from med/surg and stepdown to pre-op

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    I'm currently on a unit that has both a med/surg side (primarily surgical) and a surgical stepdown unit as well. I am burned out on this. I've been off from work for 2 moths due to surgery and I've taken the time to reflect on my job. I've realized that I do not like inpatient care in general and I want to do something else. I still have two years till I'm done with NP school so I have to do something until then to support myself. I think preop would be a happy medium because I would still get meaningful contact with the patient in an important time but it would eliminate many of the things I don't like about bedside nursing (changing patients, call lights, ADMITS AND DISCHARGES, lifting patients - I have a bad back and knee). Where I work I have 4 to 6 patients primary and we are constantly being asked to do more and more. I do not think that pre-op will be "easy" because I'm sure it's hard work. I just need to get off the floor. Wondering what you think about going to pre-op. I'm most nervous about learning to start IV's because I don't have much experience with that. I have time management and multi-tasking down good. I worry about my reception in pre-op because I'm only 30 but there are some other young pre-op nurses which makes me think at least in my hospital that pre-op is not a place you go to as an old nurse. Thanks guys.
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    No one?
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    I say go for it!! Nursing is my second career and I too am looking into Pre and Post-op. it doesn't hurt to apply. So what if there are people in their 30's, it should not stop you from pursuing another field in nursing.
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    There may be some confusion as to what you are referring to, since the "pre op" area in many hospitals is essentially an outpt/ambulatory department. I am assuming that this is what you are looking at - the place where patients show up on their day of surgery; you gown them up, administer the pre-op meds & sometimes have to start an IV.

    It seems like this would be a great place for any nurse who needs to decrease physical workload, but you will be helping patients transfer (bed--> gurney --> bed) so there is a possibility for more back strain. On the plus side, the workflow is usually much more predictable and hours are stable. I'm sure it will be much more compatible with your school schedule.

    I don't understand the emphasis on age in this discussion. Pre-op and PACU are not exactly areas in which high levels of experience are required. Do you mean that these are areas in which 'old nurses' are put out to pasture? If so, that is probably unique to your facility because it certainly is not that way in other places. Go for it!
  7. 0
    In my hospital, there is a separate Day Surgery (ambulatory) with a separate staff. The position I am interested in is with the main OR preop area. Most of the patients coming in are going to be post-op admints...could be anything from a thoracotomy, gastric bypass, AAA repair, complex ENT surgeries, gynonc, etc. I work at a major hospital so we see everything. Also, there is normally no transferring done in the preop care unit (POCU) as the bed the patient is on is taken from the POCU to the OR and the patient is transferred there. Additionally, say a patient is admitted the day before, they will still go to the POCU before going to the OR. Sometimes when a surgery on an inpatient is added later in the day, a POCU nurse will come to the floor to preop the patient and then they go straight to the OR.

    I was under the impression that the PACU required a lot of experience, namely critical care experience, because you are often dealing with ASA 3 and 4 patients with multiple comorbidities with high levels of acuity. Indeed many patients receive ICU level care in the PACU.

    Quote from HouTx
    There may be some confusion as to what you are referring to, since the "pre op" area in many hospitals is essentially an outpt/ambulatory department. I am assuming that this is what you are looking at - the place where patients show up on their day of surgery; you gown them up, administer the pre-op meds & sometimes have to start an IV.


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