ER VS PRE OP

  1. I'm an ER nurse in a busy ER. I am interviewing for a pre-op position.

    My question is: I understand that pre-op is fast paced but can anyone compare it to the pace and stressful environment of the ER?

    Thank you 😊
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   offlabel
    Depends on the OR you're going to and the ER you're leaving. I wlll say that the only thing that is remotely the same is the number of IV's you start. Beyond that, it isn't even close.
  4. by   MrsBeks81
    offlabel by that do you mean the ER is faster and More stressful or that pre-op is?
    I'm leaving a very busy ER/trauma center
    With high acuity patients.
    Thank you for your reply 😀
  5. by   MrsBeks81
    Quote from offlabel
    Depends on the OR you're going to and the ER you're leaving. I wlll say that the only thing that is remotely the same is the number of IV's you start. Beyond that, it isn't even close.
    I will be leaving a very busy ER with high acuity patients.
    By not even close do you mean the ER is
    a faster paced more stressful environment?
    Thank you.
  6. by   brownbook
    Pre-op nursing comes with a list of what patients are coming in at what time, what they are having done. The patients have been assessed by their PCP, their surgeon, called by a pre-op nurse, and many times anesthesiologists have talked to the patient. You know their medical history before they arrive. You are dealing with baseline healthy-ish patients who can tolerate surgery.

    Yes you have to be fast, OR wants their patient ready NOW, irregardless of the fact that their OR time was moved up an hour or the patient arrived an hour late. You have to appease a variety of different surgeons, not just one ER doc.

    I'd say pre-op is a piece of cake compared to a busy ER.
  7. by   ErinF
    I've worked both. Pre-op compares nothing to the ER. Pre-op starts busy from about 5am-8am, then nothing. but it's a nice change of pace. You get to take a lunch break, and I didn't have to work any holidays. I'd say if you're getting burnt out in the ER, try pre-op. Now I work in PACU and I really enjoy it. I still do some critical care, but the pace is much nicer
  8. by   MrsBeks81
    Quote from ErinF
    I've worked both. Pre-op compares nothing to the ER. Pre-op starts busy from about 5am-8am, then nothing. but it's a nice change of pace. You get to take a lunch break, and I didn't have to work any holidays. I'd say if you're getting burnt out in the ER, try pre-op. Now I work in PACU and I really enjoy it. I still do some critical care, but the pace is much nicer
    Thank you for your reply,
    I do feel that I'm getting burnt out in the ER and perioperative nursing has always interested me. I interviewed for the pre-op position today and it went really well. I will eventually be trained in PACU also.
    I'm excited for this new opportunity.
  9. by   kp2016
    I loved my ER job. It was busy, stressful and very intense. I was also in my 20s. I'm older now and can't imagine keeping up that pace these days.
    It's a lot slower and less stressful. If you are looking for a change of pace it may be right for you. If you thrive on adrenaline you will probably be bored to tears.
  10. by   brownbook
    I am feeling a little defensive. I know pre-op nursing is easy. Comparing pre-op to ER is like comparing working in a podiatrist office to working as a trauma or flight nurse. However "5am-8am, then nothing"....."It's a lot slower", aren't necessarily true.

    We can admit 30 patients between 6:30 and 10:00 am. We have 6 OR's and 2 treatment rooms. Of course all our patients are baseline healthy but we admit from 1 year olds to 99 year olds. Even after 10 am it doesn't just stop, it can stay busy all day, sure there can be lulls but you can find yourself suddenly hopping again between 1 and 5.

    As I said you have to be fast. Surgeons, the OR team, get justifiably annoyed if there is even a 5 - 10 minute delay in getting a patient back there. The OR schedule demands precision. One case starting late backs up every other case scheduled to follow it. A surgeon schedules their busy day around starting a case at 1:00 pm, to find "there was a delay in your room....hopefully your case will start at 2" affects many people. To say nothing of the patient and their family who are told to arrive at 11:30 then find maybe, hopefully, your case will start at 2!


    Plus we all are cross trained. During lulls we help out PACU, who is getting "slammed" with all the patients we admitted between 6:30 and 10:00.
  11. by   MrsBeks81
    Thank you everyone for your reply.
    I am good at what I do in the ER, it's very fast paced And I do keep up. I'm not an adrenalin junkie the way I thought I was though.
    I feel like the fast pace of pre op will be good minus the chaos that engages in the ER.
  12. by   RainMom
    There are also the anesthesiologists who walk in ready to do a pre-op nerve block when the pt is barely dressed & you haven't had time to do a set of vitals, nevermind IV access. Ugh. Every pt is a race against the clock unless you're lucky enough to be prepping for a surgeon who is already behind schedule.

    We don't usually start having slow time until about 1300.
  13. by   traumaRUs
    Moved....

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