Brand Spanking New OR Nurse

  1. Hey Guys/Gals I have been an ER Nurse now for 9 years and just finished the OR Nursing Course. I am now working in the OR and love it, however I feel like I have crossed into the twilight zone. This is another realm of Nursing, and I feel as though I just graduated Nursing school all over again. Man, I can not wait to feel even somewhat comfortable in my rooms. I do Love it but I hate feeling like I am retarded.
  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Lorodz
    hi there! dont worry! you are not alone. Im new to OR, and memorizing the basic instruments can be a daunting daSk, especially anticipating the doctor's needs. I do hope we pass the feeling 'retarded' stage soon and feel more competent OR nurses.
  4. by   Aneroo
    I'm there with you. I have three years ER experience, and was lucky to know where the general tray was, much less what was in it! I also have one year school nursing experience. We're moving, and I start training for the OR in early July. I'm honestly kind of nervous (ok, lie, really nervous). I know I have a six month orientation, but I guess it's just because it's so far from anything I've done. It's not even like you get a good feel for the OR in nursing school. I think I went in twice- once for a total knee and once for a CABG!
  5. by   oscar6802
    I know exactly what your talking about. I started in the OR in Feb. after 9.5 years on med/surg. It's hard going from being a seasoned nurse on the floor, to feeling "dumb" on a daily basis. OR nursing is totally different that med/surg. I like it, it's just, I would like, one day not to feel "retarded".
  6. by   NabiRN
    If I go to ER or Med/Surg, I would feel the same way. We have many nurses from other areas and they are doing just fine. As long as you are a team player and willing to learn and work hard, you will be just fine. The personalites are tough but I am not sure if that's the same on the floor. Good luck. Remember you are not retarded no matter how they treat you.
  7. by   openheartmary
    Bless your hearts! I'm excited for all of you. Honestly, it will take at least a full year before you even begin to think, ok I just might be able to do this. During that first year, different things will "click" and as you "click" along the pieces of the giant puzzle start falling into place. Just grin and bear it, have tolerance for yourself and don't give up!
  8. by   Heogog53
    I was a FABULOUS critical care nurse.....WOW, I was soooo good. Then I went to the OR and MAN, I WAS THE MOST STOOOOPID person in the world. Take heart, all you new OR nurses. Nothing in nursing is like the OR. It's a private little world with an awful lot of details and then more details.
    However, give it time and after a year or so, you'll hit your stride. It took me about two years(slow learner, I guess), but one day I walked into the OR, looked at the suture rack in the room and suddenly understood what the suture racks meant!!!! That was so exciting!
    At any rate, don't give up, don't feel as if you won't ever learn. IT WILL HAPPEN!
    I wish you well, and hope that you enjoy the OR. I've been doing OR nursing since 1984 and am still amazed at all the new things I learn everyday.I applaud all of you.
  9. by   jnl2000
    Thanks for all the replies, and thoughts. I will just take it one learning day at a time and try to be a sponge.
  10. by   ornurse1997
    i have been a o.r. nurse for almost 12 years. i work at a smaller hospital o.r. my first year out of school. i then changed jobs and went to work at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. i thought i knew how to be a nurse in the operating room. BOY WAS I WRONG! the cases at anderson were big and long. i felt retarted for about 6 months, then one day i was ready before the patient got to the room and i knew i would be ok. the o.r. is a fast paced, exciting place to work. I LOVE IT. just hang in there.
  11. by   maeyken
    Hang in there!! The retarded stage will pass
  12. by   lilla_fjaril
    Take heart. I was a superstar in nursing school and I, too, am a complete OR retard. Any stupid thing that can be done--I've done it...twice, maybe three times. I now categorize the surgeons as 'thinks I'm a complete moron' or 'might not yet think I'm a complete moron.'

    The other day, after 6 weeks of being precepted in circulating CABGs and valve replacements I was left alone to do a pacemaker lead extraction. I had only seen two prior, both done by different doctors. EVERYTHING the surgeon asked for I was like "Huh? What? What's it look like?" and my scrub tech who couldn't help me took more than a wee bit of pleasure in my suffering. After twice being asked for something I had never heard of, I finally went to my charge nurse and told her I needed someone with me who knew the equipment. At the end of the case the surgeon thanked everyone by name except for me and I felt like total crap.

    The next day I circ'd a CABG/valve replacement by myself and things went a little smoother. I was nervous, and managed to contaminate a small mayo set-up during opening when a robnel wrapper ripped on me, but I told the scrub nurse ASAP and she was cool about it.

    The thing that sucks is, if everyone knows it takes a year to be a decent OR nurse, why is there so much grumbling, laughing, eye-rolling, whispered comments, etc. by the senior staff. Sometimes I feel like they want us orientees to fail...and that sucks
  13. by   Scorpio, MSN, RN
    Hi all! I appreciate the posts because I am going through the same thing! I am a brand new OR nurse (did fabulous in nursing school, and did great in an ICU and PCU as an RN!). I feel like an IDIOT 95% of the time, but I don't take it to heart because I understand that I am new and I know I shouldn't be expected to know it all. It's so true though, everyone tells you that you won't and shouldn't know a lot right now, but surgeons and other personnel sometimes make you feel you want to crawl in a hole in the wall for not knowing every little detail! Again, I go about my day and brush off the comments and eye rolling. I have been told I am actually doing really well and feel ok, but I still do at least one or two stupid things a day. However I know this is a great job because even after being on my feet for 6 hour cases and dealing with the "anti-new nurses in the OR" staff at times I still come home happy and love the job, its so exciting and there is a lot less "BS" that you deal with as opposed to floors and other units. So I appreciate everyone saying the "retard" phase ends, and I am glad I am not alone in feeling this way! Good luck to us all!
  14. by   dgbwdn
    Hi, I'm a new grad who was hired for the OR straight out of school. Woohoo I got my dream job, but the week before starting I got a call saying that they didn't have a position for me. However, I got put on a nice surg/trauma floor until the OR opens back up. I'm really looking forward to getting there. It's what I really want; however, I keep running into nurses questioning why I would want to work OR. What's up with the anti-OR nurse attitude? I can't wait to get there.