I posted this in general discussion as well.

  1. 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 work hard, I show up early to set up rooms, I'm willing to learn things on my own time etc etc. I just found there was so much anxiety. I've had so many rude preceptors who made me feel degraded by the way they spoke to me. I've had surgeons be nice to me (who are very rude), because the nurses are so hard on me.

    I guess the point is, I did not like the fact that the nurses went out of their way to give me a hard time. I found that when the nurses who were patient with me and willing to teach me, and not get angry when I didn't get it right away, I learned more quickly, and we were much more efficient because there were not bad feelings, just work to do.

    I go to work to work. I am friendly and I enjoy meeting all kinds of people. I however do not suck up or go out of my way. I did that first couple semesters and found taht I wasn't good at it anyhow since it was never really in my nature to be like that unless I really knew someone well and we already had a good rapport.

    I want to know if all ORs are like this. I heard that its different in the bigger teaching hospitals. I heard that it is slower there because of the residents and therefore you get more time to learn things. Is that true, perhaps I should look into getting a job in a bigger hospital ?

    I love OR nursing btw, but at this point I almost feel like going back to medsurg or trying something different. I don't like how the nurses act like they were just born OR nurses and treat me like I'm an idiot and degrade me infront of all the other staff members.
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Can you try another hospital? I work in a small hospital and I've heard that our OR crew is very happy, so it's not all small places. A lot of it depends on the managers too, that they would allow this to happen.
  4. by   antidote
    Seems like the hospital you're working in are filled with those "ugly putty" scrub nurses as I like to call them. I think they should make an entire Anatomy course for these "type of people" since their just so miserable to be around!

    I know that it would be "totally against hospital rules" but maybe you just need to show these people the type of person you really are! Stand up for yourself (even right in the middle of the surgery if need be) and let them know that you are human too, and you don't deserve to be treated like dirt! Your job is just as important as their job is and if you were too treat them like they treat you they certainly wouldn't like it!

    Let me tell you, I've had my share of these people as well (not in the OR though since I'm not a scrub nurse and don't plan to be). I've had to stand up for myself to other nurses, doctors and even patients and understand how emotional you can get! It really makes you feel bad and useless... I know. Just don't put up with it! Put your foot down and tell them your you and you do not deserve to be treated like that... you deserve better (seriously, seriously... seriously -partial statement from Greys Anatomy but true!)
  5. by   sandlewood_nurse
    Thank you antidote for your response. I had spoken to the nurse educator as well as my manager. My manager was supportive of me in that she told me I was a good nurse and raise my self esteem somewhat. I am a new nurse and I was very new at OR. My nurse educator however was not all that supportive. I was told that is how OR nurses teach, and thats how they all learnt. I told her it was not how I learned. I learned more effectively when I was not stressed out, and when I had support as opposed to fear instilled in me. She gossiped a lot and was quite arrogant in some ways. I did not feel discussing things with her anymore, but I always stood my ground and made it clear that I was capable of learning in a different environment. I proved it when I was given chances to learn from other nurses who were more supportive and more patient in their teaching manners. I picked up much more quickly, yet I still didn't feel as if the educator was very supportive of my learning needs (a non hostile learning environment).

    After my orientation was finished I started to lose my temper, and not during, but after surgeries I "discuss" things that bothered me. For instance, not f eeling like part of the team, because nobody asked me or had communicated who would scrub and who would circulate. I was told I was being too sensitive. I was later reported to, and although my manager was quite understanding she didnt really offer any suggestions for solutions. I told her she needed to tell the nurse that was not acceptable, but she just went off in a different direction. Now there is a new Manager, and I have been off for some time for medical reasons. I am looking forward to going back to work (I really do love my job), but dreading seeing everyone, and not optomistic about how the new manager will treat me (I'm sure I've been gossiped about). I heard in bigger hospitals there is more work and learning and less gossiping and less cliquiness. Also you tend to work in two or three areas mainly instead of being all over the place. I heard that helps with the learning process.

