Any advice for ortho circulating position?

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    Hey guys I need advice, I recently got a job in ortho surgery as a circulator, it's not my first job in surgery but it is my first time in a specialty small surgery center. The place where I left I worked at a huge, chaotic, disastrous, poorly-managed teaching hospital where I worked for 6 months in all specialties, a few times in ortho. I've heard nurses say " if you can work in ortho you can work in any surgical specialty, ". So what do I need to know to excel in ortho? And how do I deal with rude coworkers during surgery? Do I call them out immediately in front of everyone or do I wait to do it in private?
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  3. 2 Comments so far...

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    I am a Team Leader for a busy 8 OR hospital, we do a HUGE amount of ortho. I am not sure being an ORTHO circulator is theoretically any different than circulating any other specialty. There is a different skill set....you will do a larger variety of positioning in ortho; also there seems to be a greater variety of "toys" to learn how to play with, like fluid pumps, shaver boxes, electrocautery generators, power systems. For example, in our facility we have 6 full time orthopods, and about 4 different ways we position shoulder arthroscopies. We use 2 different fluid pumps, depending on surgeon. A couple of them like a special cautery that none of the others use. My advice is this: carry a small notebook with you ALWAYS. Write yourself little notes about everything....hopefully the preference cards are pretty accurate & will be helpful, but I always depend on my little notes I write to myself. I have found ortho cases to be enjoyable once you get past the learning curve, but I feel like it's a steeper curve than general cases. At least you have some circulating experience & know basic OR etiquette & rules, etc.
    As for dealing with rude co-workers...let some of it roll off your back. The OR is a high stress environment. Some interactions are "charged" without necessarily the intent of coming off as rude. If you feel the issue needs to be addressed, ALWAYS do it in private but with a witness...maybe someone neutral who witnessed the event, or your Team Leader or manager. As a leader, I prefer that people take care of their issues themselves, but I am happy to mediate & step in if needed. And if I have to address an issue I see, I always do it only with the people involved, in a moment that is calmer & removed from the stress of the moment. Unless it's an issue of patient safety, then ALWAYS speak up immediately! Good luck in your new adventure!
    Rntr likes this.
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    Im an ortho nurse for more than 5 yrs and enjoying it, the secret is to know what are the common cases you do everyday like knee arthroscopies, orif, ex fix etc. better to know them by heart because most senior orthopedic nurses that i worked with they dont have patience for you and it will spark their attitudes. But dont take it personally just go with the flow.

    They are very strict with sterility so be very careful because we are dealing with bones. We dont want any infections. We even wear hoodie to cover our hair.

    So when you became an expert with those small cases then time to move up to bigger cases like shoulders, then knee and hip replacements. Just take it 1 at a time and for sure you will be an expert soon. Good luck.
    Rntr likes this.


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