Quote from Lovenursing89
I fear that I will lose nursing skills because this is the circulator role. I'm afraid that will hurt me later on if I wanted to do something different. I have talked with some circulators since starting the program and they have described it as being a glorified gofer. I am mainly concerned that there's a possibility I won't like it and will be stuck with this position for 2 years because there is a contract.
I've always heard its great to get nursing experience on the floor or in a unit and I'm afraid I'm missing out on that.
It's too bad that no one told you that OR nursing is a distinct specialty aside from other nursing specialties. I remember when I was in nursing school, my professors persuaded us all not to go into OR nursing. They felt they poured so much knowledge and training into us and that we would end us wasting it in the OR field. My program didn't even offer an OR rotation...that's how bad they didn't want us in that field.
I know the feeling of thinking you want to do something and only to find out, it's not what you anticipated. When I was in nursing school, I always wanted to be a trauma nurse in a Level 1 ER. After I worked med-surg for a year, I transferred to our ER, which was the only Level 1 in our region. In the middle of the ER internship, I hated every aspect of being an ER nurse and I was completely overwhelmed at the time. I wasn't under contract for the internship so I was able to transfer back to my med-surg unit. I felt like a failure since I returned back to my floor but I hated doing the job of an ER nurse.
As I got more experience, I then went to the OR in preparation for CRNA school. I knew I always wanted to do CRNA school but wasn't in a hurry to apply so I hung out in the OR. I loved the OR and love the various specialties and working as a team member. But after doing that job for 10 years, I felt like there was more to nursing than this. I got tired of working with surgeons who had strong personalities (military and civilian) and I felt like I wasn't using my nursing skills. I felt like a gloriphied gopher as I ran around all day looking for supplies and instruments. I felt like the OR techs got more respect than the OR nurses. At my civilian job, we also have many RNs that function in the scrub nurse role in addition to the circulating role.
We have one surgeon at my civilian job where we have to flip coins amongst the nurses to decide who will circulate his case. This guy is an orthopedic surgeon and he is really weird. He has a phobia of the automatic blinds in the OR, so we have to have them all the way down before he comes into the OR. If he sees them actually going down, he will freak out. You can't wear cologne or perfume since he has allergies. We have had many travelers and new nurses replaced from his room because of his complaint. He has to listen to the Dianne Reams radio cast on WAMU at certain times of the morning. When he gets frustrated, he takes it out on everyone. I'm glad I am only PRN and only have to work 24 hours in a 6 week period. My specialty is neuro and ortho but I would do neuro any day of the week.
Don't get me wrong, the money is very good in the OR since this specialty has a hard time retaining nurses due to surgeon's verbal and sometimes physical abuse. I love it on most days since i have great co-workers and then there are some days I really don't look forward to coming in.
Since you are under contract, see if you could work out a deal to see if you could transfer to another floor within the hospital so the hospital won't lose a good employee. The OR isn't for everybody. I tend to think men have it a little better than females when working with the surgeons. I have seem some surgeon rip some female nurses up in the OR but wouldn't dare do the same thing to a male nurse in the OR.
Not to go off on a tangent, but we had an incident where a surgeon was ****** during a case and he was mad because the circulating nurse had to keep leaving the room to get supplies. When he asked for something, it wasn't there and he threw a bloody instrument at her and it hit her in the face. When the case was over, the nurse called the police and told them what happened. The police came and the surgeon was arrested for assault and battery. Later that week, the hospital fired the OR nurse because the surgeon was a big money maker for the hospital as he brought in tons of clients. I thought that was wrong since no one had her back.
At least with me going to CRNA school, I will be on the different side of the coin within the OR.
I wish you luck regarding your choice for the OR program. If you want to keep your skills, I would say you should go to the bedside. OR is a completely different beast.