Advice for surviving the OR

  1. Hello everyone,
    I just started my senior practicum in the OR, and absolutely love it! It can be very overwhelming at first, I am still overwhelmed btw. Picked up Alexander's Perioperative book, and trying to learn one thing at the time. Also personalities in the OR can be very tough to deal with, my approach has always been to keep quiet and do not take any of it personally; You would think that other nurses in the OR (since we are outnumbered there), would have your back, but it is the total opposite.
    Suggestions and advice is welcomed Thank YOU
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    About Zeppelingirl

    Joined: Feb '12; Posts: 6; Likes: 1
    from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   Beccarose
    Hi there, and that is awesome you are in the operating room!! In my opinion, the best department to work in Alexander's is a great book, it has tons of information and can be helpful. I also found the Pocket book Guide to the Operating Room by Maxine Goldman very helpful. It is a small book that basically summarizes the different procedures and guides you to room set-up, prep, equipment, etc. It is very basic and is a "starting" point, but /i find it helpful to have when I come across a procedure I have never done before to get a general idea what I'll need. You can buy it on Amazon.

    The operating room can be very exciting and also very stressful and yes, there are so many different personalities. I have been in the operating room for 5 years, and like yourself, I did a practicum when I graduated school. My best advice is to be prepared, ask questions, take a ton of notes, and jump in and learn. I have a quiet personality, and I feel it is good to be quiet, but speak up when needed, and don't take anything or anyone too personally. I had to learn to let the "strong" personalities go. No one can fault you if you keep to yourself, but also are learning and trying the best you can.

    It takes awhile to adapt to the OR, but once you feel more comfortable, it is the BEST place to work, and you never stop learning new things, so don't feel like you're not "getting" it There is so much out there and believe me, it took along time for me to feel comfortable, but just hang in there and enjoy it
  4. by   NP Sam
    I also did my preceptorship in the OR and wanted to RUN the first couple of days. But then I started feeling more comfortable every day. Every day try to take on one additional responsibility if able. By the time I was done I did everything during the case except scrub. I did scrub the last day but didn't focus on the instrument learning(too overwhelming on last day). There are strong personalities in the OR. Although I am considered a quiet person I have a sense of humor and very sarcastic undertones which worked great. But things can change quickly. They were also quick to tell me..

    "Sam, I need your help. You HAVE to push!"
    "Sam, this is YOUR area!"
    " Sam, keep moving!" (When taking the pt to recovery)
    "Sam, you get ONE start on this IV and then I am taking over." (I'm glad I got it!)
    " Sam, put on a pair of gloves and come here.." (Was told this more than anything)

    I was always willing and eager and had a great attitude even though I was overwhelmed. They began to accept me because of this. You cannot take anything personally and after the first couple of days, stay AWAY from the wall. Get in there That is the best way for the staff to begin getting comfortable with you. Being a small group they trust each other and we as new people have to earn that trust.

    My first couple of days I told my instructor I would NEVER do OR. Now look at me, I was just offered position in the OR and cannot wait! `

    I bought a book also to read, but you really do not have that much time to read. You will find that out.