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Anyone work preop before and go back to floor nursing?

by lori.mira lori.mira (New) New Nurse

Has 2 years experience.

I am currently a bedside RN working on a cardiovascular surgical unit. I am interested in transitioning to preoperative nursing but only have 1 1/2 years of experience working in bedside. My hospital has a position in pre-op open but my dream job is L & D. No hospitals in my area are offering internships in L & D but I want to leave my unit ASAP because I am miserable there. My biggest concern transitioning into something like pre-op is not being able to come back if I want to, or that getting into L & D would be harder after leaving bedside. Has anyone else left bedside and come back? Is it difficult to get a job? I am burned out already and don't know what my next step should be. 

Closed Account 12345

Has 14 years experience.

Having worked both pre-op and L&D, I say go for it!  

In pre-op, you'll learn to review health history, do a quick assessment, get consent forms, obtain vitals, place an IV, administer GI meds/antibiotics, do any site prep, educate, and form a calming rapport with your patient that makes him feel like he's in good hands in about a 15 minute total span.  It's great for learning to move quickly, which will be beneficial one day when you work in L&D and a mama rolls in 9 cm dilated with a bulging bag.  In fact, all of these skills are highly transferrable to L&D (especially because you would need to pre-op C/S patients regularly). 

I would go so far as to say that pre-op experience would be more beneficial to your long term L&D goal than Med Surg!  Pre-op experience AND the 1.5 years of M/S you already have under your belt? Great!    

I will say this... If you are a slower nurse when it comes to skills and multi-tasking, or someone who is easily distracted or delayed in getting things done if other people are talking over your shoulder, pre-op is probably not the right fit. There's a need to quickly turn patients around, so if you're a nurse who spends 5 minutes setting up your IV supplies just so before even beginning the procedure, you may not like the work environment.  In that case, a good transition from M/S to your L&D goal may be working in postpartum or newborn nursery, both of which have a slower pace but would get your foot in the OB door.  I think most postpartum units are happy to have nurses with M/S experience because you'd be a great resource to your team when medical complications arise.  (Given the choice, I think pre-op experience would be more beneficial in L&D than PP/NBN.)


Edited by FacultyRN


Has 2 years experience.

Thank you! 

Your post gave me sooo much clarification. If I get offered the job, I will definitely take it then. I have tried to get into Mom/Baby but no luck. I think I have a better chance getting into pre-op considering my experience on a surgical PCU unit.