn how to give injections? i dont know if this is a bad thing but thinking about putting needles through people's arms, etc scares me

    also do you have to write papers or turn in research papers while youre in the bsn program?
    You know the funny thing about giving injections? Once you learn to give them, they aren't such a big deal to receive anymore either. They hurt a lot more before I learned to give them.

    I've only met one nurse that absolutely hated giving injections. She was trained in Cananda. Her teachers brainwashed her and she was afraid to give injections. She did great in surgery. Not too many injections there.
  9. by   imastudent
    Quote from AzMichelle
    You know the funny thing about giving injections? Once you learn to give them, they aren't such a big deal to receive anymore either. They hurt a lot more before I learned to give them.

    I've only met one nurse that absolutely hated giving injections. She was trained in Cananda. Her teachers brainwashed her and she was afraid to give injections. She did great in surgery. Not too many injections there.
    so all registered nurses have to learn how to give injections eventually, but if you dont like doing it you can choose to do something that does not or require little of giving injections such as working in the surgery room. right?

    were you ever afraid that you might stick the needle into the wrong place? or is that impossible to happen?
  10. by   LPN1974
    Quote from suzanne4
    You do not do rotations in PACU or ER, only as electives. They are not part of the core curriculum. Same as with surgery.
    Instructors do not do the arranging of clinical sites, it is the college or program that does............

    I don't think I was giving wrong information suzanne.
    In my nursing program we rotated to every department, even ER and surgery.
    Maybe they don't make RN students do so, but this person was asking alot of questions that no one seemed to be really giving an answer to, and I based my answer on my own school program.

    And it doesn't matter if it is the instructor or the school who makes the "arrangements", the point is there ARE arrangements made for the students to do clinical rotations, and possibly outside of the hospital to other sites.

    And maybe every school or college is different.
  11. by   JessicaInOr
    Quote from imastudent
    so all registered nurses have to learn how to give injections eventually, but if you dont like doing it you can choose to do something that does not or require little of giving injections such as working in the surgery room. right?

    were you ever afraid that you might stick the needle into the wrong place? or is that impossible to happen?
    I think you'll find that once you do it the first time, it really isn't a big deal. You'll be poking people for lots of reasons, starting IVs, drawing blood, giving injections... you can't really avoid it. But I will promise you that it seems like a much bigger issue than it really is. I've given gallons of drugs over the years, it's not a biggie. And once you are good at it you'll find it isn't the needle that hurts in an injection, it's the drug.

    The biggest challenge is talking the patient into it then getting them to roll over and drop their drawers to fanny up for the procedure. Talking them into it generally takes longer that giving the darn thing. :chuckle

    Whether you are giving an injection with the patient sunnyside up or in an arm, leg, etc... you aim for specific sections to avoid certain major nerves, etc. Picture this, if you are giving an injection in a hip you would stand behind the person (assuming they are standing). You visually (don't really do this, just picture it... patients will think you are weird otherwise!) put your right thumb on the top of the crack of their butt and pinky on the side hip bone. Where your other three fingertips are, that is where the needle typically goes.

    Is any of this answering your questions?
  12. by   imastudent
    Quote from AzMichelle
    I think you'll find that once you do it the first time, it really isn't a big deal. You'll be poking people for lots of reasons, starting IVs, drawing blood, giving injections... you can't really avoid it. But I will promise you that it seems like a much bigger issue than it really is. I've given gallons of drugs over the years, it's not a biggie. And once you are good at it you'll find it isn't the needle that hurts in an injection, it's the drug.

    The biggest challenge is talking the patient into it then getting them to roll over and drop their drawers to fanny up for the procedure. Talking them into it generally takes longer that giving the darn thing. :chuckle

    Whether you are giving an injection with the patient sunnyside up or in an arm, leg, etc... you aim for specific sections to avoid certain major nerves, etc. Picture this, if you are giving an injection in a hip you would stand behind the person (assuming they are standing). You visually (don't really do this, just picture it... patients will think you are weird otherwise!) put your right thumb on the top of the crack of their butt and pinky on the side hip bone. Where your other three fingertips are, that is where the needle typically goes.

    Is any of this answering your questions?
    yes :chuckle this board has been VERY helpful :hatparty:

    i heard that nurses first practice their injection skills on dolls. is this true? was your first human injection a patient?
    Last edit by imastudent on Apr 9, '05
  13. by   JessicaInOr
    Quote from imastudent
    yes :chuckle this board has been VERY helpful :hatparty:

    i heard that nurses first practice their injection skills on dolls. is this true? was your first human injection a patient?
    No, mine was a fellow student. Lucky girl she was! HA

    We practiced most everything on each other. Starting IVs, injections, venipuncture, bed baths, the works. That part of school wasn't fun.

    A person I worked with years ago did an ER rotation where she had a drug abuser patient. She had to draw blood on the guy and she kept trying and just couldn't find a vein. Finally he offered to help. :chuckle I don't believe she took him up on that offer but she did admit to letting him show her a better place to look for a vein.

close