From ICU to O.R.?

  1. After a really bad day yesterday, I am considering going the O.R. route. I'm an I.C.U. nurse and love most of my job. I'm also afraid I'll lose my skills if I go to O.R....but I keep receiving tempting offers from physicians asking me to work for them. I'm thinking....more respect...less dealing with deranged patients and family (yesterday I was cursed in every way possible by a very SANE patient because I would not allow her to use the phone to call her doctor, two doctors had an argument by using me as their mediator (GROW UP...OR TAKE IT THE H*LL OUTSIDE!!). I also lost my temper with the unit coordinator...she told me where to put my lab vials...I told her where to put them...

    Anyway, what do you O.R. nurses think? Do you think you've lost your critical care skills as a result of working in O.R.? Any info would be greatly appreciated. The only O.R. experience I have is from my nursing school rotation...which was very interesting.

    Thanks.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   carcha
    Yeah, CHIRN, I definately think you should consider this carefully. It appears to me anyway that you will not be moving to the OR, rather that you'r running away from the ICU. First, I really believe you do lose some clinical skills working in the OR. Secondly those doctors who are trying to get you to move may not be so nice in the OR setting. While I do agree that you do not have to put up with relatives ect, OR nursing brings with it its own challanges, conflicts and problems, whether with staff, or patients. Secondly if your only experience of the OR is your training placement then you dont exactly sound like you really really want to go there or that it made a big impact on you. Hope you decide and be happy
  4. by   kyti
    Your critical care skills could be put to good use in the PACU. We prefer ICU experience and I don't feel that I have lost any skills. I still work there from time to time whenever they need help and I am in a good mood.
  5. by   CHIRN
    Thanks so much for the input...I really hadn't considered PACU...but it's definitely worth considering.

    carcha, yes I've considered this. I thought I might "scrub in" on some of my days off just to get a feel for it. Thanks for your reply.
  6. by   orrnlori
    Before you scrub in on your day off, I think you'd be better served by shadowing the circulator. In most hospitals, it is the circulator role you would take upon entering the OR, not the scrub position. While the two jobs compliment each other they are NOT the same.

    You will definately lose your ICU skills but you will obtain a whole other set of new skills that would make you a very desirable candidate in a few years. Or look at Pacu.
  7. by   suzanne4
    I don't feel that I have ever lost any of my ICU skills by working in the OR. Again it depends on what service you are on, but my two specialties were hearts and neuro, so my skills actually helped me quite a bit................
    But as Lori said, before you make any rash decisions, shadow a RN in the OR for a couple for days and see if that is what you really like. And as someone else mentioned, PACU might be a nice place for you. You will have a new learning curve there because of the anesthetics but the change may do you good.

    Please keep us posted as to what you decide....................
  8. by   DNRme
    I took exactly that route when I came to to OR. I always volunteered to do the invasive procedures in the ICU. Several surgeons convinced me that I would like the OR, even though I had fainted during my nursing school rotation. I think the OR is a critical care area. While your IV skills may fade, you will pick up so many more than you lose. Once normal lab values are burned into your brain, they never go away. I also think the nature of the two is more similar than not. High pressure, fast paced enviornments.
    My real reason for finally leaving the ICU was staffing. They cannot give me 4 critically ill patients in the OR. The rest of the problems will follow you. You do have contact with families, managers and co-workers who will make you nuts. You can only control your reaction to them.
    Good Luck
  9. by   shodobe
    I agree with kyti, your skills would be an asset to any PACU. Give the OR a try by shadowing someone if possible and see if your interest is peeked! New and exciting things always make nursing such a great place to be. Mike
  10. by   nurselily3
    There is such a nursing shortage. I went from ICU to OR. I like both but needed a break from the Unit so I thought I would try OR. So, when I feel like I'm loosing my skills, I sign up for a single shift in the ICU (which usually quickly reminds me why I needed a break). I'm definately slower that I was when I worked in there full time, but I still remember how to ride the bike.

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