I used to want to take my CNOR and maybe one day get my RNFA but I am feeling disinterested and un-motivated more and more lately. The high turnover, un-motivated staff, and the management team who seems not to care all reinforce these feelings for me.
I have been working in a 16 suite OR for 2.5 years since nursing school. I am starting to feel restless and a like I am falling behind others who graduated with me. I really wish I had spent more time with patients and working on my basic nursing skills before the OR.
Management will not allow me to scrub or take on new responsibilities because they say we are spread too thin, although the distribution of labor is very unfair and there are always extra people just hanging out and not doing cases. There is a small group of individuals who do all the cases while others just, well, do nothing. Is this common in other OR's? Should I think about moving to another OR or switching specialties altogether?
I don't know what my next move should be and any input or advice would be appreciated.
It sounds like an environment that management has no interest in changing. If OR nursing and the possibility of scrubbing is something that still interests you, then another OR environment may be all it takes. It is not that you are falling behind your classmates who are in other specialties but that you are taking a different path. No two nursing specialties are going to use the same skill set. You are still utilizing many of those basic nursing skills you learned in school- it's just that you don't always have to think about it.
Rose_Queen has offered valuable insights. OR nurses not only tend to be older than other specialties, but are a breed all their own. As someone in an eerily similar situation, I was told by several more experienced nurses that it's not OR nursing, but the particular facility, that has a problem. Now that you have experience, consider applying somewhere else. If you like the hustle, try an outpatient surgery center. If you love the adrenaline, go for a larger trauma center. Maybe you want to branch out into something like endoscopy or a plastic surgery office. Use the skills you already have to build on your OR nursing base. Before jumping into a new job, ask to shadow somewhere and ask the staff how they feel about where they are, what the politics are like, and which opportunities there are for growth.
I can speak from experience because I too was an OR nurse. If you absolutely love the OR, then I would say try travel OR nursing or a different hospital. If you want something else, go somewhere else. Just because you have only worked there doesn't mean you can never do anything else. Unfortunately I can say, few people do the "work" and there are people who have more lax time. You will figure it out though. Just follow your gut, don't let anyone tell you you can't.
Following this because I too am in a nearly identical situation. Been in the OR for a couple years now and really wanting to expand my knowledge and take on new challenges but I'm not in a great learning environment. I'm pushing as much as I can to get scrub experience without stepping on toes, but man it's tough!!
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