Not too old for OR but out of nursing too long?

  1. Well I just talked to the nurse recruiter at a hospital that offers a 7 month OR training class, and she feels I have been out of nursing for too long to start in this class (remember I have been out of nursing for 8 years - was an active nurse for 13 years before that). She said she felt it would be really hard for me, because so much has changed in the past 8 years, and felt I would have a very hard time "keeping up with the class." She suggests getting some experience in another area of nursing under my belt first. I am currently getting ready to start back into home health (where I left off 8 years ago). The OR class is offered at least yearly and oftentimes 2 x year, so I can always try again next year. What do you OR nurses think? Should I work in home health for a year and try again next year? Or should I just try and go for it? Any suggestions would be helpful because I have been racking my brain about this. P.S. I have always been interested in OR nursing... :uhoh21:
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   porsch65
    HI there,

    I say go for it. If you are really interested in OR Nursing keep applying until you get in. Ask if you can be an observer for a day or two, to really firm it up if this is really for you. Don't let anyone discriminate against you b/c they think you've been gone too long. We had a gal who had been out of it for 10 years. She did her nursing refresher course and her "practicum" in the OR and has been with us for a year now. She is doing great, in fact she is going to be my new call-partner at the end of April. I have no reservations where her abilities are. Good luck and keep us posted. P65
  4. by   rnbackagain
    Quote from porsch65
    HI there,

    I say go for it. If you are really interested in OR Nursing keep applying until you get in. Ask if you can be an observer for a day or two, to really firm it up if this is really for you. Don't let anyone discriminate against you b/c they think you've been gone too long. We had a gal who had been out of it for 10 years. She did her nursing refresher course and her "practicum" in the OR and has been with us for a year now. She is doing great, in fact she is going to be my new call-partner at the end of April. I have no reservations where her abilities are. Good luck and keep us posted. P65
    Thanks for your response. I felt the air go out of my sails after I talked with this recruiter and didn't feel like she was very supportive, but maybe she was just trying to save me from a nervous breakdown :chuckle I am having a hard time finding a refresher course that hasn't already started or is just finishing. I didn't even know an OR practicum would be offered in a refresher course. I like your idea of observing in the OR to make sure it is really for me. I will certainly look into that!
  5. by   anitime
    It seems to me that when you are training for the OR you will be refreshing at the same time. Anyone who has worked emerg. should be able to pick up fairly quickly!!!
    The OR is such a different area of work. You have to learn a lot of instrumentation, how to set rooms up, pt positioning and safety. surgeons preferences etc. The circulating part of the job includes checking in the pt. and assessing them while you do it but that is basic nursing which you have done a lot of!!
    I have worked with nurses who came straight to the OR after graduating and they did fine.
    If you really want to do it go for it.
  6. by   payday
    I wouldn't let a nurse recruiter determine your future. You know who you really are inside not her. Job shadowing is a great idea. Who has the time to mess around doing things you really don't want to do.
  7. by   *LA*
    Quote from rnbackagain
    Well I just talked to the nurse recruiter at a hospital that offers a 7 month OR training class, and she feels I have been out of nursing for too long to start in this class (remember I have been out of nursing for 8 years - was an active nurse for 13 years before that). She said she felt it would be really hard for me, because so much has changed in the past 8 years, and felt I would have a very hard time "keeping up with the class." She suggests getting some experience in another area of nursing under my belt first. I am currently getting ready to start back into home health (where I left off 8 years ago). The OR class is offered at least yearly and oftentimes 2 x year, so I can always try again next year. What do you OR nurses think? Should I work in home health for a year and try again next year? Or should I just try and go for it? Any suggestions would be helpful because I have been racking my brain about this. P.S. I have always been interested in OR nursing... :uhoh21:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "I wouldn't let a nurse recruiter determine your future. You know who you really are inside not her. Job shadowing is a great idea. Who has the time to mess around doing things you really don't want to do."

    I SECOND THIS !!!

    Hi there
    Im new here.
    Im an OR nurse and found this site by accident.
    ( I was looking for "white nurses clogs" on google, and this site came up)
    Im going back to work after having been home for 3 1/2/4 yrs and I am nervous !
    feeling excited but very nervous.
    anyway, I wanted to tell you that I like the above persons response
    ( I forget whose it was, but I agree wholeheartedly).

    dont let yourself be sidetracked
    everybody has to start somewhere !

    GO FOR IT
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ps> its nice to meet you all
    Last edit by *LA* on Apr 11, '05
  8. by   akor
    Quote from rnbackagain
    Thanks for your response. I felt the air go out of my sails after I talked with this recruiter and didn't feel like she was very supportive, but maybe she was just trying to save me from a nervous breakdown :chuckle I am having a hard time finding a refresher course that hasn't already started or is just finishing. I didn't even know an OR practicum would be offered in a refresher course. I like your idea of observing in the OR to make sure it is really for me. I will certainly look into that!

    Hi, I would say go for it too!!! I returned to the O.R. after about 12 years time off....I love the O.R.. It is SO challenging....don't get discouraged easily...good luck and keep a positive attitude.....the 7 month training will help alot.....
  9. by   rnbackagain
    Quote from akor
    Hi, I would say go for it too!!! I returned to the O.R. after about 12 years time off....I love the O.R.. It is SO challenging....don't get discouraged easily...good luck and keep a positive attitude.....the 7 month training will help alot.....

    That is really encouraging to hear. How long were you an OR nurse before you took the 12 years off?
  10. by   akor
    Quote from rnbackagain
    That is really encouraging to hear. How long were you an OR nurse before you took the 12 years off?
    I worked in N.Y. hospital in a very busy O.R. for 5 years...I worked a couple years full time, then decided to go back and get my BSN so I went part time and then I worked per diem for a few years....it is very scary returning after so much time off....I still am learning things everyday...everyday is a learning process...and I just have to accept that for a few years....I work with a nurse who is there for four years and she is still learning things....it's all about team work in the O.R....helping each other because we do not have a great orientation program.....
  11. by   rnpilot
    I was out of nursing for 10 years and had always been interested in OR nursing. When I interviewed for a position, I was told it didn't matter, OR nursing was so different from other nursing that I would utilize the basic, ingrained nursing skills while learning something completely new. It was very true. The OR is totally different and you don't forget the very basics of nursing. I loved working in the OR, but hated the verbal abuse by the doctors and decided to go back to working with civil people. I was working in a high stress, university, level III trauma hospital, so 'your milage may very.' Good luck!
  12. by   akor
    Quote from rnpilot
    I was out of nursing for 10 years and had always been interested in OR nursing. When I interviewed for a position, I was told it didn't matter, OR nursing was so different from other nursing that I would utilize the basic, ingrained nursing skills while learning something completely new. It was very true. The OR is totally different and you don't forget the very basics of nursing. I loved working in the OR, but hated the verbal abuse by the doctors and decided to go back to working with civil people. I was working in a high stress, university, level III trauma hospital, so 'your milage may very.' Good luck!
    I hear you. The hospital that I work in now is a university trauma hopsital too....I have never heard the attending doc's scream so much before....When I worked in New York at the busy university hospital for 5 years....I NEVER heard a doc raise his/her voice...The doc's here have some sympathy for me because I am foreign and new...one time one of the docs said something offensive towards me but I didn't get offended...I knew it was just the moment ...probably didn't sleep well the night before?! It's nice that we are not always in the same operating room with the same doc's all the time....we are also with different nurses and different anesthesiologists daily.....

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