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Joined Oct 28, '12 - from 'Denver, CO, US'. heartlover is a BSN, RN, CNOR. She has '9' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Cardiovascular and thoracic surgery'. Posts: 44 (23% Liked) Likes: 15

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  • May 24 '15

    Quote from adzam08
    I was wondering if anyone can give me advice on their experience as a travel nurse in the OR? I have only worked in one OR and curious how others are run for ease of being a travel nurse.

    I am interested to hear any personal input as to positives and negatives or travel rn in OR?
    - With only a day or two orientation, have you felt comfortable in the OR alone?
    - Is is difficult to fit in/make friends, as you will have much less interaction with other nurses unlike floor nursing?
    - How different it circulating in every hospital? Is it difficult to learn surgeon preferences?Will you be expected to learn/know them immediately?

    I feel like a lot of learning to circulate successfully in my current job is not only learning the specific supplies, instruments and set ups for each case and service specialty, but also each particular surgeons personal preferences. With basically little to no orientation, would I constantly feel like I am behind or completely lost.

    In my current job, we have pick tickets for each case/surgeon that gives a short description of meds, supplies, instruments and sometimes a brief note on positioning or case specific info. Does every OR do this or something similar?

    I feel comfortable as a circulting nurse where I am at currently, and am very eager to travel and ready for a difficult challenge, but worried I will feel like I am drowning underwater in another OR?!? Is travel nursing in the OR more difficult then traveling in floor nursing ? I also have Labor and delivery experience and could try that too.

    I started traveling after almost two years in my first OR. I was definitely a little scared of the experience but also excited and ready for the challenge! I am a very fast learner and was confident in my skills at the time as well as my ability to learn new skills. I am a very outgoing person with a "strong" personality that is also a bit bubbly and talkative. Those things made the transition to traveling very easy for me. I went in confident but ready to learn and made friends quickly because of my personality.

    I would definitely ask about orientation, expectations, surgeon pick tickets (most places have some form of them), etc on any interview you might have. Also ask if travelers are able to extend contracts or go permanent after their contracts and how often people do that. That way you can try to tell how receptive they are to travelers and how well travelers like it there.

    Also as a traveler you have to partially adopt the theory " when in Rome" as long as it is safe for patient care. Meaning don't fight them if they make their beds differently or position a little differently just because its not what you are used to. As they say:, there are many ways to skin a cat... Just stand your ground if it is a patient safety issue. I left a couple hospitals because I felt their practice was not at a standard I was comfortable with.

    So anyway I think as long as you are comfortable with your current skills and are eager and willing to learn more and have a somewhat outgoing personality you will do great at traveling to other ORs. Good luck out there!