Hello everybody! I'm new here. I would like to return to work after taking 5 years off to raise my kids. I have 11 years floor experience and am ready for a new challenge. In doing some research (networking, talking to other nurses), I've decided that OR nursing is perfect for me. I'm very excited to get started; I've read 12 pages so far on this board and have looked into OR internships where I live. Fortunately, there are 3 different hospital systems that all offer internships. I'm waiting to hear back from one of the directors. My question is, how flexible are these internships? Are they Mon-Fri eight hours day or can you tailor them somewhat? Does anyone know? The ones I've looked at are 6 months long and are both didactic and clinical. The reason I'm asking is 1, my kids are in middle and high school and need shuttling around to various activities after school, and 2, we'll be doing some extended traveling this next year (brother getting married, overseas travel etc). If anyone can shed some light I'd be much obliged.
Aug 11, '12
OR is great but you need to realize that there is call and depending on the hospital you will be working for you might have quite a bit that is assigned to you. During your internship you probably will not be assigned any but they will start teaming you up with another nurse towards the end before they set you on your own. With some hospitals call starts after your shift is over, ie if there are more rooms running than evening shift coverage, that means you have to stay...if someone during evening shift calls in sick, you will be staying. Talk to someone that works in the OR at your facility so you have a clear cut idea of what you are getting yourself into. Another question to ask is if they follow seniority rules because if that is the case your amount of call might triple which you would see as unfair. I have worked at a place where if the nurses have been in that dept for 15 years they were not required to take call which left 10 nurses to divide ALL of the call and each day there are 3 call teams, so looking at that system it was extremely unfair. Being the new person, you will definitely have to take quite a bit. Ask questions about call in detail especially if you have a family to take care of.
Aug 11, '12
Thanks so much!
I don't have a problem with call; as long as I know in advance I can make arrangements as needed. I was told I'd probably take a little call and occasionally work on off shift, which is fine as long as I know in advance. I used to work 3-11 but when my kids all became school age it became very hard to make that work. I will try to avoid being scheduled on those occasional days where I absolutely need to be there for the kids.
I would specifically like to know more about how flexible the internship program is itself; is it a rigid schedule or is there some wiggle room? Unfortunately I don't know any OR nurses personally, the ones I've been in contact with have been friends of friends who have given me bits of info here and there. One of them directed me to the AORN site when I asked her about an internship, which was not too informative because all the info there was very very general.
Aug 11, '12
I think these questions can only be answered by the facility. Each will have their own policy. Who you should talk to is a recruiter at these facilities or to the nurse educators and nurse manager of the OR.
As for my facility, they were slightly flexible. Already had your own wedding planned? Okay, we can work with that. Not able to do M-F 0700-1530? Sorry, can't work with you there. Not willing to work an occasional off-shift? Nice meeting you, but we aren't offering you the job.
Each nurse was given a week of straight evening shift during their internship to orient to evening shift. Here, everyone has to take call. However, only those who fall below a certain seniority have to work off-shift (max of 5 per 4 week schedule). That line can move if someone newer quits, so someone who may not have worked off shift for a few years may have to start doing them again.
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