OR Circulator vs. PACU

  1. 0
    If you had to choose an OR Circulator or PACU internship, which would you choose and why? Weigh in!
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  3. 18 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    I personally would pick PACU. PACU is still critical care if that's what you want to do. Plus, all the pacu nurses I've met have been happy. I did one day of clinicals years ago in the pacu and liked it. I don't really see the OR nurses to say. Good luck.
    misswoosie and ijuanabhappy like this.
  5. 1
    I was a circulator . Forgive me, but it was just about the most boring job I have ever had. Maybe it has improved as it has been many years ago. I'd go for PACU in a heartbeat.
    ijuanabhappy likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from P_RN
    I was a circulator . Forgive me, but it was just about the most boring job I have ever had. Maybe it has improved as it has been many years ago. I'd go for PACU in a heartbeat.
    But would you go to PACU as a new grad, not really having any hospital experience? I have read a lot of posts that state PACU internships are almost unheard of because ICU experience is really needed and is NOT a place for the inexperienced new grad. What are your thoughts there?
  7. 0
    I'm an OR circulator and scrub nurse. My hospital offers internships in both OR and PACU. I would recommend the PACU if you want hands-on care and more autonomy. Even if you are a new grad, if the hospital has a good orientation program (6 months is good) I would think you would be ok. The PACU nurses seem to be very supportive of each other.
  8. 0
    PACU is a better place for a new grad than a unit. At least you know there is some backup in the bldg, lol.

    I'd rather spork my eye out than circulate in the OR. Jesus, talk about boring!
  9. 0
    I vote PACU...reasons I like it and have found it to be the best department in a hospital:

    -patients are sedated yet at some point you do interact with them.
    -you get to ship them out in a relatively short amount of time.
    -the work is very team oriented with fellow nurses.
    -stimulating/interesting work.

    I will never again go back to med-surg!
  10. 0
    I have worked both PACU and OR. PACU is fast paced, you get to have some autonomy and you get to use your skills. OR (as a circulator) is really just "sterile waitressing". Although you DO have to be on point with the surgeon, with the surgery itself, and be vigilant of the complications that can occur during surgery (and be prepared for them), as a new grad I think it would be a better experience for you if you chose the PACU position.
  11. 0
    I would agree with canesdukegirl. I too worked in PACU and currently am in the OR. I would've stayed in PACU but it was an outpatient facility that closed down and i didn't have the critical care experience to go to the main pacu. My hospital was offering an or fellowship so i took that instead bc I really didn't want to go back to med surg either. If they offer an internship for the PACU go with that. The sterile nursing analofy is a good one. that was my second favorite job I've ever had. My first was being a nurse at a diabetic camp when I was in nursing school. I loved THAT!
  12. 0
    One point my hospital the RNs didn't scrub-ever, we only sat and documented and refreshed the back table and sterilized instrument trays.


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