Trying to find my niche in nursing..

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    I have been a nurse for almost 2 years..during this time I have worked in oncology for 14 months and in the NICU for 6 months. I graduated from nursing school thinking my dream was to be a NICU nurse..or even an adult ICU nurse. Since working in a Level III NICU I have quickly discovered that while I like this type of nursing some days, this is STILL not my passion. I am feeling burnt out and have even considered leaving nursing altogether. I have been advised to look at posiitons outside of normal floor nursing..so I was briefly looking for jobs in doctors offices and desk jobs. I don't feel like this is the type of nursing I want to to do but I know I can't keep working where I am forever. Then someone mentioned the OR...you have 1 patient, you are challenged and you learn a TON, it's not a traditional job, and so on...so I started thinking about it. I did get some exposure in nursing school spending 2 full 8 hour shifts watching surgeries. I enjoyed it but never paid attention to the nurses role..I was more focused on the surgery itself. I don't want to be one of those people who enter a specialty without really liking it..I know that's how people get burnt out and it can lead to further dislike of the profession. I think the OR is amazing in it's own way and think I might like it. I guess I am just afraid. Did anyone enter the OR by chance? Or did you always know that's what you wanted to do? Do you regret the change from being a floor nurse? Any input on my situation? If I don't like bedside nursing is there a chance in hell I MIGHT like the OR? I love caring for people, I love medicine, I love learning..I just feel like I am stretched thin in other areas...I feel orientation doesn't prepare me fully ( I had 8 weeks in oncology and 11 weeks in NICU)...I feel like I am meant for something else. I just don't know what. Sorry just wanted to vent...hoping for some insight Thanks!
    nrsyann likes this.

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  2. 0
    I hope someone replies because I often feel the same way. I also had and OR interview that I haven't heard back from yet
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    I'm basically in the same position as you two. I have been an ortho/med surg nurse for 2 years and hated every second of it. I just started a job in the OR and I'm really hoping I like it. I have considered leaving nursing, but I feel like it'd be such a waste of my schooling. My previous manager suggested that I try OR because it is so different from the floor.
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    I'm feeling pretty much the same way. I graduated in Dec 2011, got my nursing license in Feb 2012, so I have almost 2 years of RN experience under my belt. I got my start in tele, worked there for about a year. It was a madhouse, so I accepted a job at a tele/med/surg floor at another hospital. It was OK, but not my cup of my tea. I've always enjoyed working with the elderly, so I accepted a job in a skilled nursing facility, but now I'm not being challenged and I don't think I've learned anything since I started working there. I don't know what I want to do with myself!!! Personally, I couldn't do surgical nursing. I know some who love it, and some who hated it. It depends on your personality. It's the same with any specialty. Give it a try. If you find that you don't like it, then at least you'll know that it's not for you. You may find that you LOVE it, though! Best of luck!
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    OK you guys, I'll let you have the scoop on the OR. I worked in the OR for 23 years. I learned more than I ever imagined I could. It is a field unto itself, where you can sub-specialize in a variety of surgical specialties ranging from general surgery to cardiac surgery and now there is the emerging subspecialty of robotic assisted surgery. I will caution you that you MUST have thick skin and the ability to take criticism, sometimes rather harsh criticism, from your peers and surgeons. This is a highly stressful but fulfilling career. Keep in mind that criticism is not necessarily aimed at you, but "for" you. Use it as a learning experience. I always told my orientees, never let the surgeon see you cry, because you will cry, it is like wolves smelling blood. Leave the situation when you can, find a friend and have the good cry, then, get back in the OR. That speaks volumes to surgeons, that you are not intimidated, maybe just a little overwhelmed at the moment but that you want to learn. I have trained hundreds of new OR nurses over the years, some didn't make it, some did better than others but all were better nurses from their experience. If you think you may like to try OR nursing, check with your facility's education department and see if they can arrange a few days of observation for you and perhaps introduce you to an experienced OR nurse to talk to. I always said that I would never work anywhere else but the OR, however age and a few injuries caught up to me and I just physically couldn't do the long hours anymore so I am now a educator for a surgical product company. Feel free to ask any questions. Remember : "Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish on it's ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid"- Albert Einstein
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    I am a new new nurse as well.. I have been a surge tech for 10 years, left the OR to purse floor nursing exp. only lasted 6 months, now I'm back to the OR..


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