Hey guys I need some input from you. I currently work on a cardiac/tele floor but I have a interview soon for a "circulating nurse" in a pediatric hospital's OR. I have been a nurse for 3 years this month and I have to say I'm tired of floor nursing! On my particular unit I rarely feel like a medical professional but "the help" to my patients. I find my day is composed of tons of menial tasks and running myself ragged. I am by no means afraid of work but I want to explore another side of nursing other than bedside! If there are any nurses that work in the OR I would greatly appreciate your feedback about its pros and cons. The job I am interested in is Monday through Friday 7a-3p rather than the three 12s I currently work on my floor. My wife will be having our child in a couple of months and I feel that I will like these hours better also. I am young but I'm starting to get tided of working allllll day long. Thx for the help guys!
Jan 6, '13
Here's one of my posts from another thread, plus some links from the OR forum. You can learn a lot about OR nursing in the OR specialty forum: Operating Room Nursing
Quote from brenay
I am considering being an OR nurse. But once I have children, will it still be convenient? What I mean is, suppose that I work the day shift. I know that surgeries take an extreme amount of time. That means I will have to stay instead of leaving when it is time for me to get off right? I feel like once I have kids, who require being picked up from school and looked after, OR nurse will not look so satisfying.
Quote from Sweet_Wild_Rose
What do you LOVE about being an OR nurse?
OR Pet peeves
That depends a lot on the facility and how they staff. Some facilities will staff all shifts (24/7), especially if they are trauma centers. Others may have various shift lengths. Mine offers 8, 10, and 12 hours shifts. If you work day shift (7-3), you may be relieved at 3 and allowed to go home. Not all surgeries take an extreme amount of time. Yes, teaching hospitals that have residents and such may take longer because of the teaching process, but there are also non-teaching facilities out there where surgeries are done much faster. (Example: my father had his appendectomy at a teaching hospital. Routinely, that surgery requires about 2 hours in the OR at that facility. I work in a non-teaching facility with primarily surgeons with decades of experience. Our appy patients spend about 50 minutes in the OR on average.)
However, most facilities also have call requirements. What this means is that if there are many rooms running and subsequent shifts do not have adequate personnel to staff all surgeries, the call people are required to stay as well. However, you would know your call schedule ahead of time and would be able to make arrangements.
Call requirements vary from facility to facility and specialty to specialty. At my facility, one specialty only covers call on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Another specialty covers a lot of call- 11 people to cover from 3pm to 7am with three on call at a time (my specialty- can be overwhelming when it's a crazy period, but then there are some slow times that make up for it), and then the vast majority of the OR staff take one 8 hour block of call per week (can be second or third shift). However, where you potentially may work may have a completely different call setup.
Something I highly recommend if the OR interests you is to shadow. However, when you shadow your focus should not be watching the surgery- it should be watching the nurse and learning what they do and are responsible for. I will say that we've had many nurses think they want to work in the OR because they love to watch surgery. Then they get an eye-opening experience when they learn just what an OR nurse really does.
By the way, it may not be a traditional bedside nursing position, but you will still be involved with direct patient care and have to deal with patient families as an OR nurse.
Jan 6, '13
There is a myth out there that all circulating nurses do is sit at the computer all day. This myth is usually perpetuated by people who have never worked in an OR in their life. Trust me, you will be doing a fair amount of running yourself ragged regardless of what specialty you elect to go into, and the OR is no exception to that.
Jan 9, '13
Hey guys I had my interview for the OR position today! I think it went pretty well. They told me they may get me to shadow someone soon to make sure I like it. Funny thing is as soon as I left I got a call to schedule an interview for a Hospice Home Health RN!!! This turned out to be a pretty good day for me. Of course I am not sure what the OR's decision is going to be but I'm leaning towards that position over the home health job. To me (on the outside looking in) the OR job is more different from "working the floor" and that appeals to me. However, what are your guys' thoughts? Has anyone every worked home care? How is it? Especially compared to the floor or OR positions???
Feb 4, '13
Hey guys just wanted to let you guys know I got a job offer for the OR!! I'm excited but of course nervous at the same time. I'm happy to get away from the floor and try something entirely different but at the same time I feel like my 3 years of experience goes out the window since I'm heading to a different world! Any advice??
Feb 4, '13
One of our day shift Mon-Fri nurses came to us from the floor, and she works a few shifts a month in our hospital as an agency nurse. If the call requirement for your OR isn't too high, that would be a great way to keep your skills and supplement your income.
Feb 5, '13
Ok thanks! I'm gonna be working Mon-Fri and I was thinking I could pick up if I had to during a Fri night. To me working 8 hr shifts is gonna be better for me than the 12 hr shifts
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