Quote from findingmywayRN
Thank you everyone for your input. Sorry for my late reply.
Stevierae and Mike: I agree it is important to know all surgical areas, and not just focus on one. How long does it take to rotate through these areas, and how long do you train in each service? You mentioned taking call - is it an option? If you specialize in one area are you on call for all areas or just your specialty?
Average rotation in any one area is 6 weeks--HOWEVER, if you are not feeling comfortable, don't be afarid to speak up and ask for a longer rotation. They will appreciate your honesty and assertiveness.
Re: call--depends on how big the hospital is. I have worked at huge hospitals where call at night, instead of having ONE circulator and ONE scrub, had, instead, a team for each service, or "cluster." What a waste of money, in my opinion. I feel that there should be one scrub and one circualtor who have enough experience in the various services to do whatever comes through the door--especially trauma. I have absolutely no patience with those people who "don't (meaning: can't; won't learn) do neuro, or don't do ortho, or don't do trauma. I feel if this is true they have absolutely NO business taking call. They could cost someone his or her life or limb. A possible exception is transplant and open heart--those teams are highly specialized and they are always in those rooms--probably better that they are the ones that come in on call for those cases, simply becuase they have the routine absolutely down to a science and it just represents better continuity of care--especially if the patient has to return to the OR as they often do.
As far as call being an option--well, in most hospitals, everyone is assigned, although I have worked at some where it was voluntary. There are always people who WANT call, so it's fairly easy to get rid of it in bigger hospitals--USUALLY. There are times that you can't PAY someone to take your call--especially holidays.
When you are first getting used to being an OR nurse, it's a good idea to take call--that way you get used to being in charge and independent decision making, as well as being around a variety of cases (that you might not see during the day) and increasing your skill level and comfort level with all of them. Also, you'll get to know the docs more.