How much experience is required for OR travel?

  1. I've posted in this space before about my desire to start traveling soon. I work ER, but I have an acquaintance who works in the OR. We would like to travel together for our first assignment.

    He has 2.5 years experience in OR and 1 year experience in telemetry before that. I only have 2 years total experience. I have had relatively little difficulty finding potential jobs, but he has repeatedly been told by both recruiters and hospitals that he needs at least 4 years in the OR before he will be considered. That just seems excessive to me since OR is so understaffed right now.

    We are only looking in the DC/VA/MD area currently, as it is the only location we could agree on. Is that his problem?
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    Joined: Dec '10; Posts: 9; Likes: 3


  3. by   Rose_Queen
    Not all ORs are understaffed at the moment (mine is actually mentioning layoffs). Also, some hospitals are choosing to work short rather than hire travelers to save money. I don't think 4 years experience is excessive, especially considering that the general consensus is that it takes at least one year of experience to even feel comfortable working in the OR. Travelers are expected to be up and running very quickly, and someone without extensive experience is not going to be able to do that. You are also drastically limiting your location choices as well. You may need to expand or end up not traveling together.
  4. by   NedRN
    Should be enough although it does vary by individual of course. I started traveling in the OR with three years but I wanted extra heart experience. I also tried some per diem before I started traveling to validate whether my skills were transferable. (ORs vary more than you can imagine if you've only worked at one hospital). DC area has a lot of per diem available so that might be another option if no travel assignment to be found.
  5. by   AdriRN
    The locations may be the problem, most assignments I've see have said 2-3 years of OR experience. When I first talked to recruiters about travel nursing many told me the only required 2 years of OR experience. I stayed for an extra year to get more accustomed to certain specialties in the OR I wasn't used to.