attention: senior nurses

Specialties Operating Room


Give me a list of your pet peeves about new nurses that are rookies in the OR.

Poor SBAR, unprepared for a case when you have to relieve them, did not look at labs nor the chart at all, not checking o see if implant or equipment is ready or available before bringing the patient in the room, did not call blood bank to see if blood is ready and available for an anterior/posterior case, does not question consents when it deals with levels or a laterality issue. I could go on but that's what I had to deal with today.

Specializes in Only the O.R. and proud of it!.

Refusal to listen to preceptors. Failure to realize there may be more than one right way to do something. Failure to realize what they are doing is poor technique. Doing something three or four times and not asking for help if they need it. And still doing it wrong.

Sent from my iPad (so excuse any typos and autocorrects!!) using

Either too concerned about their lack of knowledge to try, or too arrogant to listen to constructive criticism. Either way, they halt their own progress and frustrate the rest of the staff.

Specializes in Pediatric and Adult OR.

"Yeah, I know."

Well, when I asked you about where you are in your preceptorship, you should have given me a better answer. That's the difficulty with precepting with a different nurse every day, but it's harder for us than it is for you, so work with us a bit.

Really, I shouldn't have to ask, anyway. Take initiative. When I was new (which wasn't that long ago), I would go to every nurse at the beginning of the day and say, "Hello, I'm Christine. Nice to meet you. I'm comfortable with a, b, c. I am still having trouble with x, y, z. Today I would like to [focus on working the room while you chart, try to do everything completely on my own, etc etc]." It just made the day much smoother.

But I get so peeved when I'm trying to teach them something, and they cut me off, and say in a snobby tone, "Yeah, I know." You know what? Just suck it up, okay? I got so much repetitive information when I was in training, but I'd rather hear something 100 times then never learn it at all. I don't know what the other nurses told you. And if you keep saying, "Yeah, I know" every time I try to tell you something, guess what? You're going to stop getting help. That is my biggest pet peeve.

Also, please give me a simple, "Thank you for your help" at the end of the day. Trying to teach you while I'm running a room is harder than you realize, and we don't get extra compensation for it. It's nice to hear that you absorbed information and are appreciative of it.

When I was in nursing school, I just kept repeating to myself "shut up and learn". I think that helped me in orientation. Nurses who teach tend to like to teach, but it can be pretty thankless when you have someone who doesn't want to be taught, or is more about their ego, than taking care of the patient.

Here's what I decided:

1. criticism is your friend. If someone cares enough to give you criticism, say thank you. It may hurt, you may think you don't need it, but say thank you and try to figure out how to use it.

2. If some one rechecks or confirms your work in the OR, which I WILL do if I am relieving you, don't take it as an affront, be happy that I am confirming your good work. I want you to do the same to me, because if I miss something, I damn well want to know about it.

3. Lose any and all attitude when it comes to counting. Yes, I know there is no way that you will lose a lap pad in that incision. My chart requires two counts. If anything goes wrong in the case, I don't want any aberrations in my charting. If you ditch your drapes after just counting the sharps, I have to dig through the trash to confirm the second lap count and guess what? Now I KNOW I don't want to work with you again, and you're not a team player.

Good for you asking the question.

A newbie rolling her eyes and questioning my intelligence regarding MICROWAVING fluids that was going to be used on a patient!!!! When I told her she absolutely is not allowed to do that and I told her to refer to AORN Guidelines immediately she was trying to incite an argument in front of the surgeon trying to be the super hero and save his day. I immediately called the director and asked her to bring the new AORN Manual and of course I found out she never took a periop course and had been trained by surgical techs at a surgery center. So today it would have to be new nurses who refuse to educate themselves within their O.R. nurses who don't follow AORN Guidelines!!!

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