Little background info. Right now I am a veterinary technician. I have been doing this for 10 years, and for the most part I love it. But I want more. I want a better paying job, more respect, more autonomy, more room for growth. The vet tech field is getting better, with specialty areas, but for the most part it is a stagnant field. Many techs get fed up with the lack of opportunities and limited pay, and a good number of those people go to nursing school. It seems like a good transition. They enjoy nursing, doing treatments, anatomy and physiology. And the best part, they will make 2-3 times as much money.
So I have been thinking about nursing for a few years now, off and on. My mom is also a nurse, and actually keeps telling me I should leave my field and go into nursing, that I would be good at it. But the thing is, I don't really see myself doing floor nursing. Now I am taking some prereqs, and have my CNA. But I hate it. Not the patients, I love them. But the constant running without a break. Never feeling like I can get everything done. Or can spend enough quality time with each person, like they deserve. Having 8 to 15 patients is just crazy!
Being a vet tech, my favorite area has always been surgery. I love the one on one contact with each individual patient. I love the whole process of calculating drugs, premeding, inducing, intubating, monitoring anesthesia, and recovery. I really enjoy the team atmosphere. Watching and assisting with surgery is just cool. I am a very organized, anal person, and I like all the attention for detail that is needed in surgery, from monitoring the patient to the set up of instruments. The body (be it animal or human, how it works, what it can handle) is just amazing to me. I think it would be fascinating to work in a human OR.
So I guess my question is this: how many of you that currently (or have) worked in the OR, went to school knowing that is what you wanted to do? That floor nursing was not for you? And the only place you could be is in the OR? Do you think going to nursing school with one specialty in mind can be a good thing, or is it a hinderance?
I worry about going to school and not getting a job in the OR. Now, I don't mind putting in my dues if the hospital prefers you have floor experience first (seems like some do, and some want new grads to train) or if there are no openings. I could work a year or two getting experience, as long as I knew I would eventually end up in the OR. But being stuck on the floor for years, a decade, not for me. I would rather go to Surgical tech school, make less money, and have less responsibility, if it meant knowing for sure I could only be hired to work in surgery.
Aug 30, '13
I knew from the beginning that I wanted the OR. I have absolutely no desire to work on a floor and never will. I did it as a nurse tech while in school, and gained invaluable experience and foot-in-the-door for after graduation, but wold never want to do it again. Also, people will want to talk you out of it- don't listen them. OR nurses ARE real nurses.
I do think you should shadow an OR nurse for a couple days if possible, and take all the OR observations days you can while in school to make sure it's really what you want. If it is, go for it!
Aug 30, '13
I knew going into college that i wanted to be an OPERATING ROOM Nurse. All my professors told me no. Guess what? I didnt care what they said! If you think deep down that is what u want to do then go for it. We always have students shadowing so I dont think it would be a problem if u wanted to shadow an OR nurse for a day. I went straight into the OR (absolutely 0 floor experience) and I have no regrets and i LOVE my job. good luck and follow ur heart.
Sep 1, '13
Thanks guys! That actually makes me feel better that others have felt that way, and that it is possible.
Sep 1, '13
I knew the minute I walked into the OR as a student nurse that's what I wanted to do. I loathed the floor. When I got out of school I tried every thing I could to get into the OR. I had a tough time getting an interview because most of the local hospitals WILL NOT hire into the OR without or experiance. Demoralized I took a floor position and cried almost every night on my way home from work, and became depressed the day before my shifts knowing I had to into work the next day. But I kept trying, networking and calling Surgery nursing coordinators. After almost 2 year I was ready to quit nursing altogether. 2 years I had to work on the floor, but it wasn't my floor experience that help me get into the OR, it was my networking. So keep that in mind when you start looking for jobs. Join AORN, meet and make friends with OR nurses. Good luck.
Sep 3, '13
Thanks Anniehow, that is great advice! Glad you stuck with it and got your dream job.
Oct 7, '13
I am a new nurse but I also have been working in the OR , before I was a nurse. I've been a floor nurse for 6 months .. Hate it! Going back to the OR, next week. . Floor nursing is not my mojo