I am a 25 year old Cardio-Thoracic OR nurse right now and have been at my hospital since August 2011. We are a very busy program for our area, doing about 700 heart cases and 400 thoracic cases a year. However, other than an internship and a brief training period I haven't done anything other than hearts and lungs.
I have now been approached by some nurses at another hospital about a position there. It is a smaller hospital where they don't do hearts but the nurses do everything else. That is, they are not so large that they are podded.
I am wondering if this would be a good transition. I would get a well rounded O.R. experience, it would not require extensive amounts of call and overtime, the people and stress level might be better, and it is a lot closer to home. I do not want to be stuck in a circulator/scrubber role my whole career, which is kind of the direction hearts can take you. I am hoping that getting experience in a wide variety of surgery would prepare me to someday become an RNFA, O.R. manager, or even a sales rep.
Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated!
I'm not an OR nurse, but heart/thoracic training is very specialized. I know at my hospital our OR job description states "open heart experience required; so having that makes you much more marketable.
In general, a small community hospital will give you less types of surgeries so less overall experiences in the long term compared to a large hospital. If you like your current hospital, have you asked to be cross trained to other surgery types? Your manager might do it if you approach her with your willingness and some benefit for her like additional coverage for sick calls and vacations.
Last edit by dah doh on Feb 9, '13