To be OR not to be an OR Nurse?

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    Hello All!

    I have been becoming increasingly interested in the OR over the past 6 months. I wanted to ask a few questions.

    A little Hx: I am currently a Med-Surg RN in the Air Force and have been for almost 2 years. I have shadowed in the OR a couple times and followed a few patients through surgery during nursing school and during my time as a preceptee. I did an additional day about a month ago and loved it as I always have! At that last visit I tried to focus more on the nurse and her role than anything else. Still I thought her role was really interesting. I consider myself focused as a RN. I pay a good deal of attention to details. Perhaps too much in Med-Surg because my time management was very slow to come. I like working with one patient at a time and having many over the course of a day, rather than having many patients at the same time and keeping them all/or most of them over the course of a shift. I love surgeries and everything that occurs in the OR absolutely fascinates me. I feel like a fish in water there. As if I were meant for this. This summer I plan to apply for a fellowship in the OR which will but me in a large military hospital for 3 months of training including some didactic. After, I will move to another hospital with some additional training for a commitment of at least 2 years. Thus far, I love the Air Force and the additional training opportunities I have previously been given. I am ACLS certified and have taken the didactic version of TeamSTEPPS as well as other courses including some Trauma lectures. Just today they let me Suture a pig leg!!! haha It was Awesome!


    1.) What made you want to become an OR Nurse?

    2.) What are some characteristics of a good OR Nurse?

    3.) Is there anything you wish you knew before going headstrong into this field?

    4.) What are some pros/cons of being an OR nurse vs a floor nurse?

    5.) Is there any suggested reading material to get a head start in the field? I was thinking of purchasing Surgical Care Made Incredibly Visual! (Incredibly Easy! Series).


    I never want pursue anything blindly. If I am to do this, I just want to do well. I want to want it for the right reasons. Please help. Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  2. 5 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I'm going to follow this one as well!
  4. 3
    Quote from spookycat
    1.) what made you want to become an or nurse?
    i knew that i never wanted to be a med/surg nurse before i even graduated nursing school. i like having one patient at a time. also, interaction with family members (and we all know the type of family members i'm talking about) is very limited.

    Quote from spookycat
    2.) what are some characteristics of a good or nurse?
    able to remain calm in emergencies. able to prioritize (field needs this, anesthesia needs that, what do i grab first?). able to trust coworkers without question- within reason. there's a lot more that's already been said in this forum; i'll try to find some of those threads and post links for you later.

    Quote from spookycat
    3.) is there anything you wish you knew before going headstrong into this field?
    that while i knew the or was always where i wanted to be, i wish i'd known exactly which specialty i'd truly find my niche in. i started out on a gen/vasc team with occasional fill-ins on neuro, uro, and gyn; then moved to evening shift where whatever came through the doors with exception of hearts was mine, to now being exclusively cardiothoracic and is my true home in the or. how quickly and sometimes tragically things can go bad, from the compromised airway requiring emergent (re)intubation to the "we thought it was appendicitis, but we're really sorry it was really a tumor from your undiagnosed colon cancer" to unsuccessful codes on people you didn't expect to have to code.

    Quote from spookycat
    4.) what are some pros/cons of being an or nurse vs a floor nurse?
    pros- one patient at a time, true team mentality with more than one person responsible for a single patient. cons- people with "strong" personalities and surgeons with god complexes. again, will try to find previous threads and post links.

    Quote from spookycat
    5.) is there any suggested reading material to get a head start in the field? i was thinking of purchasing surgical care made incredibly visual! (incredibly easy! series).

    alexander's care of the patient in surgery is considered the standard for or nurses. there's also berry & kohn's operating room technique. and the aorn journal. their website, </title> <meta name="keywords" /><title> home: association of perioperative registered nurses, is also worth a visit.

    that's all i have time for now, but at some point i will try to find some of the links to those older posts, if you don't find them first.
    Last edit by Rose_Queen on Mar 22, '13
    Lorodz, l1sams247, and SpookyCat like this.
  5. 3
    Lorodz, Traveler4life, and SpookyCat like this.
  6. 0
    Thank you soooo unbelievably much poetnyouknowit!!!!! Your answers are extremely helpful!
  7. 1
    You're quite welcome!
    Lorodz likes this.


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