    I'm very confused. I'm thinking maybe its the hospital, maybe its me.

    I feel bad btw when I get angry, I feel as if everyone thinks I've lost my marbles. I don't know what else to do however. I'm tired of being a scapegoat.

    Quote from antidote
    Seems like the hospital you're working in are filled with those "ugly putty" scrub nurses as I like to call them. I think they should make an entire Anatomy course for these "type of people" since their just so miserable to be around!

    I know that it would be "totally against hospital rules" but maybe you just need to show these people the type of person you really are! Stand up for yourself (even right in the middle of the surgery if need be) and let them know that you are human too, and you don't deserve to be treated like dirt! Your job is just as important as their job is and if you were too treat them like they treat you they certainly wouldn't like it!

    Let me tell you, I've had my share of these people as well (not in the OR though since I'm not a scrub nurse and don't plan to be). I've had to stand up for myself to other nurses, doctors and even patients and understand how emotional you can get! It really makes you feel bad and useless... I know. Just don't put up with it! Put your foot down and tell them your you and you do not deserve to be treated like that... you deserve better (seriously, seriously... seriously -partial statement from Greys Anatomy but true!)
  6. by   antidote
    No problem at all! Like I said, I've had my share of these type of people and even have to work around them on a daily basis (just like you).

    Be sure to check your PM's! I just sent you a little message.
  7. by   BeHappy!
    I have come across the same thing working in the OR. I have worked both in a small hospital and a large teaching hospital. My experiences were negative in both settings. Teaching hospitals don't move slower because of the residents..the residents just cause more confusion. You have to take care of everyone in the room which is added stress to everything else you are doing. I would not take a stand in the OR during surgery because the patient should be the main focus, not the tension between you and whoever is giving you a hard time. You should however speak to the person directly after the surgery is over. The OR is an interesting place. Nurses seem to get a hard shell over time. I am now doing pediatric nursing and would definitely not go back to an OR. I found that there was a big lack of respect. I found some nurses would withold information to get ahead and "look better" which sadly only puts the patient at risk. The surgeons are a whole other story...they did not go into surgery for having people skills. People are like cars to them in a way. I hope things get better for you ...like what you do because life is so short.
  8. by   Squaw
    I agree with the "nurse keeping info" problem. I work in a small hospital and we have a nurse that also scrubs that seems to like to think that she is better than anyone else. I have had a overall wonderful time orienting but understand your situation. I also PMed you.
  9. by   RNOTODAY
    HI.... I hate to sound jaded, but I just came from a large teaching level 1 hospital, and the people there were the biggest vipers I have ever encountered. I had heard OR's were "a tough crowd", so I began asking everyone I could who had "been ther", and from all over the country, too. They all said the same thing.... it varies to a degree, but the people for one reason or another are the same in most ORs. I thought when I started, the surgeons would be a problem.wrong... my supposed co workers were the problems.they were rude, bitter, information hogs, just not at all welcoming or even civil to new people. I blame the management (or lack of) for this. I know how it is, I just went through it. I left a full time OR position, to work elsewhere, and I am trying to get in perdiem somewhere else, like a smaller community hospital, surgi center, whatever.
    I did notice that when you "proved" yourself enough times, they started to warm up... like you "passed" or something... but I dont know about you, but I dont take kindly to that kind of stuff.I have the attitude , like; "Who the hell are you? Your not better than me, and I have nothing to prove to you".so basically the people who were jackals to me, who suddenly were being nice, I really wanted nothing to do with them just on principle....but thats me.....good luck!!!
  10. by   sandlewood_nurse
    Hi RNTODAY. I totally understand what you said, I'm the same way. I hate sucking up to people. I'm not a ***** and generally I don't have attitude. Once I get to know someone I'm really nice to them, simply because I know them better and feel comfortable with them. I definately don't suck up to get anywhere, I think thats what hard work and dedication are for, and in my experience, until I started nursing, people would be very good to me because of my hard work and dedication. I haven't had these types of experiences in other types of jobs.

