Pros and Cons of Working in the OR

  1. 5 Many people have posted threads asking about the pros and cons of working as an OR nurse. How about we start one thread with all of your pros and cons?

    Here's mine:
    Pros:

    -1 patient at a time, and they're asleep without visitors for the vast majority of it

    -teamwork (when it's good)

    -call (extra $$!)

    -great opportunity to learn anatomy

    -variety: can spend 1 day a week in neuro, another in ortho, etc.

    Cons:

    -There's a lot to learn

    -surgeons (some aren't exactly the nicest- they all have bad moments, like when that innocent bystander who took a bullet to the chest is tanking, and the surgeon just lets out a couple f-bombs at the situation, but some are just generally asses)

    -call (amount varies from place to place and specialty to specialty- currently, I am tied to my pager and staying within 20 minutes of the hospital about 32-80 hours per week, depending on if it's my weekend- makes simple things like grocery shopping something that just can't be done on a whim- standing in line to check out with a bunch of cold/frozen stuff and hearing the pager go off, knowing there's no way to get the stuff home and still make it to the hospital on time is a bad idea)


    And a couple of links to previous threads:
    http://allnurses.com/operating-room-...ns-799682.html
    http://allnurses.com/operating-room-...se-700092.html
  2. Visit  Rose_Queen profile page

    About Rose_Queen, MSN, RN

    Rose_Queen has 'Enough to know what I don't know' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'OR, education'. From 'Out of my mind'; Joined Mar '06; Posts: 4,035; Likes: 9,678.

    12 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  bella201 profile page
    0
    Hey Rose,
    Are weekend position (specifically sat-sun) available when working in the OR? Or is it mostly 9-5 Mon-Fri or mostly 3 12hr shifts/wk?

    Btw, have u done OR travel nursing?
  4. Visit  Rose_Queen profile page
    0
    Bella, the variety of shifts is going to vary from facility to facility. An inner city trauma center may well offer a weekend only position. A small rural facility may only offer a Monday through Friday 7am to 3:30pm position. The same is true of length of shift. In mine, we offer 8, 10, and 12 hour shifts with every third weekend, no straight weekend shifts. I have no experience as a traveler but have worked with nurses and surgical techs who travel. My experience has been either they're awesome and just like to travel or barely function and travel most likely because they can't hold a position.
  5. Visit  BelleMorteRN profile page
    0
    Quote from bella201
    Hey Rose,
    Are weekend position (specifically sat-sun) available when working in the OR? Or is it mostly 9-5 Mon-Fri or mostly 3 12hr shifts/wk?

    Btw, have u done OR travel nursing?
    We have weekend positions and off shift. 8, 10, 12, and 13.
  6. Visit  VMarie84 profile page
    0
    Hi Rose!
    This is my very first post, I just joined I am a new RN working in L&D. I am actually looking to make a change and switch to OR nursing. I serve as a circulator during c-sections and find the OR fascinating. I just don't feel like my heart is in labor but rather in the OR. Before I take that plunge, I was hoping I can get some questions answered if you don't mind?
  7. Visit  Rose_Queen profile page
    0
    Quote from VMarie84
    Before I take that plunge, I was hoping I can get some questions answered if you don't mind?
    Sure, go ahead and ask. There's a few of us regulars on the OR forum, so you should be able to get a few different viewpoints.
  8. Visit  VMarie84 profile page
    0
    Great! Thanks so much in advance.

    1. How would you suggest that I prepare for a career in OR nursing? I want to make sure that I do everything I possibly can to be great at my job. Any books, websites, classes, etc that you suggest?

    2. What qualities/characteristics make OR nurses the most successful?

    3. How would you describe the stress you experience in the OR?

    4. This question may seem odd but…how is the liability within OR nursing? I only ask this because during my orientation in L&D it was constantly told to me that I need to document EVERYTHING that I do to watch my ***. I was told stories of nurses who were sued and had their licenses suspended or taken away because of small mistakes they made (not calling the dr soon enough, missing something in their charting, etc.). I know that in any area of nursing we can get sued, however, in L&D its much higher because its mother and baby, which is very understandable. The nurses are always reminding me of this and i'm sure it took away some of the excitement. I just wanna know how high is the liability in OR nursing. Thanks
    Last edit by dianah on Jul 19 : Reason: Terms of Service
  9. Visit  Rose_Queen profile page
    1
    1. Look for facilities that offer an intensive, structured orientation/residency. Mine was 6 months one-on-one with a preceptor and another 3 months with one preceptor functioning as a resource for three independent orientees. Look into joining AORN, both for the educational opportunities (journal is included, has articles/clinical issues/etc) and for the networking opportunities. I am of the personal opinion that classes that don't include a heck of a lot of clinical aren't worth it- a comprehensive orientation will provide the same information as well as the hands on opportunities without a personal cost.

    2. Thick-skinned. It's said that there are a lot of strong personalities in the OR.
    Adaptable. Depending on the facility, you may work in only one specialty or in all.
    Able to handle a lot of stress. Some facilities are trauma centers where it can get ugly. Even just run of the mill emergencies can get ugly.
    Willing to learn. The OR is a whole other animal. It's a lot to learn, and there's a lot of technology to keep up with. And more gets introduced every day.

    3. Stress. It varies. Some days everything goes smoothly, we joke around in the OR, and we leave on time. Other days, things can go not as smoothly, surgeons are in bad moods, patients are sick and code, that sort of thing. It's also greatly influenced by your personality and how you handle stress.

    4. I've never once been listed as a defendant in a lawsuit, even though I've been involved in cases that did result in a lawsuit. Not to say it can't happen, but the most frequent defendants are the surgeons, their practices, and the hospital. Have had a few coworkers who have attended depositions and been required to testify in court (the most recent being a criminal trial related to a shooting) but not personally sued.
    Morgan7 likes this.
  10. Visit  VMarie84 profile page
    0
    Thanks so much! I appreciate you taking the time to help me. Every piece of advice has so much value to me. My biggest fear is the liability.
  11. Visit  Morgan7 profile page
    0
    I, too will be starting as an OR nurse REALLY soon (yay, me!) I appreciate these questions
  12. Visit  kantuta profile page
    0
    Thank you so much for this answers, they help a lot. As well as the previous nurses, I will pretty soon start a perioperative program, and I am very excited but also nervous. I want to do my best in order to have a smooth transition. I know it will be hard but become a OR nurse is what i always wanted so wish me luck! Do you have some tips that can help us with this transition?
  13. Visit  Rose_Queen profile page
    1
    Quote from kantuta
    Do you have some tips that can help us with this transition?
    Oddly enough, I've been working on writing a post about that, and just finished it.
    Tips for New OR Nurses
    Blue Jam likes this.
  14. Visit  kantuta profile page
    0
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    Oddly enough, I've been working on writing a post about that, and just finished it.
    Tips for New OR Nurses
    Awesome!!!!! thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and find your dream job.

Top
close
close