"Med-Surg first"..need advice from a student RN - page 2

Hi! I'm graduating in December from an RN program and always been interested in surgery, in fact I was going to go to a surgical tech school while waiting to get in the RN program. Fortunately I got... Read More

  1. by   ortess1971
    Quote from antihippie
    The OP is in the same position I am in, except I graduate in May instead of December, so this is a topic I've thought about alot. One thing that made me finally say forget Med/Surg for a year before the OR is that it seems all the nurses that were telling me to do Med/Surg first from instructors to co-workers had never worked in the OR. While all the OR nurses I have spoken to said you didn't need Med/Surg first it was totally different.

    I am attracted to the OR by the atmosphere of professional respect that I don't always see between nurses on Med/Surg floors and the actual finishing of tasks/solving of problems that occurs there. Med/Surg has just always seemed more of a maintanence of problems rather than a resolution from what I've seen. No matter what we do on my floor (GYN/PEDS/SHORT STAY) it seems we get the same patients over and over again for the same problems and nothing is ever really resolved. Maybe this is a problem of unrealistic expectations on my part but I like the feeling of actual closure that occurs in the OR rather than knowing that tonight when I go to work Mr. B will be in again for hyperglycemia or Ms. H will be in again for ETOH.
    Exactly-that is one of the things I love about the OR-I'm not very patient and I tend to think surgically. That is, don't waste time with meds etc for some of these problems-go in and fix them already!
  2. by   EasyDoesIt5692
    Dear Kattsrn: I guess it depends on your location in the country. I work in a small city hospital and after RN school went directly into ER and then for the last 18 years have worked in the OR-PACU. I'm currently stressed out as our hospital has downsized and now the large corporation that bought us wants us to "float" to the Med-surg floor and since I do not have med-surg cross-training, feel that I'm not qualified to do so-however, that hasn't stopped them from saying that I work for the corporation and they can send me anywhere they want! I know that ethically and legally I am not qualified--but they seem to think that 2-4 days orientation and student experience is enough to be assigned a 3-4 patient care assignment. The only thing that may help me is that I was a previous LPN with med-surg experience even though it has been 26 yrs in the interim. Good Luck, I love OR nursing-it is where I belong, however, if you are just starting out, I recommend the basic med-surg nursing for 6 months-1year, just because you never know what the future will bring. I had no idea I would come full circle once I entered acute care, and now it's coming back to haunt me.
  3. by   ortess1971
    Quote from EasyDoesIt5692
    Dear Kattsrn: I guess it depends on your location in the country. I work in a small city hospital and after RN school went directly into ER and then for the last 18 years have worked in the OR-PACU. I'm currently stressed out as our hospital has downsized and now the large corporation that bought us wants us to "float" to the Med-surg floor and since I do not have med-surg cross-training, feel that I'm not qualified to do so-however, that hasn't stopped them from saying that I work for the corporation and they can send me anywhere they want! I know that ethically and legally I am not qualified--but they seem to think that 2-4 days orientation and student experience is enough to be assigned a 3-4 patient care assignment. The only thing that may help me is that I was a previous LPN with med-surg experience even though it has been 26 yrs in the interim. Good Luck, I love OR nursing-it is where I belong, however, if you are just starting out, I recommend the basic med-surg nursing for 6 months-1year, just because you never know what the future will bring. I had no idea I would come full circle once I entered acute care, and now it's coming back to haunt me.
    Wow, that's pretty shady of them-I have never seen a hospital float out its OR staff to other floors though. The closest we've come is to have a nurse or a tech go up to OB to scrub a c-section. I really think that your situation is rare, with all due respect. Most OR's are so busy that the hospital would never consider floating the nurses out. I still say for 99.9 % of people, med/surg is not necessary, especially if you really know that it is for you. Someone with no healthcare experience or exposure to the OR might do well to try M/S, but I've even seen complete healthcare "virgins" do well in the operating room. Again, I think it's horrible what your facility is doing -Do you have any recourse?(union etc?)Your license is on the line.
  4. by   EasyDoesIt5692
    Quote from ortess1971
    Wow, that's pretty shady of them-I have never seen a hospital float out its OR staff to other floors though. The closest we've come is to have a nurse or a tech go up to OB to scrub a c-section. I really think that your situation is rare, with all due respect. Most OR's are so busy that the hospital would never consider floating the nurses out. I still say for 99.9 % of people, med/surg is not necessary, especially if you really know that it is for you. Someone with no healthcare experience or exposure to the OR might do well to try M/S, but I've even seen complete healthcare "virgins" do well in the operating room. Again, I think it's horrible what your facility is doing -Do you have any recourse?(union etc?)Your license is on the line.
    Sure, but I'm 53 years old now and with all the downsizing we have become more like an outpatient surgery center, M-F, Weekends & holidays off, very little call, after over 35 yrs in the nursing profession, I feel I've earned this position finally. I've checked with our union, and I can have whoever is in charge/supervising sign that I have informed them of my concerns and therefore if they order me to take the patient load they will go down with me. I haven't given them the alternative of a mandatory cross-train according to any other nurse who has never worked in our facility. I'm currently exploring other options, too, legal nursing, maybe leave OR nursing altogether--there are usually some kind of options-just a matter of one I think I can live with. Thanks for the empathy--I (and others) have also stated that OR nurses usually to not float out-but the times they are a changing.
  5. by   KattSRN
    hi ! i know this thread is already old..but i would like to give an update to anyone that is interested, anyways just want to say that I have graduated last December, took the NCLEX and passed !! :smiletea2: on April 2 and I have an interview with the OR nurse manager today...yipee
    Thanks again everyone for the advice....:spin:
  6. by   crawlyberry
    Hi...I am also a student and interested in OR nursing. I am 4'11 and have been told by my instructors that my height might be an issue in the OR. Has anyone experienced this?
  7. by   inspir8tion
    Congratulations!!!

    Quote from KattSRN
    hi ! i know this thread is already old..but i would like to give an update to anyone that is interested, anyways just want to say that I have graduated last December, took the NCLEX and passed !! :smiletea2: on April 2 and I have an interview with the OR nurse manager today...yipee
    Thanks again everyone for the advice....:spin:
  8. by   RN60453
    Congrats on your accomplishment, I know what a relief it must be, I just graduated in Dec of 06 myself. I like you heard from many people to get floor experience first before going into the OR, and I obviously did not listen. I took an OR externship a year before graduating and found that most of the technical nursing skills I learned in school (ie ng suction) did not pertain to much of what I have to do now but the critical thinking and multitasking is very important. If you KNOW you don't like floor nursing the OR is for you, just go into it. I feel bad for the person that got pulled to a med-surg floor, but from what I've seen that's pretty rare. Good luck
  9. by   RN60453
    Hi Crawlyberry

    I'm only 5'1" and yes some parts of the OR can be challenging, but growing up being short, I've learned to adapt to my height. Just make sure there are steps available for you if you scrub There are actually quite a few nurses that I work with now that are shorter than me and seem to have no problem.
    Last edit by RN60453 on May 5, '07
  10. by   KattSRN
    hi thanks everyone for the congratulations. Anyway, I got a call back for the OR position and they offered me the position..yipeeee..! I start orienting most likely mid june or july. Can't believe that there were only 2 positions open and they picked me. I'm very very excited...

    By the way I am also 5'1, does anyone any "comfy" shoes that will also add height? hhehe sorry I know it's a silly question. thanks.:spin:

close