    Anyhow, I don't know what to do, at this point I'm seriously considering switching to a different department after I've gotten my year or year and a half experience. If there is something better out there then why not go for htat instead of dealing with this.

    Quote from RNOTODAY
    HI.... I hate to sound jaded, but I just came from a large teaching level 1 hospital, and the people there were the biggest vipers I have ever encountered. I had heard OR's were "a tough crowd", so I began asking everyone I could who had "been ther", and from all over the country, too. They all said the same thing.... it varies to a degree, but the people for one reason or another are the same in most ORs. I thought when I started, the surgeons would be a problem.wrong... my supposed co workers were the problems.they were rude, bitter, information hogs, just not at all welcoming or even civil to new people. I blame the management (or lack of) for this. I know how it is, I just went through it. I left a full time OR position, to work elsewhere, and I am trying to get in perdiem somewhere else, like a smaller community hospital, surgi center, whatever.
    I did notice that when you "proved" yourself enough times, they started to warm up... like you "passed" or something... but I dont know about you, but I dont take kindly to that kind of stuff.I have the attitude , like; "Who the hell are you? Your not better than me, and I have nothing to prove to you".so basically the people who were jackals to me, who suddenly were being nice, I really wanted nothing to do with them just on principle....but thats me.....good luck!!!
  11. by   caliotter3
    All workplaces tend to be like this, not always, but often enough to count. It is called workplace behavior. Herd behavior. You fit into the "group" or the "group" keeps you out, no matter what you do to fit in. Sometimes it is a matter of looking around until you find a place where you feel ok. It is not worth the stress of always wondering what is wrong with you, when it usually (unless you have some bona fide people skills, personality probs) is what is wrong with the group. You can't please everybody all the time, particularly when they make up their collective mind that you won't be able to do so. So don't fret it.
  12. by   sandlewood_nurse
    Thank you for sharing that with us caliotter3 .

    Quote from caliotter3
    All workplaces tend to be like this, not always, but often enough to count. It is called workplace behavior. Herd behavior. You fit into the "group" or the "group" keeps you out, no matter what you do to fit in. Sometimes it is a matter of looking around until you find a place where you feel ok. It is not worth the stress of always wondering what is wrong with you, when it usually (unless you have some bona fide people skills, personality probs) is what is wrong with the group. You can't please everybody all the time, particularly when they make up their collective mind that you won't be able to do so. So don't fret it.
  13. by   mikethern
    <<< I love OR nursing btw, but at this point I almost feel like going back to medsurg or trying something different. >>>

    In my opinion, floor nursing is much worse. O.R. nursing is decent compared to other types of nursing once you are experienced.

    Be strong. Do your best. Study surgery even at home. Expect to be stressed out for a couple of years. OR nursing is a lot easier once you have a couple years experience. You must be patient. If all else fails, work part time. It is less stressful and thus healthier.
  14. by   sandlewood_nurse
    Thank you !! I had tried switching to a part time position. I was denied however by my manager because I was told I needed to get more experience first. Apparently those who switch to part time don't get enough practice. I disagree however. I ended up taking a day off most weeks by getting LOV's (approved by my manager). I found that even one day made such a huge difference. I had time to review more, come up with better ways of dealing with problems I encountered during the week, and an extra day to study all the new stuff I learned (which is everyday).

    I don't know why they were not supportive of me going part time. I have decided that when I have more experience (about another 6 months), I shall ask again. If still denied I will look for a part time OR position elsewhere. Great suggestion, and thanxz for your input !!

    Quote from mikethern
    <<< I love OR nursing btw, but at this point I almost feel like going back to medsurg or trying something different. >>>

    In my opinion, floor nursing is much worse. O.R. nursing is decent compared to other types of nursing once you are experienced.

    Be strong. Do your best. Study surgery even at home. Expect to be stressed out for a couple of years. OR nursing is a lot easier once you have a couple years experience. You must be patient. If all else fails, work part time. It is less stressful and thus healthier.

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