exposure to the Operating Room

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    My coworker and I were talking about student nursing life one time at work, and she mentioned to me that in America nursing students are not rotated to the Operating Room and that she graduated cum laude without actually stepping in one. She said they were just allowed to watch through the glass. When I was floated to the OR to be oriented, the circulating nurse told me that most RNs working with me has never stepped foot in an OR. Is this really the case or is it just me and the region I work at?
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    I didn't even get an observation day in the OR during school. The only reason I saw a single surgery was because I did my senior practicum in PACU and one day they had me follow a patient from preop to OR to PACU. one of the nurses that I work with who went to school back in the day had a six week rotation and they were expected to circulate and scrub to assist. Bonus points for taking a table. The college affiliated with the hospital where I work gives an observation day in open heart, and we occasionally get a student following their patient from the floor through surgery and recovery.
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    In my program we spent two days in the room observing cases and the roles of the various people involved. It certainly was not enough to learn how to do the job, but it was enough to get at least a taste of how things go down.
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    I went to the OR with one case during med-surg rotation, but that was kind of about being in the right place at the right time. We didn't have any time dedicated to going to the OR as students.
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    i had two days of observing surgeries during my second semester of nursing school...we were allowed to watch one procedure a day..so two surgeries. luckily i did an externship in the summer and was able to spend an 8-hour day bouncing around the OR from case to case..i saw a knee replacement, total mastectomy, crainiotomy, shoulder replacement & thoracotomy one day..the second day was to observe an aortic valve replacement. pretty cool
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    There are 4 major hospitals near me. 2 of them (owned by the same organization) no longer allow students in the O.R. for safety and liability reasons. The used-to-be-exclusively-osteopathic hospital still allows observation; I was able to observe 4 procedures there, including a ventriculoperitoneal shunt revision on a patient I'd been following on the med-surg/rehab unit. I don't know what the policy is at the Catholic hospital because nobody in my class went there for clinicals.
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    Nursing schools, at least in this area, have minimal exposure to the OR. If you're lucky, your instructor will try to facilitate a day to "shadow" in the OR during a med-surg clinical, but you won't do anything more than watch and it's usally a one day thing.
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    I had to go in school, hated every second of it.
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    I was in the OR during a clinical and I'm American. It was for a kidney transplant. It was extremely boring and I don't think I gained anything from it. I think OR nursing is not necessarily beneficial for nursing students because it is so specialized and the nurses deal more with equipment than the patient. However, the preop and PACU might be beneficial for students with the assessment practices.
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    They probably don't bother as the shortages/high turnovers /needs are in med/surg. You don't usually hear of a shortage of nurses in the OR, plus many of the roles are being assumed by OR techs.There is no point in the schools teaching this to students. I know if some one is lucky enough to get into the OR, they usually have a 6 month- 1 year orientation at least.
    ProgressiveThinking likes this.


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