How does one get an OR job without experience?

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    Hi everyone, I have a dilemma that I hope someone will be able to help me with. I really want to get into OR, howeve,r every job posting for OR states that "3-4 years of recent OR experience is necessary to apply". I don't have any OR experience, recent or distant, I only have 2 years of med/surg/tele. I kind of think that ICU experience might help, but will it really? The job postings clearly define that noone is even going to talk to you if you have no OR experience. But how can I even get said experience in this case? Do I need to know someone on the inside, is this the only way? If I take an OR class and pay out of pocket, is it going to be a waste of a lot of money with no hope for OR job as a result? One of the surgeons was talking to me while putting in a central line in my patient and he said to me: "time for you to get off this floor, why don't you go to our OR? they need help, they are always so short of nurses". What is the inside scoop, please OR nurses who know the real deal, I need your advice on how to proceed. Your input and experience will be greatly appreciated. Thankfully, the naiive med/surge nurse
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

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    Hi, OR nursing is completely different than anyother nursing position. You have to start new, and past nursing exerience didn't really matter, because nurses have very different functions in OR. The training usually takes 6 month to 1 year for nurses with no OR experience. The best way is to enter into a OR residency or Perio-OP programs offered by hospitals. But these program are very costly. I was told by my manager that each new OR nurse cost over $100,000 to train. Just finished my 6 month Perio-Op program and been on my own for about 2 month. There are still so much more to learn. So I would suggest your start by looking into these programs.
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    My guess it depends are where you are located.

    I am a new graduate with no RN experience. I was hired 3 weeks ago in the OR. The one thing I have been doing is looking at next day cases to research the procedure or any information I dont know to prepare myself for my next day. My training will be 8-12 months. I have also been looking at surgical instruments online to help familiarize myself with different things.
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    Oh yes. Completely depends on the individual's institution and the managers doing the hiring! Even if the ad states experience is required, try to get an interview. It is not always the answers that you provide, but the attitude that you display. The OR requires self motivation, the ability to hold your own, work well in a team environment, etc. I was lucky enough to be hired to the OR right out of school. It can and does happen. One OR I interviewed with only took one new grad as an orientee at a time. And at the time of my interview they already had the one. One place that I interviewed completely refused to even consider a new grad. Most others considered on a case by case basis. Give it the good old college try! The worst that could happen is not getting the position. The best case is that you could find the job of your dreams. I found it. Good luck!
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    Yes it is a challenge to get into the OR with no experience. Our hospital system offers a training program for nurses about once a year. I would say simply applying for a position out of the blue is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. If you really want to be in the OR the proactive things you can do are... 1) Get to know someone from the OR who will keep their ears open for an up coming training program, it's always easier when you have an advocate on the inside. 2) Ask your educator or email the OR educator and ask if you can have an observation day in the OR even offer to do this on your day off. This shouldn't be a problem if you are an RN working at the hospital. When you are observing, pay attention to what the OR nurse is doing... Meaning pay special attention to what the RN's job is as opposed to the surgeon's. Asking appropriate questions to the OR nurse will make you stand out as someone who is motivated. 3) See if there is a job under the OR management, I moved from the floor to a pre-op nurse position. While working in this position I made it known I was very happy to be working as a preop nurse, but was also very interested in the OR training program when available. In 4 months a training program came available and I was selected for it because I was right in front of them. I have seen this work for other preop and PACU nurses.

    James
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    Hi all.. I agree with u that OR is a different place compare to the other places.. And maybe if u start ur residency program u will be fine.
    Especially if u really like it.


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