What are job opportunities like in OR nursing?

  1. Hello, I am new here and this is my first post.

    I am licensed in CA as an LVN (I see the rules for claiming titles are pretty strict around here, do I need to submit proof to the mods or something?), and have been working on RN/BSN pre reqs for a few years since I have been completely unable to find employment in my area. I do, however, have almost 4 years of experience working as a CNA.

    My favorite clinical rotations in school were in the Operating Room. So much going on that was so interesting! I wished I had been able to spend more time in there than I ended up getting to

    Also, my instructor feedback was that while I had excellent test performance and did well in skills evaluations, my patient interactions were lacking.

    Considering that patients in the Operating Room are unconscious, do those of you with experience in this field think I might be well suited for it given what I have said? Is my understanding of OR nursing fundamentally flawed in some way?

    I really DO want to help people and I AM compassionate, but my personality does not always come off that way for some reason, and this offends some patients. I figure that minimizing patient interaction might be best for me, and was wondering if that might be possible working in the OR.

    Anyone wiser and more experienced is appreciated giving advice!

  2. Visit frenchxtoast profile page

    About frenchxtoast, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '14; Posts: 26; Likes: 18
    from US


  3. by   springchick1
    I know in my state, LVN's are not hired to work in the OR unless it is in the role of the scrub tech. And most hospitals now won't hire you to scrub unless you have experience. Sorry.
  4. by   frenchxtoast
    Well yeah, I have my BSN pre reqs finished and am applying to programs now. So would a new grad RN with a BSN have a shot in the OR? Or do they want experience first?
  5. by   brownbook
    I asked a co-worker why she got into OR nursing and she said her instructor told her something similar to your inquiry....she didn't have the best patient interaction skills.

    The OR nurse has to interview the patient in pre-op. It is a short interview, focusing on the OR checklist. I would guess people in general would like a smiley, friendly nurse to be interviewing them. I can't really address your "bed side manner."

    To get a circulating RN position in OR can be hard, unless you work your way into it from being a scrub tech or similar job.

    Most circulating RN's worked several months (years) in med/surg or other areas of acute care nursing first. Some worked in a hospital that offered OR training. Some started working endoscopy units that were in the same unit as OR and asked for any opportunities to cross train into OR. Some worked pre-op/PACU, and asked to cross train into OR.

    Once you get a job in any area of an acute care hospital you may need to be the annoying squeaky wheel pestering the OR charge nurse, asking for opportunities, etc.
  6. by   frenchxtoast
    Thank you very much brownbook! Really appreciate your input.
  7. by   springchick1
    Quote from frenchxtoast
    Well yeah, I have my BSN pre reqs finished and am applying to programs now. So would a new grad RN with a BSN have a shot in the OR? Or do they want experience first?
    You have your BSN prereqs, not your BSN. Once you are an RN (ADN or BSN) you will be eligible for a job in the OR. But right now (which is what it sounds like you are asking about) no, you are not eligible for a circulator roll in the OR. You could possibly get a job as a scrub tech if they do OJT but not as a circulator. At least in the state I am in.
  8. by   procrastinator911
    A lot of hospitals have new grad internships specific to the OR. They prefer to train new grads to avoid all the habits people accumulate on other floors (I'm currently in a internship). Patient interaction is minimal. When u get to your senior year see if you can do your senior practicum in the OR. Good luck