New to the operating room! - page 2

by born2circulateRN

10,445 Views | 25 Comments

Hello! I have accepted an internship in the OR. I am so excited. I graduated May 2012 and have been working as a RN for 8 months. I start in June and cannot wait. I am so ready for this learning curve :-) I would appreciate... Read More


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    I really really do like the idea of setting goals; I've been working on a list already. Thanks so much for everything and good luck!
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    Quote from Stacey30

    I had to buy Alexander's Care of the Patient in Surgery as part of my Periop 101 class. I have not yet picked up the pocket guide yet but plan on it. Right now my biggest challenge is trying to develop my "OR ear." There's a lot of white noise in the OR, plus with everyone wearing masks it can be hard to hear the scrub or the surgeon ask you to get something so I always find myself saying "huh?" LOL. I'm thankful to have gone through this fellowship because it's helping to give me a strong foundation for what I need to know as a circulator (learning basic instruments and sutures can make your head spin!) based on the AORN standard. Some pros of my fellowship are that we practice opening sterile items, gowning and gloving, etc in the classroom setting so you don't feel completely useless at clinical and focusing on one patient at a time is great. Some cons would be not knowing where in the heck everything is, being assigned to a different service and preceptor every day (this may not be the case for you, but in the institution where I'm doing my clinical and will end up working at I will work in all the services except heart because they're specialized), and becoming familiar with the supplies and instruments needed for each procedure. Obviously none of this stuff is something you can learn overnight that's why I said try to set yourself goals to work on each week!
    Don't forget to add hoods. They add a whole new level of hearing difficulty. I'm a scrub and have been working with the same doctor for five years and he mumbles really bad. When we have new fellows start every year, I have to do a lot of translating!!
    born2circulateRN likes this.
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    Oh yeah, hoods too also a lot of our attendings have accents so you have to get used to that as well!
    born2circulateRN likes this.
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    Quote from Ilovethe80s
    I took pictures of how the equipment was set up (ie: beach chair). Ask as many questions as you need to understand what's going on. Also, when the sched for the next day came out I would find out which room i was going to be in and make copies of the dr's pref card and review them so I was prepared in the morning to just hit the ground running. Also, be mindful of your scrub techs. They can be your best ally or worst enemy. I prefer for them to be my ally! I respect what they do and really try to help them as much as I can and I've learned that through doing this they help me and we respect each other. You really will learn a lot from the techs bc they are right up there w/ the surgeons. I love my scrub techs and I'm so grateful that many of them are very dedicated, intelligent and hard working.
    VERY NICE, 80s! I have yet to see a nurse resident/new hire take pics of the equipment. That's got to be extremely helpful to you.

    I am so impressed with your drive to learn! Recently, I did a lecture for new nurse residents on how to prepare for life in the OR. I suggested that the residents get their assignments the day prior, and review the procedure, as well as the pref cards.

    You seem very organized and focused. You will do well, dear one!
    born2circulateRN likes this.
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    Dear B2C,

    Some tips:

    1. Set your alarm to get up 30 minutes earlier than you normally would. If you can't function without coffee, set your delay brew accordingly. When you get out of the shower, grab your mug of coffee and your notes. Sit down and review your notes. Write out any questions that you have.

    2. Have a high protein breakfast. My favorite is boiled eggs. I make them the night before, shell them, sprinkle salt and pepper in a ziploc bag and toss them in the bag so all I have to do is open the fridge in the morning and grab the bag on my way out the door. I nosh on them while driving to work. It also helps to have a jar of peanut butter in your locker so that you can have a tablespoon between cases. It really does stave off hunger.

    3. Get yourself a small notebook-small enough to fit into the back pocket of your scrubs. Divide the notebook into sections that represent each service you will be rotating through. Then divide each section into subsections for each surgeon. I bought stick-on file tabs in different colors for each section, and then bought little tags for each subsection with the surgeon's name written on it. Write down everything you learned in the case. For example:

    Section 1: General Surgery
    Tab: Dr. Anderson
    Lap Chole
    Major basket, camera, 10/30 scope, 5/30 scope, endoclip appliers, endoshears
    One Hassan trocar, three 5mm trocars, endocatch bag, three green endoclip cartridges, specimen cup, 0 Vicryl on a UR-6 needle, two 4-0 Monocryl to close.

    Additional notes: Position supine, no pillow under knees. No foley. Pad heels. Likes music, but not too loud; prefers old skool rap. Prep with Chloraprep. Prefers cloth towels to drape out. Don't ask questions during clipping. Likes to close to energetic music, can ask questions. Have three clips loaded, and make sure the endoshears are Likes an 11 blade to open, followed by the Hassan trocar. Prepare each 5mm sleeve with the trocar. Have 10 mls Lido loaded up prior to each incision. Does not use Fluoro.

    4. Ask your preceptor questions. That's why they are there. Even if you think they are dumb questions...ask!

    5. Be easy on yourself. It takes a long time to learn the ins and outs of the OR.

    6. Above all, keep a positive outlook.

    Good luck to you, and keep coming back to this site if you have questions.

    Canes
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    As I have recently posted in another thread I have recently accepted a long wanted OR positions and was wondering the same thing. Thanks for all the great suggestions!!
    born2circulateRN likes this.
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    @Canes, thanks so much! I really appreciate the detailed preference card, definitely gives me a better idea. And I'll definitely come back if I have more questions.

    Thanks again for the great advice everyone!

    @Anniehow, Congrats again! When are you starting?
    canesdukegirl likes this.
  8. 0
    I start June 24th! @Born2CirculateRn Check your inbox, I just sent you a PM
  9. 0
    I am also a brand new RN...just passed my boards last week and was hired for an OR periop program. I'm very excited But, I must admit, I have absolutely no idea what language you all are speaking in...other than supine and trocar...lol...but that's why I'm going through the periop program, right? (good grief I hope they don't expect me to know these terms right off the bat!) To the OP, congrats on your new position!!! YAY!!
  10. 1
    Quote from michele742
    I am also a brand new RN...just passed my boards last week and was hired for an OR periop program. I'm very excited But, I must admit, I have absolutely no idea what language you all are speaking in...other than supine and trocar...lol...but that's why I'm going through the periop program, right? (good grief I hope they don't expect me to know these terms right off the bat!) To the OP, congrats on your new position!!! YAY!!
    That's awesome! Congrats on passing boards and becoming an OR RN as your 1st nursing job! And yeah, I'm pretty much as clueless as you are. But I am sure we are definitely not alone. A new journey now begins, yay!
    jquan25 likes this.


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