Hey OR Nurses!!! A few questions!!

  1. 0
    Hi everyone

    I'm a nursing student(ADN) going in to my senior year! Almost there!! Well a few months ago I applied for a part time nursing attendant position at my local hospital. It didn't state what floor it was on but listed the shifts as variable.

    To my surprise I received a call from HR and had a very successful phone interview, the rep asked if I could meet with the nurse manager the very next day.

    I was extremely nervous! I met with the HR rep in the main lobby, she was very nice and very genuine. She said she was pairing me up with a NM and that she would basically be selling her department to me. strange lol I thought I'd be selling me to them!! She also said if I received an offer from them but didn't feel like a good fit that they would find me another department. Okkkkk

    Well I ended up meeting with the NM from OR!!! I was ecstatic! OR has always been an interest of mine but I honestly never thought I'd have the opportunity to be anywhere near one until well into my nursing career or under heavy sedation!!!!

    The NM was amazing! The interview was very laid back and our personalities clicked. We spoke a lot about the hospital expansion and future goals of the department. She spoke very highly of her staff and told me they are all very willing to teach new comers. We spoke about my experiences in NS and my background in medical assisting. We talked scheduling and start dates and orientation. She seemed very excited about me being a nursing student, spoke about internally transferring as an RN next year and let me know that since I also lived locally I could request more shifts on days I'm available or even be on call a few days as well.

    Now I'm on cloud nine! But also just reviewing in my head how my interview went.
    She stated the term "orderly" which I'm somewhat confused to.... What exactly does an orderly do!?! She did say also that there's not as much patient care as I'm used to, some of the duties she threw out there were " checking IV's, setting up OR and patients, transporting, running for blood, monitoring post op" lots of lifting and such. What's great is I'm completely open to the change in setting, I really hope I get a call back! HR rep said she'd be making a call as early as tomorrow and into early next week.

    But I'm still confused I guess on the job description, especially since my original application was for an NA position.

    What are the duties of an orderly?

    Is it similar to "periop tech" or "OR tech"?

    I figure the OR works on cases, so what happens between cases, especially at a time like nights when there aren't previously scheduled procedures??

    What kind of skills will I be using on a daily basis? Would I actually use any of my MA skills or even nursing skills?

    If anyone could help me out with this it would be great!! This a whole new world to me and I'm definitely out of my element. Any tips and advice would also be appreciated I'm so curious about this possible new world!
  2. 9 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I worked as a student nurse in the OR prior to graduation. The duties are pretty much as the NM stated. You probably won't feel like you are doing many "nursing" duties. When I was a student, I helped check in and verify case carts for the upcoming surgeries (made sure the proper supplies and instruments were there), pulled suture for the cases, retrieved blood coolers, retrieved equipment for the ORs, got the bed and transport equipment from PACU, helped turnover rooms between cases (cleaning), helped open supplies before a case (sterile technique), stocked carts in OR rooms, and did some assisting with positioning with the help of an RN. There is lots to do, just not much that most people think of as patient care. I am now an OR nurse and cannot imagine doing anything else. You need to look at this as a much-needed foot in the door to the OR if you think that is the type of nursing you want to pursue.
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    The term orderly is not used a lot. But don't over think it. It is exactly what the nurse manager said.

    When you use the term "tech" it generally implies someone who has been to "technical" school and is certified, has passed a course, to be a scrub tech, the surgeon's right hand person, handing him or her the instruments they need. You would not be doing that.

    You would not be using MA or nursing skills, but I am not sure what the manager meant by "monitoring post op." But even if you aren't using nursing skills you will be seeing and working with medical staff and will obviously pick up a lot of knowledge. And if you are a certified MA I would think your manager would want to or be able to use your MA skills in addition to "just" using you as an orderly.
  5. 0
    Quote from ang410
    I worked as a student nurse in the OR prior to graduation. The duties are pretty much as the NM stated. You probably won't feel like you are doing many "nursing" duties. When I was a student, I helped check in and verify case carts for the upcoming surgeries (made sure the proper supplies and instruments were there), pulled suture for the cases, retrieved blood coolers, retrieved equipment for the ORs, got the bed and transport equipment from PACU, helped turnover rooms between cases (cleaning), helped open supplies before a case (sterile technique), stocked carts in OR rooms, and did some assisting with positioning with the help of an RN. There is lots to do, just not much that most people think of as patient care. I am now an OR nurse and cannot imagine doing anything else. You need to look at this as a much-needed foot in the door to the OR if you think that is the type of nursing you want to pursue.
    Thanks so much for your reply! During my first semester I shadowed a few times in PACU and since then it sparked an interest for me! I wanted to know what goes on back there!! I read a lot into CNOR and RNFA and felt that it would definitely be something to aim towards. I just figured it would be YEARS til I could grab an opportunity especially in this market. I'm ok with not doing as much pt care, I still have clinicals and my per diem job for that. i guess i got sold into that whole "med/surg first" thing where that was all i expected for now. The NM was optimistic about my graduating next year, I guess since they're expanding there will be room for some OR nurses so I would be floored if I get an offer!!! Just like you said this could be a much needed foot in the door. I'm regarding this as possibly the start of my career. My fingers are crossed and I'm waiting patiently by the phone
  6. 0
    Quote from brownbook
    The term orderly is not used a lot. But don't over think it. It is exactly what the nurse manager said.

    When you use the term "tech" it generally implies someone who has been to "technical" school and is certified, has passed a course, to be a scrub tech, the surgeon's right hand person, handing him or her the instruments they need. You would not be doing that.

    You would not be using MA or nursing skills, but I am not sure what the manager meant by "monitoring post op." But even if you aren't using nursing skills you will be seeing and working with medical staff and will obviously pick up a lot of knowledge. And if you are a certified MA I would think your manager would want to or be able to use your MA skills in addition to "just" using you as an orderly.
    I'm so glad you addressed the "orderly" thing. I also haven't heard that term in a while and I tend to think of some stereotypical big guy in all white lol but maybe I'm watching too many movies lol.

    Thanks for clarifying about techs. Right now I'm so curious and just trying to piece together the who's who in the OR team. It seems that some duties in certain places overlap, like the scrub techs and the RNs that scrub as well. I'm assuming most of my duties would be working alongside the RN pre-procedure? And I'm a little confused about the "monitoring post op" myself.... Wouldn't they be transferred by the time I popped my head in. Lol. Maybe that was just a slip. I'm very excited all the same, I love learning new areas. I want to soak in as much as I can!
  7. 0
    Some OR's have only RN's as both scrub "techs" and circulators. Some mainly use "only techs" to scrub and a RN to circulate.
  8. 0
    Good luck! I never even considered getting a med-surg job first, and I have not one regret about it.
  9. 1
    Got the job!! Thanks for the input!
    blaundee likes this.
  10. 0
    Congratulations!!
  11. 0
    Thanks ang! I'm excited. I'll be starting next Monday on orientation. I've been searching around for things to study up on. I've watched videos on sterile technique and such. Do you have any suggestions? Any reading materials that you've found helpful? And also now that you've been an OR nurse, what do you expect from your nurse attendants??


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