I want to work in the OR - page 3

by Anniehow 5,831 Views | 30 Comments

I want to be a circulating nurse, it's why I returned to nursing school. I was unable to find a job in the OR when I finished school so I took a telemetry job. I've been on the floor for 2 years and it just not a good fit. It is... Read More


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    Quote from bella201
    Hi Rose_Queen,
    I will keep an open mind.

    I do plan on finding residency program in the OR, but as far as the perioperative course, do you know of any that actually provide hands on experience? I would like to take this course early on if possible so that I have a better idea of what I'm getting myself into.

    Btw thanks for answering my other question rose_queen.
    I do not know of any courses that provide hands on experience. I applied for an OR position that included a 9-month orientation using AORN's Periop101 program. Speaking of, if you are truly interested in OR nursing, AORN does offer student memberships at a reasonable cost: Student Membership : Association of periOperative Registered Nurses
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    You said you applied for a position that included a 9 month orientation using AORN's Periop101 program. I just found about this organization and their course today while doing some more research into OR nursing.

    Do I have to find positions/employers that use that program to have that length of orientation? Or do I just mention the course to my potential employer?

    Did you start in the OR right after graduation?

    Did you secure a residency program with the hospital u were going to work with before graduating? If so, how did you go about doing so?
  3. 0
    Quote from bella201
    You said you applied for a position that included a 9 month orientation using AORN's Periop101 program. I just found about this organization and their course today while doing some more research into OR nursing.

    Do I have to find positions/employers that use that program to have that length of orientation? Or do I just mention the course to my potential employer?
    The program was the standard orientation at my facility. We had some classroom time scattered here and there until the modules were completed and then the rest was purely clinical hands on experience. Other facilities may have their own structure through personalizing AORN's course. My orientation was 6 months with a preceptor followed by an additional 3 months working solo with a preceptor available for every two orientees as a resource. Since then, the structure has changed a bit by having all of the Periop101 modules within the first few weeks (2 classroom days per week) followed by the rest of the orientation program working with a preceptor and then working solo with a resource person. Each facility will have its own structure, but the orientation should definitely be a minimum of 12 weeks; longer would be better.

    Quote from bella201
    Did you start in the OR right after graduation?
    I did, and I am still there, although I've rotated through several surgical specialties.

    Quote from bella201
    Did you secure a residency program with the hospital u were going to work with before graduating? If so, how did you go about doing so?
    I graduated at the tail end of when hospitals were begging for nurses. I attended a job fair at the facility and was offered a job a few weeks later, after a panel interview with the nurse manager, a specialty coordinator, and a few staff nurses as well as a shadow day.
  4. 0
    Rose_Queen,
    So I do have to find OR's that work with the program right?
    How were you able to secure specifically 9 Months of orientation?
    Was it because that's how long the course was structured to last when taking it at a facility with a preceptor?
  5. 0
    Quote from bella201
    Rose_Queen,
    So I do have to find OR's that work with the program right?
    Not necessarily. Some ORs will have their own program rather than one that must be purchased from AORN. Others may not have any program and throw new hires to the wolves with minimal inadequate orientation. Others will be somewhere in the middle.
    Quote from bella201
    How were you able to secure specifically 9 Months of orientation?
    Was it because that's how long the course was structured to last when taking it at a facility with a preceptor?
    AORN's program is primarily computerized modules (PowerPoints when I went through the program). The 9 month structure is the orientation structure at my facility. Each facility will structure orientation in its own way. I think you are focusing too much on "course". What a new OR nurse needs is a structured orientation that lasts long enough for the nurse to become proficient when working independently. Whether that orientation includes a formal "course" depends on what that facility's structure and budget is. This is why new grads (and even experienced nurses) need to know up front before accepting a job what the orientation period will be and will consist of- to ensure that it will enable them to succeed.
  6. 0
    I said course because I thought the orientation had to follow a course along with the orientation.
    And I wanted to take the course to open doors for myself as it seems that getting into the OR field is somewhat difficult as a new grad or otherwise. That way, recruiters can see that I'm serious and interested about wanting to work in the OR.

    But what I really want and care for is that I get a sufficient amount of hands on experience that way I'm prepared when I work independently regardless if I take the course or not.

    You are lucky you had a pretty sufficient amount of hands on orientation that lasted that long; that is not common.
  7. 0
    Rose_Queen,
    Did you receive my post?

    I know that orientations can be extended. I'm thinking maybe doing this can help in getting sufficient orientation time so that I can have more hands on experience to become proficient when I finally come to the point of working independently.

    I know orientation extensions are not a given so how should I go about requesting/getting an orientation extension if I find that the orientation is not sufficient or I find I need more hands on practice?

    Since orientations vary from facility to facility, do you think contacting OR departments to find out about their orientations and how long they are would be a good idea?
  8. 0
    I think better than cold calling ORs would be to network with people at AORN meetings. Probably going to get more honest feedback that way too. And of course, make sure you walk away from an interview knowing what the orientation structure is.
  9. 0
    Rose_Queen,
    I know orientation extensions are not a given so how should I go about requesting/getting an orientation extension if I find that the orientation is not sufficient or I find I need more hands on practice when on orientation?
  10. 1
    Quote from bella201
    Rose_Queen,
    I know orientation extensions are not a given so how should I go about requesting/getting an orientation extension if I find that the orientation is not sufficient or I find I need more hands on practice when on orientation?
    This is going to be completely dependent on the facility. Either way, you are far too focused on what comes after nursing school with a set plan. First you need to get through nursing school, pass NCLEX, and find a job. You may not be able to find an OR job right out of school, if that is even still what you want to do. Flexibility is key in finding that first job, especially in this economy and job market.
    dlwoodjr likes this.


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