How do I get started???

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    I am an ADN student in my second year, trying to figure out what area of nursing I want to start out in. I currently am a nurse tech in a 38 bed cardiac/telemetry/stepdown unit in a small hospital in southwest michigan. I have been working in my current position for a year now, 60 hours a week and feel like I have a pretty good idea of what it would be like to work as an RN there, and don't really want to do it. My unit is so disorganized, no two people do the same thing alike, there are a million unwritten rules and not much teamwork. There is little to no communication between nurses, which results in many people not knowing what is going on with their patients. As a nurse tech I am supposed to work with the nurses to learn nursing skills but we are so short staffed that I function as nothing more than a nurse's aide, a very busy nurse's aide I might add since I am usually assigned anywhere from 19-38 patients. My managers keep asking me if I would work on my unit after I graduate. I don't want to upset anyone, but I feel like saying "not a chance in h#$$!!!" I am looking for an area of nursing where I can specialize and get really good at one area of nursing. I am kind of a perfectionist, I like things to be clean, orderly and everyone to do their job, do it right and work as a team. I am fascinated by surgeries in general but don't know much about how the surgical team works. A fellow nursing student and friend of mine got a job as a scrub tech at another hospital. He had no OR experience and one year of nursing school like me, but no other healthcare experience. I am interested in OR nursing but don't know how to get started. Can someone with no OR experience be a scrub tech or is my friend and exception to the rule. Does a scrub tech have to be certified or can they be trained through the hospital. And also what is the difference between an OR nurse and an RNFA? What kind of personality is best for working in OR, and what are the most challenging parts of the job?? Any information would be greatly appreciated. I hope that OR will be my niche.
  2. 3 Comments so far...

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    I am interested in OR nursing but don't know how to get started. Can someone with no OR experience be a scrub tech or is my friend and exception to the rule. Does a scrub tech have to be certified or can they be trained through the hospital. And also what is the difference between an OR nurse and an RNFA? What kind of personality is best for working in OR, and what are the most challenging parts of the job?? Any information would be greatly appreciated. I hope that OR will be my niche. [/B][/QUOTE]
    Can you find a job as an OR attendant in an OR to see if this may be your niche?, Why not find a perioperative nusing program in your area as soon as you graduate from school. It can be as long as 6 months to a year. Some colleges offer this program collaboratively with area hospitals. This program will orient you to all aspects of perioperative nursing. Many facilities also have some structured teaching program where you learn in their hospital then commit to remaining there for x years.
    An OR nurse is a Registerd Nurse. An RNFA is a Registered Nurse who has taken a formal program; several weeks classwork plus 6 mos-1 year hands on training to first assist in surgery. A hospital must have a mentoring program with surgeons willing to work with RN's 1:1 in surgery to facilitate the learning process. An RNFA make take this training one step further by becoming certified. Her title would then be CRNFA. Currently only BSN nurses may sit for the certifying exam.
    Anal-retentive, perfectionists who can organize, prioritize and basically turn on a dime are perfect for OR settings. Those with great skills for the technical are also great candidates.
    Scrub teches need not be certified but many facilities really prefer it. A formal training program will also benefit anyone wishing to be a scrub; many are AD programs offered at community colleges. It would be a great challenge to attempt this type of work without some kind of formal training including A & P, aseptic technique, gowning/gloving, and instrumentation.
    As for challenges; dealing really closely with surgeons and anesthesiiologists may be one. Great communication and interpersonnal skills are a must. The ability to work as part of a team is also critical. Flexibility is a must. Willingness to keep abreast of new technology and procedures is important.
    I hope this helps. Good luck !
    Paula
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    Thanks for the information paula, much appreciated!!
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    An RNFA must also have their CNOR. The operating room is a great place to work if you are the type of person who can handle stress well. I thrive on the stress of the OR. Good luck to you.


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