Orientation question!!!!!

  1. Hello everybody,
    I have been on orientation for circulator for 2 weeks. Many of my coworkers say I make a good team member and that I fit in well already but I feel like a fish out of water! I am so anxious to be good at what I do that I'm making myself nuts. Everyone keeps saying, "don't be so hard on yourself".
    But the problem is, I feel like my orientation would be a lot smoother if they'd have started me in general cases and gyn, then moved me up to the more intricate cases like ortho but instead they just bounce me around every day and I don't know which end is up anymore! My 3rd day, I was in a AAA repair, then the next day I was back in gyn, then the next in ortho. There is no logic to it at all.

    wouldn't it make more sense if they let me get a basic grasp of one simpler area before they drop the bomb on me, so to speak? I feel that a consistent orientation with say, a few days in each specialty would greatly benefit me as well as the other staff, since I will be on my own in 3 months and I will be working 3-11, which is a shift at my hospital that a) No one wants, and b) I will be the only circulator on that shift!!!!! I know that my scrub nurse and other seasoned staff will be more than willing to help me when I'm on my own, but I still don't see how I can benefit from this strange, flip floppy orientation!

    I want to speak to my managers about this on Monday, but I don't want them to think I know it all or anything. I just feel that they have too many other things going on and they aren't truly paying attention to what room they send me in. A lot of the staff agrees with me!

    Anyhow, I do truly love the O.R. but I want to be a good nurse down there, and I don't feel my orientation is fair to me, let alone my other staff members.

    Also, were any of you scared to absolute death of contaminating the sterile field? I am! I'm even afraid to "pop" the sterile equipment onto a sterile field. My hands pretty much are shaking when I do it!!! Will that feeling ever go away? And when will I start to feel a little more confident? It truly is hard to be the new kid on the block, especially since I felt so confident when I was a "floor nurse".

    Thanks for listening,

    Nicole
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   mikethern
    Just do your best and expect to be stressed out for the next couple of years. Study, study, study all you can about surgery. Take notes at the end of each day to reflect on what you have learned.

    As for opening sterile packages, practice makes perfect. Do your best and be patient.
  4. by   NurseEllie
    If I were you, I'd definately speak up about having a more consistent orientation. One thing you'll find though, every speciality really is a specialty. Even though General and GYN used to have the simple cases that could be applied to every service, its not that way anymore with all the laparoscopic, hysteroscopic, etc, etc. It's really good that you're learning all the services; it'll make you a good well rounded nurse so hang in there. But I know when you're new its good to have more consistency so you can have that feeling of "okay, I can do that. Now what's next?" Also, you'll learn that esp. in big ORs you really have to stand up for yourself (while picking your battles and making friends). I'm sure, like you said, your managers aren't really aware of whats going on. Best of luck! Oh, and opening sterile packages will seem easy in a few months- trust me.
  5. by   heather2084
    is the reason they're bouncing you back and forth because of what the cases are for each day? maybe they schedule different things on different days because of what doctors do surgery then. I think it's worth saying something, however that might be a factor in getting bounced around.
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The way our circulators get trained is train in one specialty, then move on to the next. Bouncing around WOULD be hard. I would speak to the manager about it.
  7. by   stackeyes
    i too have just started training to circulate. i am on my 4th week and the situation is the same (bouncing around with different nurses every day. i feel the same which way is up? ?
    today my board runner ask me if i feel that i can run a small room tomorrow!
    i answered no!
    every nurse has trained me differently...
    i think i need more time.
    and yes the hardest part for me is the sterile field. i am just learning how to pass off things and yes my hand shakes like crazy.
    pre-op scrubbing is something else i have a hard time with.
    one sponge here now don't go back over the same spot, now don't let your arm touch that. i am a nervous wreck.
    the last two days i have been with a nurse i will refer to as sarge. she just barks .. don't waist time, keep moving , what you staring at , do something etc...

    each doctor wants different things. i have no idea what sutures are what, etc.

    hang in there and just know you are not alone!
    i have found that every time i pull one of those cards off a gown i keep it and now i have around 15 or 20 that i tied together. they are my brain - i list anes. names, rn names, doctor likes dislikes, important numbers to pacu or recovery or blod bank etc., this has helped keep it all together. mind you i keep revising it every weekend when i get time.
    and it fits in my back pocket!!

    i will just keep truckin along cause that is all we can do.

    good luck!!!
  8. by   MissJoRN
    I really like orientation grouped by specialty- yes, you still get bounced around co-workers- some say always do it like this, the next says What! Who told you that? Never do it that way. But at least you see patterns with the types or surgery, etc. Plenty of time to get bounced around the specialties leter.

