Peri-operative Nursing/OT

  1. Hello!

    Im currently in my last year of my nursing course and am doing my internship on 4 different wards. I had my OT experience for about 4 weeks and really enjoyed the process and work involved that the nurses do. However when I tell RNs that I have an interest to pursue a career in OT nursing right after graduating, they tell me that it's better to work on the wards first.

    Should I pursue OT because I think I like it or should I go on to working on the wards which I'm not loving but don't hate as well??

  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Double-Helix
    By OT are you referring to Operating Theatre? And if so, is your goal to work inside the operating room, or as a pre-operative/recovery nurse?

    I'm not familiar with OT nursing, or whether that is an area that would be a good fit for a new graduate. Peri-op nursing, however, is often a faced-paced and complex environment. Depending on your hospital, you may be caring for patients who require ICU level care (vasopressors, mechanical ventilation, arterial lines, etc.) while they await a bed in the intensive care unit. Patients are immediately post-operative from simple or complex surgeries, and it's imperative that you are able to immediately recognize and respond to respiratory, cardiovascular, and other emergencies related to the surgery. For that reason, PACUs in the US rarely hire new graduate nurses. I strongly suggest that you gain experience on a surgical floor or ICU prior to working in peri-op/PACU.
  4. by   roser13
    Quote from Double-Helix
    By OT are you referring to Operating Theatre? And if so, is your goal to work inside the operating room, or as a pre-operative/recovery nurse?
    Thank you! While I recognized that "working the ward" implied perhaps the U.K., I could not figure out the "OT."
  5. by   AliNajaCat
    My first job out of college (BSN) was in a 17-bed PACU, but I had had three summers of full-time experience as a Central Supply, ER, and OR/PACU aide while I was in late high school and early college, and one full-time year plus three part-time years as an aide on the floors during a gap year and my middle two years in college. It was a big unit with a lot of staff to watch and teach me. I got a promotion to relief charge in about 6 months and an invitation to transfer to the ICU from the ICU head nurse after she saw me bring patients there so often (PACU kept even ICU patients until they were "stable," that meaning sometimes 24 hours).

    if you have good leadership, precepting, and a modicum of native intelligence, it can be done.
  6. by   M37m
    Hi, yes I'm actually in Ireland so I'm not familiar with the terms that are used in the US. OT here means operating theatre
  7. by   Rose_Queen
    Most users here are likely to be more familiar with OR- operating room. Is it possible to make it as a new grad? Absolutely- I've done it. But there are things to take into consideration: are you willing to work elsewhere if you can't find an OT job? Do the facilities you plan to apply at allow new grads in OT? Do you think you're going to spend the majority of your career in the OT?
  8. by   M37m
    Hi, Thank You for the advice! Over here, the university hospital I train in has readily accepted new graduates before without any experience in ICU so I guess it is possible.

    Thinking about it now it's probably better I start off on the floor/ward to gain more skills so that if I choose perioperative or OT nursing at least I can fall back on the general nursing.

    Thanks again for advice.
  9. by   TheCommuter
    Moved to the Operating Room Nursing forum.