I am not an RN yet, I am merely an EMT who is working as an anesthesia tech in the OR right now working towards nursing school. Working in the OR is like stepping into wonderland...it is a place unlike any other! Pros I've observed so far include the fact that the perioperative nurses (mostly circulating, in that they aren't sterile, but some actually scrub up and are first assists) are able to advocate 1 on 1 for their patients one at a time. This allows for the nurse to provide efficient care before surgery (you have to interview them and make sure they are prepped, receive proper meds, etc.), during surgery (assist with anesthesia induction, do instrument counts, make sure who ever is scrubbing in has proper tools, make sure family is updated on status of patient, assist with crashing patients by taking over with anesthesia), and after (counting again, transporting the patient to PACU, giving report to PACU nurse, provide plan of care template, transfer, etc.) the operation. Working this summer was the first time I was exposed to the OR environment, and to be honest I was surprised with the cleanliness of it all. Yes, some surgeries involved a considerable amount of "blood and gore." For example, after orthopedic surgeries it wouldn't be a surprise to find bloody bone chunks lying around the OR, or the smell of GI surgeries involving septic trauma (yes, there is a wintergreen solution you can put on your mask, don't worry!). As a perioperative nurse, if you circulate you will be watching the OR from a very broad "big picture" situation, looking for details of distress from the scrubbed tech/assistant, the surgeon, or the anesthesiologist/CRNA, so you won't be right there. However if your hospital chooses to train nurses to scrub in, then you will see more blood for sure! One big trait plus is the ability to collaborate with others and be a "team player." As the perioperative RN, you will be the glue holding everything together, as the coach, the manager, and the cheerleader for "Team Patient!" Nothing makes a surgery sour quicker than an OR nurse who doesn't play that way, because it takes the focus off the patient and makes the other team members uncomfortable. Another great trait is what I call the "mother hen" personality. Some of the best OR nurses I have met have had the mindset that they would take a bullet for their patients. I have seen nurses fight for patient advocacy PERIOPERATIVELY...that's right, they would raise their voice in protest for the patient during a surgery if the surgeon, surgical tech, or the anesthesia provider said something out of turn or stepped out of line. As far as what I do, I have been an EMT for 2 years, and an anesthesia technician (assists the anesthesia provider, nurses, and others involved in anesthesia) for just a short while while finishing up my prerequisites. It is TOUGH in the OR at first, especially if you are young (I am only 20, which is young for an OR staff member). When you step into a world where the staff has known each other for years and is in a room with each other for hours at a time, they sometimes get a bit dysfunctional (in a good way!). They are a family to say the least, and at first they might be tough on you, but give it some time and they will accept you. I am back in college now not working, but I miss the OR so much! By the end of my time there, they had accepted me as family and I still go back and visit the OR staff every now and then. I hope I helped!