    I am NOT a fan at all of putting new nurses on shifts by themselves or with other new staff. I hung out in one job too long as the only nurse/ new nurse and am lucky nothing bad ever happened. Soon after my OR orientation I argued about taking evenings alone with a tech (we all rotated), initially they agreed not to, then they gave me one... then two... then after a few incidents where I could just as easily done the wrong thing as the right thing, I left that OR!

    I kept the gown cards like Stackeyes. I organized them in a coupon file by specialty with a spot just for equipment and meds. Never kept notes on nurse preferance but probably should have!

    Towels. I could NOT open packs of sterile towels to save my life. I just remembered that the other day when opening with a new orientee.
  9. by   Bigbooter
    Hi Guys,

    I need help too. I am looking into working in the Operating Room. I have no experience but interested in scrubbing. Does anyone know the difference between surg techs, certified surg techs, scrub techs, and cvor technologists? Any would help.

    Thank you,
    Bigbooter
  10. by   mikethern
    Quote from Bigbooter
    Hi Guys,

    I need help too. I am looking into working in the Operating Room. I have no experience but interested in scrubbing. Does anyone know the difference between surg techs, certified surg techs, scrub techs, and cvor technologists? Any would help.

    Thank you,
    Bigbooter
    A surg tech is the same thing as a scrub tech is the same thing as an O.R. tech. A certified surg tech is a scrub tech who passed an exam to be certified. A CVOR tech specializes in heart surgery.

    Make sure you never use the word, "technician." They get insulted. They want to be called, "technologist." But they won't mind if you call them scrub tech.
  11. by   TracyB,RN
    Ohhhh boy, do I feel your pain.
    The first OR I worked in, we were trained by specialty... Circulate & then scrub for 2 weeks each. It was great.
    Left the toxic environment there, & did some other nursing things, but really missed the OR.
    I went to a different hospital, back to OR a few years later & since I only had about 6 months experience, I was basically treated like I had NO experience, which was fine by me. I needed the refreshers, but every day was a different specialty. I did have the advantage of remembering lots of stuff from the first place, but it was still pretty overwhelming. My orientation was cut short b/c I already had a pretty decent handle on most stuff. My biggest complaint now, is that I almost NEVER get to scrub & that's my favorite. I can go in phases & if I pout long & hard enough, they throw me a bone & let me scrub in on a case here & there. It's always something hard that I've never scrubbed before, so I need an experienced scrub person at my side for guidance... That's ok, too. It's sometimes enough to make me a little bit happy. However, I am SERIOUSLY considering seeking another position at a new hospital that will actually let me scrub on a regular basis. I'm going to get my year in where I'm at & see what happens. If I get to scrub often enough to make me feel comfy in all types of cases, I'll stay. If not, on to bigger & better things.

    Good luck.

    Ps... about opening things.... I STILL drop something every once in a while. It happens.
  12. by   mikethern
    Quote from TracyB,RN
    However, I am SERIOUSLY considering seeking another position at a new hospital that will actually let me scrub on a regular basis.
    I hope you can find such a place. Unfortunately, I think the general trend is toward RN's circulating most of the time because it is cost effective to hire scrub techs to scrub.

    You could always try to find a place that hires RNFAs. Then you will be scrubbed a lot.
  13. by   Natkat
    I heard that now they mostly use scrub techs instead of nurses. That makes me sad because I am more interested in being a scrub nurse than in circulating. Ah well. As long as I'm in the OR I'll be happy.
  14. by   mikethern
    Quote from Natkat
    I heard that now they mostly use scrub techs instead of nurses. That makes me sad because I am more interested in being a scrub nurse than in circulating. Ah well. As long as I'm in the OR I'll be happy.
    Look on the bright side. Although catching a disease from a patient is rare, circulators have less chance of catching HIV or hepatitis than do scrub nurses.

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