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The fact that you feel as though you are fixing a problem or issue, although it is a thankless job. The days seem short because you are constantly on the go and busy, you perfect time management and your organizational skills (great when you have OCD). The fact that it is a collaborative team effort to get surgery done and when you have responsible team players it makes for a wonderful day.
It is a chance to nurse one patient at a time-to be the patient advocate, practice in a sequential prioritization process, be prepared for challenges in safety, pressure of time, working with logistics that may not be ideal, deal with physical activities, maintain your own safety and the safety of your peers, and in all this structure your care to meet the standards of practice. Knowledge of aseptic technique, be the voice of surgical conscience, control and containment of your environment, working in an efficient flow, and be in a practice that requires continual learning.
It is different everyday, every patient, every case. It requires a challenge of staying fresh, not becoming complacent-especially when outside pressures work against your alertness-deeming some cases "simple". No case is necessarily simple. All have the possibility of complications. The nurse has to be prepared for the worst case scenario-to provide the most appropriate responses to each case.
You communicate in a no-nonsense form, succinct and clear, speaking up and out with all the members of the surgical team. The responsibility and onus is on the nurse to be in charge of the room, no matter what. With that in mind, the sobering fact is that whatever goes on during a surgical case-the nurses' performance will be scrutinized beyond all others. You have to know your "stuff". It's a challenging and rewarding career choice and one that is never boring.
That, for the most part, I get to hang out with intelligent, funny and interesting people all day. With the exception of a few individuals most everyone I work with is awesome (including a few of the MDs).
I am one of those people that loves making and checking off lists and so the one separate case after another nature of the job suits my personality.
You never know what you are going to see. Seriously.
Patients after versed > patients before versed.
I don't have to do my hair or worry about what I am going to wear!
I tend to be a little bossy and controlling by nature and that works to my benefit in the OR.
It is an adventure! (I am pretty new, so this one might wear off)
Just read a great book on introverts/extroverts and realized one of the reasons I love OR nursing is-one case/patient at a time no matter how many add-ons are stacking up. I am in charge of my one room and that's perfect. ICU/ER is too much hoopla for me. I have done this for 40 yrs and the human body is still one of the most fascinating creations!
I love the teamwork..I love the fact that my patient has come to us with a problem and we fix it..no long stays. The AMAZING things that surgeons can do.,still have my chin on the floor some days!! It never gets boring... the constant change in knowledge and techniques.. i am from the UK and now in Australia and RNs scrub and scout..and when needed recover..so we are always changing and learning....wouldnt do anything else xx
To answer the question do the pros outweigh the cons? For me, absolutely. I agree with all of the above posters. The one case at a time workflow, the fact that we cannot do what we do without every single person in that room (& all the others before & after), the fact that the patient comes with a problem & when they leave my OR it is fixed, that I am the voice & advocate for that patient that is trusting me with their life, their safety, their dignity, that I don't have to deal with the same issues with the same patient day after day after day; that no case is the same: even 10 tonsillectomies in a row requires me to stay sharp, pay attention to what is happening. That we become like family & the people I work with are intelligent (mostly), funny, and professional. Oh, and it never ceases to amaze me after 10 years what people do to themselves & each other, and how amazing the human body can be.