Many places do not differentiate between an RN who scrubs
and an RN who circulates- both are RNs and will be paid as such. However, many hospitals utilize surgical technologists in the scrub role and reserve RNs for the circulating role.
As for whether I'd recommend the OR, absolutely! I truly found my nursing "home" in the OR. However, if you have not had any exposure to the world of the OR, you need to set up a few days to shadow before you get yourself in over your head.
Tips for shadowing:
1. Eat a good breakfast. No one wants you to pass out.
2. Pay attention to what the RN is doing. Yes, watching the surgery itself is fascinating; however, you need to focus on the role of the RN to get an accurate picture. This is one of my pet peeves. Some people have a romanticized idea of OR nursing, shadow for a day but focus on the surgery, and then get a serious reality check when they begin working in the OR.
3. Ask questions, even if you think they're dumb questions.
3a. However, be sure to ask questions at appropriate times. Interrupting/distracting from patient care at critical times is not a good idea.
4. Be assertive. If the person you're shadowing doesn't introduce you to the other team members, introduce yourself. People like to know who's in the room and why they're there. Many of the surgeons I work with will enter teaching mode if a student/visitor is in the room that day- they just have to know who that person is and why they're there.