I posted this in general discussion as well. - page 2
Hello there, I am an operating room nurse. So far I've had experience in two smaller hospitals and my experience has not been very good. I am a really fast learner and I'm an awsome team player. I... Read More
Feb 15, '07I think these kind of playground games happen everywhere. Some places I'm accepted right away. Some places I'm given a hard time by the "in" group. When that happens I just keep to myself and do my job. I stay friendly and approachable but don't put too much energy into trying to be accepted. What usually happens is eventually they drop the BS and become more accepting. If I like the place well enough it's worth the wait.
Once in a while it becomes too unbearable and I move on. This has only happened a time or two, but I don't regret doing that either. Most of the time though, if I'm patient, work hard and ignore the bullies, things eventually get better and they accept me into the group. It's really up to you, but if you really love your job I'd say hang in there.
Feb 18, '07I may have missed the point to some of this topic, but it seems to me that this is yet another example of nursing eating their young.
Gang, why would someone go out of their way to give a student or new employee a hard time to the point that they quit!!??
Nursing need all the good people they can get, and helping new students and grads along over the rough spots is the only way. Remember, these are the nurses that are going to take care of us when we get hurt, ill or move into a nursing facility!! Wouldn't you feel a little better knowing that you helped teach that nurse the right way,,,,or would you feel better looking up from the OR table and seeing that nurse that hates you, because you gave her such a hard time in the past!??? Your choice bunky!!!! I say help 'em out.
Now, we all have seen some new people that just really aren't cut out for the job. Working in OR and ER, I've seen many. However, how do you know until you help them a little. Eventually they may get their feet under them and do very well, or they may eventually realize that this particular area of nursing is not for them.
I've helped many along, that went into home health, psych or teaching that really hit their stride there. That's the beauty of nursing,,,,there are so many different ways to contribute to society.
But how do you know until you give them a hand!!!!!
Sorry, I guess I'm venting, hope I didn't destroy this topic, and it's flow of conversation.
Feb 18, '07I agree with you completely, mcmike55. I'm a new nurse (although an older one - this is my second career) and am beginning to realize that the OR is probably not the best place for me. However, I can't say enough good about the nurses on my team. They are wonderfully supportive, knowledgeable and very encouraging. I am finding it hard enough to learn in such a stressful environment with all the support, much less if I felt attacked by my own colleagues!
I work part-time. Although I was very grateful to my nurse manager for letting me work 50% so I could be home with my little boy more, in hindsight - it's really not the best way to learn in the OR. There's just too much to absorb and sometimes I only work 2 days per week - I feel like I am starting from scratch some weeks, which compounds the stress. I can understand why your manager wanted you full time for the moment.
That's wonderful that you love OR nursing, Sandlewood - I wish I did! I am at a large teaching hospital and I do find that the residents slow things up quite a bit, which gives me a little extra time. IF you like the OR hang in there - there are good OR teams out there - maybe you can be a change for the better in your OR.
Feb 19, '07You have to know how to play their game. I can't explain it but every person I've ever worked with had their own game. You have to know how to fit in with this game.
I've been an O.R. nurse 10 years. I have worked in a large Level 1 trauma hospital and now work in a surgical center.
Here's what I like when I train a new person: Someone who is attentive; someone who is fearless and doesn't sitback; someone who knows when to be quiet (their are times to ask questions and times not to); Someone who doesn't need to be told numerous times the same tasks; someone who can figure things out on their own.
Here's what I don't like: Someone who is loud and boisterous especially during quiet times (induction, stressful surgery etc...); Someone who is lazy; Someone who is careless and clumsy; someone who is late
Mar 2, '07I have experienced the same and you have to be able to blow it off. I know it makes learning harder, but it also makes you tougher. Where I am training, some people are very new and insecure. Some people don't like change or new people and thats just something you get over. I worked with one woman who was absolutely rude to me when training, but sat down with me on my lunch and was bery nice and offered great advice. Some people get very anxious before cases too and that can reflect on their attitude towards you. Keep your chin up! Have you only worked at a hospital? Maybe try an ambulatory clinic and see if thats any better.
