Dealing with Circulators as a New Student. - page 2

by gymnut

3,090 Views | 17 Comments

Oh no another post about grouchy people in the OR! This is very long and if the journals were up it would actually have gone in there. I just need to vent or I'll explode!! So once again I'm turning to AN to help me out with... Read More


  1. 1
    Where is your preceptor in all of this? Have they "debriefed" with you after your shift? Like what you could do to improve, or what you are doing well, what you need to work on? They must notice this behavior, because it does sound like you are in a toxic environment. Like the above posters said, part of the challenge in the OR is learning to work with all different types of personalities. Remember to be respectful, regardless of how other people come off while you are learning, and follow the proper procedure/policy. You may need to re-approach how you communicate to others, how you ask for things, who you word your questions and responses, (here is where you need to draw from your customer service experience.) I hope that the person scrubbed in with you, has your back a bit more while you learn. Think "raincoat" and let the negativity roll off your back, you can get through this.
    GadgetRN71 likes this.
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    I didn't realize you were a tech student so that changes things. First of all, I've seen many sponges inside patients during a scope...they must be counted! I don't understand that one. Also, you were right not to continue to count when the RN was not paying attention as they must participate in the count. There is a reason two people count together, and you are a student so technically it should be 3 people.

    As far as the personalities go, you're going to have to suck it up and deal with it. People can be nasty. They can be cruel and rude and there's nothing you can do about it. But there are also wonderful fantastic people out there. Preceptors are the same. I've had some horrid experiences with people who were supposed to be helping and training me. I wanted to cry. But I didn't. I took it and use it as a guide to treat my students. I'm sorry you are having this bad experience, we love our students in my OR. It will be over soon. Just do your work and do it well, and be polite. If you do that, you'll be better for the experience.
    canesdukegirl likes this.
  3. 4
    Why do OR nurses continue to give the suck it up advice???

    This student is being bullied. This get a thick skin attitude has to change. It's why went back to the floor. I still help out in the OR since they are short staffed but about an hour into the stift I can feel the toxic forces overflowing.

    To the OP, document what is happenening. These toxic people are allowed to stay because to get someone to change there has to be documention. Surgeons stopped thowing stuff after it started to be documented....No one is ever fired or repremanded if there are only "stories" going around.

    So yes, maybe toughen up, but toughen up where you stand up for yourself!!

    Good luck with the rest of your program then look for warmer waters.....
    Dela RN, canesdukegirl, gymnut, and 1 other like this.
  4. 1
    Well said, I couldn't agree more. We are all professional adults, we should act like it.
    Sevenly likes this.
  5. 1
    Great advice, Sandra. The only way we can change the culture of a toxic environment is if we take that first brave (and sometimes scary) step by refusing to be bullied. It sounds so much easier than it really is...but documenting inappropriate behavior by filling out incident reports is the best way to combat this ugly issue. We may never see the end result-but that doesn't necessarily mean that nothing is happening.

    Gym-unfortunately there are nasty people everywhere. It is much more challenging to learn when you are having to deal with unpleasant attitudes. Take from it what you can-in this case, you will know NEVER to treat your future students the way you are being treated now. That's a pretty valuable lesson, yes?

    Stick by your knowledge and insist on doing things the correct way. You were absolutely dead-on when you stopped counting while the circulator was answering the phone. In my opinion, counts aren't taken as seriously as they should be. If the circulator is only marginally paying attention to the count, then what is the stinking point of doing a count? Like others have mentioned, I have witnessed a far too lackadaisical attitude by both scrubs and circs when counting. It truly frightens me. AND-you are correct regarding laparoscopic counts. Instruments should be counted at the beginning of the case.

    All the best to you!
    Sevenly likes this.
  6. 0
    Get out of the OR.
  7. 0
    Not trying to be rude, Winx51, but could you explain why the OP needs to leave OR? Granted, I'm not an OR nurse, but it seems to me that s/he raised good points about the counting issues and overall rudeness if that's what's going on. So please clarify?
  8. 0
    OR, Floor, PACU, SDS, Oncology... There is not one specific type of nurse that eats their young! As an OR nurse, Endoscopy and Clinical Coordinator in an outpatient setting, I've seen this everywhere.

    Nurses in general are skeptical but that does not excuse horizontal violence or bullying. In the OR get your case sheet, study your supplies, ask this nurse how you can help. Also, use your ST preceptor as a guide to circulators personalities. Do your best to stay polite and professional at all times (of course). When you are always doing what you are supposed to do, the people around who are not being polite, professionals and not following protocol will stick out like sore thumbs.

    IT IS NEVER OKAY TO BE MISTREATED!! Be sure to tell your supervisor any event where this occurs.

    Always count in a case where the surgeon could potentially open and always with an RN who is paying attention! Demand the attention, especially if they are blaming you for mishaps.

    Remember this is only temporary and take these experiences with you. That way when you are training a new student you will remember how it feels. It will get better!!!!


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