advice for student (me!)

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    I'm currently in my 2nd year of a 4yr BScN program. I'm trying to decide what area of nursing I'm interested in, and when I observed an operation I really enjoyed it. One of the nurses was just starting her orientation, and she was really great at explaining things to me, about what was going on, etc. I found it really interesting, and thought, hmm... maybe I'd like to do this. However, I have also enjoyed my clinical placements on med/surg wards, because of the interaction with patients.

    So I guess my question is, how much do you interact with patients? Did you have similar concerns when deciding to do OR? What about OR nursing do you like the best?

    Also, how easy is it to change areas of nursing? I know a lot of people do a year or 2 of med/surg before doing ICU... so I 'm wondering if there's any sort of thing like that reccommended before coming to the OR. And- if I were to do OR, and then decide after awhile that I wanted to do something else, are there certain areas that are easier to switch to after having OR experience?

    Is it common for nurses to leave OR and go to other areas, or is it more of a "once you're here, you're here" type thing?

    Ok, yes I know I have a lot of questions... don't feel you have to answer every single one... I'm just trying to get more info so I can feel like I have some sort of direction!

    thanks!
    ~ mae
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    It's great that you are interested in the OR!

    I would have to say that one of the main things I enjoy about the OR is working in a strong team environment, and having the opportunity to learn new things.
    We do not have as much contact with conscious patients and family as nurses in other areas, but we still make a difference. Patients are generally very appreciative when we take a little time to talk with them before their procedure, and reassure them that their care is our #1 priority-- this helps to put their minds more at ease when they are going into the OR.
    Some people work other areas first, some don't. Your nursing background will help you understand better what is going on with patients, and have more understanding of what special care patients with certain conditions may need. The main thing is to be sure that whatever OR you choose to work in offers a through orientation.
    And no, if you decide to go into the OR you will not be "stuck " there unless you want to be. Some people go into the OR and never work in another area, some people leave the OR and go into other areas of nursing.

    Hope this answers some of your questions!
    Last edit by spineCNOR on Apr 29, '03


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