Mar 3, '07Girlfriend don't give up and for dang sure don't let them win. The OR is a very stressful leaning curve that takes years to totally master if ever. I have been through this a few times. You just gotta give them a chace to trust you. Keep with it. The OR is SOOOOO much better than med-surg. I have been in the OR for about 7 years now and let me tell you aswe learn NOTHING but OR full time. It's like the nursing school of the OR. And it still took me a good year and a half to two years before I felt totally comfortable. You will always be learning new things. If I can give you a few pieces of advice...get a small spiral bound notebook and on each page have a different surgery for example Lap Chole/ Dr. XYZ (have to be doc specific) then when you do that surgery write little things that you can't get off of the preference card like Dr.XYZ likes to listen to jazz or maybe the postition and if he likes the arms tucked or if he sometimes uses the choledochoscope. These hints will help you get into the habit of getting the room ready for that specific doc and case. Stuff you always forget to do is a really good thing to write down. I have a book that has many of our surgeries in it and let me tell you all of the scrubs and nurses use it still. Then when you get used to that surgery or have done it enough you won't have to cheat by looking it will just be second nature. Another good tip for survival is find a scrub who has a lot of experience and who is nice and have her help you learn why they use certain instruments, and when, or what you can do to help certain surgeries along. Or even if you don't understand exactly what is going on during the actual surgery. Last piece of advice get a copy of the "Pocket guide to the OR" that way you can keep it with you and look up most of the surgeries it explains the procedure and even tells you what set to use. Alexanders "Care of the Patient in Surgery" is a great book also but it is a huge textbook. Just don't give up. The OR is so rewarding. Before long you will be one of the gang too. The nurse that was the hardest on me when I first came to work with her is actually now my idol and my mentor. Just realize that they are out of their normal comfort zone and still responsible for that room (not that it is a good excuse). Good luck and keep your chin up!!! I can't wait to get out of this hell they call nursing school and get back to the OR full time!! It's killing me because it gets in your blood and you start to love it and miss it when you are gone.
Mar 3, '07I had the same experience as you when I trained to become an OR nurse. After ten years of OR nursing, I can honestly say that, sadly, it is par for the course. At times, I felt like these dinosaurs who trained me ate babies for breakfast. Some of them were horrible. But, there were times when I was in a bind, they jumped right in and saved my behind. I may not like their personalities but they are excellent nurses in their own right and we all share the same mission and goals in our facility. I wouldn't hang out with some of them in a social setting, but I know that they have my back and I have theirs. I enjoy my job and am very satisfied. A recent survey of our unit showed that we all very satisfied with our job. There is plenty of bickering and drama but at the same time we also have lots of potluck.
Mar 6, '07OR are NOTORIOUS for having people that are "hard" if not "impossible" to get along with. They are very territorial. It is another world in the OR than being on a "floor" or other work area.
Most people who work in OR's are generally type A personalities...so do some research on that and you may find tips on how to deal with such difficult people. In general you will find these kind of people working anywhere you go but YES you will find more of them in the OR area.
But be glad there are people like this...would'nt you want a "per-snickity" person who is sometimes a royal _ _ _ _ _ taking care of you or someone who does'nt pay attention to detail? Trust me...even the loudest and rudest are ALL about the PAITENT and is'nt that what it is all about.
The OR atmosphere is'nt for everyone...but if you are enjoying it and like it the personality thing can be overcome either with you just ignoring it or maybe trying another hospital's OR where the faces are different.
Good luck. The OR is a special place to work and be a part of.
Mar 23, '07Well its great to see so many people replied. Obviously there are supportive nurses out there, a few of them even work in an OR.
I would just like to point out this problem isn't OR specific. Any area considered specialized will have some territorial nurses with big egos sometimes coupled with a little job insecurity and nurses that think they are better than everybody else. It is certainly not better at teaching hospitals. In fact, you will be pushed even farther into the background when the OR fills with residents. While those hospitals are more likely to have doctors that like to teach, it doesn't always catch on with the nurses.
Med-surg nurses are usually the nicest and most supportive because they are used to new nurses, usually all the experienced ones teach, they are happy to have the help and they aren't territorial or egotistical (usually). The question is, can you stand med-surg? As a nurse you are likely to be abused anywhere you go. I have found if the hospital doesn't do it to you the staff or the patients will. Nursing is not a fun or pleasant job, some how or another it always seems to suck. The key is finding the type of abuse you can tolerate best and go from there. I would say if you are happy at least half the time you have found a good fit.
Apr 2, '07Everyone has given good advice and after 25 years in the OR, as a tech then as an RN, maybe I have something to offer as well. I remember so well what it felt like to be new and scared. I always have made a point to be kind to students and new nurses. One of the nursing students I had for a day came to me later after graduation and said it was due in part to her time she spent in the OR with me that helped her decide to make a career out of it. I've never felt more complimented.
