Trying to get my foot in OR door

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    Hi All, I would love to get into the OR after 5+ yrs in Ortho/Neuro at a large teaching hospital. Unfortunately, all the job opportunities I am finding require OR experience, and I'm really having a hard time finding any periop programs. I did try surgery centers and hospitals that offer Periop 101(I guess to employees?) and have called and emailed contacts listed on AORN Periop 101 list, but have had no luck. If anyone has suggestions, please help! Thanks
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    I'm having the same issue. I've been a nurse for 3 years and all the OR jobs I've come across want experience. I've also looked into the Periop programs with no luck. An OR nurse manager I spoke with told me that OR entry level jobs are few because the training is about 6 to 9 months long and once you get in the OR nurses stays in that position, and most internships are hiring GNs not RNs..I'm so disappointed. Another OR nurse manager (who also was not hiring entry level) suggested a PACU position to start off. I'm not having luck in that area either, but you may. Sorry I'm not much help but if I here of anything else I'll keep you posted. Good Luck (to both of us)!
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    Thanks a lot and good luck to you, too! I have finally decided exactly where I want to be, and now I can't get in. Very frustrating! I did see programs in Arizona and California,but I have a family and that is not really feasible. But maybe it is for you. Southwest, Gateway(in AZ, not CT) and Mayo offering programs. Good luck!
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    Thanks! I'm in houston with family also..extremely fustrating! let's stay positive..I just keep thinking good things come to those who wait
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    I am in Houston as well, and will graduate in a year, but I know I want to be in the OR. I was a surgical tech in the Air Force for 4 years. I am hoping that this is considered as OR experience to those looking to hire. Did they give you any clues that this may be accepted as appropriate experience? It has been almost ten years since I was a tech, but I am confident that I would fit right in still ; ) Thanks and good luck to you both!
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    yoland, use your resources. How are your relationships with the surgeons and PAs who round on your floor patients? My boss (in charge of the neuro area of the OR) interacts with the surgeons and PAs all day. Can one of them introduce you?

    When I was working as a scrub during nursing school I mentioned to one of the surgeons I was interested in checking out the neuro floor to see where all our patients went when we were done with them. He invited me to rounds and then sent an email to the floor nursing manager and me both introducing us which opened the door for a face to face meet with her. She didn't have any positions at the time I was graduating, but it was a great discussion and she told me to stay in touch while I was in the OR and she'd let me know if there were any openings I might be interested in.

    It works in both directions. I'm sure my boss would agree to meet with a floor nurse for an OR info session if one of the surgeons or PAs requested it on an RN's behalf. Also, how's your boss? My boss knew I was open to working outside of the OR so talked me up and put me in touch with management of other departments. Good luck!
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    hi
    my name is Ahmed and i am work in OR for 5 yrs, my opinion, the OR department is the best health care sitting, because that you are one of the team which immediately achieve service or saving the life for a patient cant help himself.
    and for you if you want really to get into OR. i advice you to get this book, it well help your experience ( Pocket Guide to the Operating Room, T H I R D E D I T I O N) and this my e-mail for more information (ah_kh@hotmail.co.uk)
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    I did speak to the OR manager, who told me that, while my facility used to have an OR nursing program, it doesn't anymore as they now have an OR nurse educator, but always try to hire experienced OR nurses. She didn't even know of any program/place to learn, but wished me luck. Ditto from manager of surgery center when I called him. My relationship w my manager is ok, but she is not very supportive when faced w losing staff, and, if I can't find another job, I can't jeopardize my position! Great suggestion though, to talk to surgeons and PA's. They might know someone elsewhere. Thanks!
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    I am also interested in OR. It si really frustrating when you pay so much for your schooling and when you get done you have to work in an area that you really dont want. Then they wonder why you get burned out. I do agree that if you are in a specific specialty area you stay there for the duration of your career. OB, Cath Lab, OR etc they are hard to get into because unless the person is fired they stay until they retire! It will work out for all of us I am sure! Good Luck To You!
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    Did any of you find a job in OR? Are you still looking?


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