New Grad RN starting in OR, any advice?

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    Hello fellow nurses! Feels great to join the community of RNs! I'm bran new, NCLEX passed a little over one week ago :-) I will be starting in an OR training program at a level 1 trauma center where I will learn to circulate and scrub (we rotate through each service then will be placed in the service of our choice, if able, at the end of training). I am looking forward to this new journey...to prepare appropriately I have purchased required text books for the program but I would like to know from current OR RNs what else I might find helpful starting out in the OR??? Any materials that will be helpful? And most certainly any words of advice about anything....maybe things you wished you had known when you were bran new in the OR? Thanks so much :-)
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  3. 23 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Are you from NH?
  5. 2
    The pecking order in the OR is very evident as you will soon see. You may be compelled to ask a lot of questions,don't! Learn by observing,ask questions of your preceptor after the case or very quietly during the case and only when she isn't busy doing something much more important than answering your question. Surgeons don't like distractions during the case and they don't like new people who talk alot they want to be the ones talking. Observe,observe I can't stress it enough. The same things happen in almost every case exactly the same way every time. And don't make any suggestions until you've been there more than a year. Ever hear, better to keep you mouth shut and be thought an idiot than to open it and confirm it. This is key to your sucess in the OR.
    luckylady0930 and sew8688 like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from meghana101
    Are you from NH?
    No, NC.

    Sent from my iPad using allnurses.com
  7. 1
    I agree with Susan. Another helpful tool for all my preceptee's is to take notes especially during the long cases. Most preference cards are not always correct so Keep the tabs from the gowns and jot down notes, nothing irks your preceptor more than anything is telling you the same thing over and over again. The best advice I have for you is to "grow a thick skin", you will need it in the O.R. and NEVER let anyone break you down and NEVER EVER cry in the O.R. Maintain professionalism at all times despite the fact inside you want to slap the crap out of someone. You will learn to pick and choose your battles and learn how to be extremely pleasant, it is a weapon you will find people aren't able to figure out especially to those who are extremely unpleasant and grumpy...it makes them feel and look more like an ass especially to the rest of the team. That should be a start and you will see for yourself the things you need to improve upon...self evaluate at the end of every day. Good luck and you will always learn something new everyday.
    Spencer316 likes this.
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    hello missb1250!

    I am also starting a similar program in NC! Do you happen to live in Charlotte and starting the program at CMC?! If so I will be right there with you!!!! I'm beyond excited to start in the OR! I had a job in the CVOR at a different hospital but a month after I got it-and the night before my NCLEX i got a call saying due to budget cuts-they are unable to fill the position! But I'm SO EXCITED!!!
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    I don't have anything to say other than congratulations! I would love that position when I graduate. (I'm in Charlotte and will be doing clinicals at CMC starting in January.)
  10. 0
    I am excited to start my OR internship . I worked as a neurology/neurosurg/general med/surg/tele RN for about 10 months now and I am beyond excited to start in OR! There's so much to do right now for me - getting my ducks in a row to move being number 1 (the moving truck will be here next Monday or Tuesday) but I'll have some time to unpack and settle in as my new job doesn't start until August 20. This is the type I job I really am interested in and cannot wait
  11. 3
    Quote from Susan317
    The pecking order in the OR is very evident as you will soon see. You may be compelled to ask a lot of questions,don't! Learn by observing,ask questions of your preceptor after the case or very quietly during the case and only when she isn't busy doing something much more important than answering your question. Surgeons don't like distractions during the case and they don't like new people who talk alot they want to be the ones talking. Observe,observe I can't stress it enough. The same things happen in almost every case exactly the same way every time. And don't make any suggestions until you've been there more than a year. Ever hear, better to keep you mouth shut and be thought an idiot than to open it and confirm it. This is key to your sucess in the OR.


    I finished my Perio-Op 101, and been on my own for about 4 month now. As a new nurse starting in OR, my experience was very different. I also work for a level 1 trauma hospital, but from my experience all my preceptors encouraging us to ask questions; maybe because it is also a teaching hospital. We were encouraged to always ask questions, if in doubt ask first. Surgeons are very used students, since we have new residents coming all the time and they are also used to teaching. The residents wanted to be paged when pt arrive in room and help w/ the positioning or do the last minute adjustments. And they are always pleasant, and professional. I ever encounter any stereotypical mean surgeons. I really love working in OR.
    msancheeze, Spencer316, and lmcpeek like this.
  12. 0
    Not in Charlotte, I'm in Winston Salem. I'm a week in so far and it's great! Good luck to you also!


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