Nervous about first OR observation...

  1. Hello, All!

    I am in my first semester of a 4 semester ADN nursing program, and tomorrow I will have my first opportunity to observe in the OR. I will be observing a total knee replacement surgery.

    For some reason I am VERY ANXIOUS tonight! I know who the doctor is and what time the surgery is, but I was not able to get any info or history on the patient. This is VERY unlike my usual 6-8 page, 2-4 hour prep for a patient in clinicals, so perhaps that is what is causing my anxiety.

    I found the thread on here with tips for observing in OR and I read them all. I am planning to get up early and eat a good breakfast with protein. I read the info in my Med/Surg book about total joint replacement and I watched a Youtube video of a total knee surgery. (It was edited - only 10 min. long but it showed all of the cutting, sawing, hammering, etc.) I even looked up possible drugs my patient might be given after surgery... I think I am about as prepared as I can be. But why am I so ANXIOUS???

    I do not faint at the sight of blood. I am a bit concerned about the possible smell, but plan to bring some alcohol wipes in my pocket if I can. I have taken 2 Tylenol PM and I guess it is time for me to go to bed... I just hope I can relax in the morning.

    Please share how you felt about your first OR observation and any tips for me for controlling this anxious feeling! I don't have any anxiety meds, so that is not an option...
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    About Baubo516, ADN, RN

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 428; Likes: 470


  3. by   humanoidRN
    I was also nervous for my first OR experience, crazy mine was also a TKR! The nurses I helped were awesome and showed me everything, just always be mindful of where you are at at all times. I would recommend if they don't already tell you this, ask them to tell you exactly where to be in order to be out of the way but still see what's going on. Remember to stay as far away as possible from all sterile fields, even the ones that you think they are finished with, just to be safe. Walk on the outter edge if the room with you front facing the middle of the room, it's seems weird but the staff in the OR were highly appreciative that I was so aware of the fields at all times. Once you get over that, just breathe and enjoy. Many people think they won't be able to handle watching surgery, but if done right, there will be minimal bleeding and you can see all the pieces perfectly. I hope what I said has helped, and I wish you the best! (It's my first day on postpartum tomorrow so I'm in the same shoes)
  4. by   Baubo516
    Thanks, humanoidRN! It's morning now and I am feeling lots better - possibly because I had dreams about my old job last night, and they reminded me that I don't want to go back to doing that!

    Good luck to you today and thanks for replying to a nervous, freaking out student!