Quote from ratona
I have to tell you I was in your shoes about 4 months ago. I just recently graduated as an RN in April and was hired an an OR nurse.I spent about a month reading this very same site and trying to understand what I was getting myself into. I am not trying to insult anybody out there but OR nursing is not for everyone. First of all you will spend your day reading preference cards and running around getting things for the tech who will say to you....You guys are the OR *******, you are the doctors ******* and you are our *******....and you know what....it is true! your day starts with your morning meeting around the core desk to get your assignment,then you run to your room to get preference cards to get an idea of what to get for the case but the catch is.... you have not idea of what it is you are supposed to get, then you start connecting things in your room(you spend most of the day trying to figure out where to plug things so it all runs smoothly)....no nursing yet! then you turn every single thing on to make sure it all works..bovie,suction, storz tower ,etc....does any of this sound like anything you learned in school?....anyway then you run to see your patient for about 15 minutes you make sure all signatures are in the chart, make sure blood is available etc(only part of the day where some nursing applies) the you take your pt back to the room. Anesthesia does all the work(iv, antibiotics,give blood ,etc) you only watch them at work. then when the doctor comes in after positioning you get to call a time out, they start, and you start documenting on the computer(no time to watch anything) then the tech starts asking for things, you get to run around the or like a mad woman and after it is all done you get to do it all over again....sounds like fun? not for me , my advise dont do it!!!! good luck!
I can understand why you may feel this way, because as a new OR nurse you do run your *** off at first. But pay attention to the experienced OR nurses around you and you should see that they're not running around nearly as much as you are. This is because over time you WILL convert those DPC's to memory and you WILL be able to anticipate the surgeons' and techs' needs. Setting up your room at the beginning of the day doesn't really take all that long. I look at the pick sheet on each case cart and pull all my suture, MIS stuff, etc for each case before morning report so that's less I have to do when turning over my room between cases. I also order all my meds for each case and pick up from pharmacy at the beginning of the day. You'll learn each procedure, and you'll learn how each surgeon does things during that procedure. You'll be able to anticipate when they might need more laps or suture. As for documentation? That shouldn't take you long to do. Charting takes me maybe 10 minutes tops. There are certain segments to the periop chart you can fill in before the patient even comes into the room (i.e. case attendance, cautery info) so that you can focus on that patient once they come through the door. You will develop the ability to multi-task, and you'll develop an "OR ear"- the ability to document while paying attention to the field and listening to your mumbling surgeon because let's face it, they're not gonna stop what they're doing and turn to you to ask for things. Last time I checked, multi-tasking is a big part of floor nursing too. So is organizing your time.
I work in a pediatric hospital so anesthesia brings the patient into the room (I don't have to do a pre-op interview, but I do accompany patient to PACU for post-op report), this gives me time to help the tech set up the room. Like PP's said, once that pt rolls through those doors all your attention is on them. I assist my anesthesia personnel during induction. Since we're working on children, we use gas induction then insert the IV and put them deep with IV anesthesia (saves the kids and parents a lot of undue stress trying to place an IV pre-op). I assist with IV insertion, placing the BP cuff and pulse ox, and in the case of children toddler-aged and up I help with distraction techniques to try and keep them calm as they get the mask. This is the fun part. If it's a girl I might ask if she likes getting her nails done. If yes, I tell her let's paint your nails. I take her hand in mine and say now I'm putting the polish on. Can you smell the stinky nail polish? (this is where anesthesia switches the gas on.) This really helps calm my patient and makes induction a lot easier on us. If my patient is a boy then maybe he's flying a jet and he can smell the stinky jet fuel.
I pay close attention to anesthesia monitors during the case as well. Intra-op hypothermia is a big issue nationwide especially with NICU patients, so I make sure the pt's temp doesn't get too low (or too high for that matter) by consulting with anesthesia before adjusting room temp or the Bair hugger. If you have a CRNA or anesthesia resident/fellow in the room who you watch like a hawk because you don't necessarily trust their competence, it is up to you to step up and call the attending into the room to assist them if they can't get the pt's sats under control.
So in a nutshell, a good OR nurse can document, pay attention to the field, anticipate the needs of the surgeon/tech, monitor the patient's vitals/sats/co2, and document all at the same time. Oh, and keep med students/nursing students/other observers from contaminating the sterile field. If that's not nursing then I don't know what nursing is!