Working with new circulators - page 2

I've seen lots of posts on this site about new OR nurses trying to cope with orientation. It seems like people who have worked in the OR their whole lives sometimes don't see the whole picture and... Read More

  1. by   bifurcated
    WOW....... I can feel your frustration and anger through your posting. First as an RN who has spent over 30 years in an OR, may I apologize for the "others" that are not helping our profession. My advice would be to first, take a deep breath and then when you go to work if you have not spent time in the central processing area (or wherever the instruments are cleaned and assembled) ask to spend a few days assembling your instrument sets. This should make you more aware of what is in the set's and what they are called. Talk to your preceptor and verbalize the needs that you have. Keep notes. One of the best things that people I have oriented have done is keep a notebook.(size doesn't matter) write down doctor's names, employees names, glove sizes anything that is difficult for you to remember write it down. Now the next part may not sit well with you, but here it goes. Try not to be to defensive.....I know... but the time to be asking about "all of the things that your opening" is not the best time to ask so many questions. After all, the patient deserves an operation that is going to happen on time. I believe that a new person in the OR should also scrub before they circulate! you should be with an experience individual (RN or Tech)this is the perfect place to see what the heck is happening.You would see what the instruments are used for.It also allows the surgeon's to get to know you.If you are not comfortable with gowning and gloving then take stuff home and practice.(after you have had the demonstration on the correct way to do it) Also, check out AORN and look into some of the great resources that are available. On closing it is important to know that we need new nurses in the operating rooms because the rest of us are getting OLD..... so hang in and all the best to you.
  2. by   BloodNGuts
    Amen!!! After over 8 years of experience in the OR I still have trouble understanding scrubs when they mumble. It is critical that we support our newbies. I have seen more quality, caring nurses chased from the OR by coworkers with no patience and it only adds to our shortage of qualified OR nurses. We were all new to this very overwhelming environment and need to support each other instead of bringing each other down.
  3. by   BloodNGuts
    It really does get easier. One day you will look back when everything is old hat and say, "why was my head so full when it all seems so easy now". It's a lot to learn, it truly is. The stress of the job doesn't make it any easier. I also found that the scrub techs were more willing to teach than the circulators. Learn from any possible source.
  4. by   JHRN2BE
    Thank you for your post! I am a new circulator AND a new grad a month into orientation and it can be overwhelming! I have had 3 preceptors over the last month and I am beginning to understand why it is so challenging. You are correct in stating that there is no education for the OR in school and we are starting fresh in the department, unless you have worked in the OR before. Now, on the floor as a new nurse, it seems that generally you have some autonomy in taking care of patients, but in the OR there are MANY eyes watching you at all times. When prepping the patient whether it's a foley or preparing the surgical site, there is the anesthesiologist, scrub tech, preceptor, and possibly the Dr. and a PA, sometimes tech students AND nursing students AND possibly a rep if it's an ortho or CV case. IT IS NERVE WRACKING to have that many eyes on you watching!!! Some days it feels like everyone is on your case about one thing or another. I keep telliing myself that I've only been in the OR for a month and I am still VERY new and can't know it all yet. Some days I have felt like beating my head up against a wall, but for the most part I truly am enjoying it and am looking forward to the day when I'll be off orientation and on my own. It is tough to be a preceptor and the newbie. I have told my preceptors that I know it is challenging and requires patience to do all the teaching. I've been on the receiving end of some negativity and it stinks, but I certainly know how NOT to treat the new people. For the most part, it has been great! I work with some knowledgeable people and am learning from everyone. My hats off to all OR nurses out there. So many people think that circulators have it easy, but BOY ARE THEY WRONG! It is an EXTREMELY CHALLENGING JOB!!!

    Thanks again for bringing this topic up!! I needed to hear it!!!
  5. by   DaizeeD
    I am also a new grad and will be starting my first day in the OR tomorrow morning. I am scared and excited all in one. I found your post very helpful and will make sure that I print it out to keep with me during my orientation. I have a great OR manager and great feeling about the facility I am working at. I forsee some hardships in the future, but am looking forward to the challenge. Thank you to all the OR nurses out there.
    Last edit by DaizeeD on Jul 5, '07
  6. by   HeatherB,CST
    OP - thank you for a great post. I'm a ST student, and once I'm working, I'll remember this when new circulators come in.

    DaizeeD - Best of luck tomorrow! Let us know how it went!
  7. by   pinkandgreenRN
    When I trained as a new surgical RN we actually had a surgery educator and specific teaching. The first 6 weeks we went to class for 8 hours and learned sterile technique and such. We also went to Central Sterile part of the day and put together the instrument trays. That is how we learned the names of the instruments. They next six weeks we actually scrubbed the cases. We learned to pass instruments to the surgeons and assisted in the various services. The last six weeks we learned to be a circulator. I transferred back to the sister hospital (they finally lifted the hiring freeze) after the first week learning to be a circulator. Although some people knew this, most did not. I would hear things like, "I thought you where an experienced circulator". I would have to explain that the sister hospital did things differently when it came to training. Actually their training program was great and taught me alot. I still tell my new circulators to go to central when it's slow and help them put together trays. I also tell them to look at the surgical instrument ordering book. Last but not least, always carry a pocket notepad and write everything down.
  8. by   RN Zeke
    Quote from BloodNGuts
    Amen!!! After over 8 years of experience in the OR I still have trouble understanding scrubs when they mumble. It is critical that we support our newbies. I have seen more quality, caring nurses chased from the OR by coworkers with no patience and it only adds to our shortage of qualified OR nurses. We were all new to this very overwhelming environment and need to support each other instead of bringing each other down.
    It is difficult to understand anyone when they mumble, wheather it is the Scrub person, RN, Dr. Or anyone else that chooses to do so. We can hear you, but not understand you. We should support our newbies, no matter what their job title is, or initals.

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