HI Nurse Beth,
I'm a newer RN, just under 2 years experience. Over a year of that was on a 'Major Surgery' unit that specialized in taking care of post op patients until discharge. The other 10 months of my experience was on a med/surg orthopedics and telemetry unit. I loved being a nurse for surgical patients! I recently relocated to San Diego - i would love to get a job in pre-op, OR or pacu or even ambulatory surgery center- however everyone wants you to already have experience in these areas- how are you supposed to get experience if no one will hire without it? it's very discouraging and I don't want to do a general med/surg floor- what are some options and how do i ever get that experience?
Dear Wants OR,
That’s a tough one, because it seems OR and periop areas are always looking for experience, and often do not take new grads, or even RNs with a couple of years of floor experience, like you.
If I was trying to get into the OR/peri-op area, I would pull out all the stops. I would get a job in a hospital, and then find a way to introduce myself to the PACU and OR managers.
I would take a job on a general floor, knowing it would be temporary with the rationale being to get my foot in the door and start to make contacts.
Another option is to try to hire into an op invasive areas such as GI Lab, because sometimes the manager is closely affiliated with the surgical areas.
Alternatively, I would try to get a job in an outpatient ambulatory surgical setting to get experience. Don’t give up, especially with your passion. There has to be the right job in San Diego for you.