However there are times when the last thing I want is to do is teach or explain anything. If it is a very demanding surgeon, a very heavy schedule, a particularly hard patient to care for (multiple health issues, morbidly obese), lack of sleep from a rough night on call....I tell the person I am teaching that I will be happy to answer questions and explain stuff but after things settle down. So if you're feeling negativity from the staff, do whatever you can to be helpful. However, there are times to be assertive and ask questions and there are times to keep your nose to the grindstone and be quiet. Be proactive and jump in there. Coming in early, helping set up rooms, offering to give breaks to others, taking initiative are all ways of proving yourself to be a teamplayer. It sounds like you are doing that already. All you can do now is to observe yourself, be open to constructive criticism, don't be defensive and hang in there. Not everyone is cut out for the OR. You supervisor is right in advising you that you need to be full-time longer before going to part-time. There is just so much to learn and repetition is a big part of that so that you can function independantly.
Maybe its wrong but there is a period of time that many OR staff "test" a new tech or nurse. Attendings do it to residents and we've all heard that nurses eat their young. Is it to see whether they have what it takes to perform under stress? I've been there and although it is uncomfortable, a couple times is usually all it takes and you'll gain respect and trust from your coworkers. Choose your battles. Many times its best to laugh something off and not make an issue out of it. Try to stay focused on the task at hand and not let person feelings get in the way. Always wait until the surgery is over and all parties have cooled off before having any sort of confrontation. You'd be surprised how often people say things without even realizing how rude they sound. Many times you are not going to hear "please" and "thankyou" and you can't take any of it personally.
While I will be the first to say that OR staff are notoriously difficult to work with, usually it boils down to just a few who are that way. I've worked in every type of OR setting from ambulatory to large teaching hospital and for the most part have found it to be the best place to work due in large part to the closeness and teamwork between the staff. At a minimum, it takes at least a year to feel comfortable.....2 years to feel competant and its longer than that to feel that you could handle virtually anything that comes through the door,JMHO.
Also it may help to find a nurse you respect, who has spent time with you and observed you and ask her for honest feeback about your skills, how you can improve and for any advice which is specific to your experience there at that particular hospital.
Apr 17, '07I am a manager of a small rural hospital operating room in the midwest. After reading the posts, I have gained some valuable information from you all. I work in a similiar enviroment with people that have a variety of personalities that I have issues with. I have worked extremely hard for over a year to change the culture and just when I think things are getting better.:trout: I have tried to lead by example, have given verbal and written warnings, had everyone sign an agreement against such behavior and I am at a loss of how to make it better. I just hired a nurse from the ICU and she was beaten down into tears because of the treatment she has experienced while training. I now do not trust a single RN in my department except one to orient new people. I just don't understand why the staff would act this way to a new person who is going to alleviate some of their call burden. It is like shooting yourself in the foot.
Please help enlightment me on any suggestions, comments I might try to improve the situation.:uhoh21:
Apr 17, '07Quote from cicinursei dont thnk nurses are dif from other persons in this regard---hit them in the pocket book....ie suspend without payI am a manager of a small rural hospital operating room in the midwest. After reading the posts, I have gained some valuable information from you all. I work in a similiar enviroment with people that have a variety of personalities that I have issues with. I have worked extremely hard for over a year to change the culture and just when I think things are getting better.:trout: I have tried to lead by example, have given verbal and written warnings, had everyone sign an agreement against such behavior and I am at a loss of how to make it better. I just hired a nurse from the ICU and she was beaten down into tears because of the treatment she has experienced while training. I now do not trust a single RN in my department except one to orient new people. I just don't understand why the staff would act this way to a new person who is going to alleviate some of their call burden. It is like shooting yourself in the foot.
Please help enlightment me on any suggestions, comments I might try to improve the situation.:uhoh21:
Apr 17, '07I don't think managers should suspend nurse pay for anything but patient neglict or endangerment.
You want my advice? Set up a special meeting on a good non working day say Saturday afternoon. Buy a bunch of pizzas and some Soda or something. Lay it all out for them: Tell them you want to provide them with a healthy work environment where there call obligations are as minimal as possible. Tell them that the behavior that is being acted out is sabotaging your efforts. Acknowledge their skill and, hard work. Find out what their concerns are. Show them your concerned and not out to replace them or threaten their situations (O.R. nurses can be quite territorial, they want to be king of their hill and don't want to let any one else on it ).
IN all likelyhood you have already done this in some capacity. However, it sounds to me their is some communication problems that lie under your current situation.