Brand new OR nurses UNITE!!!

Specialties Operating Room


Hello all.

Are there any other newbies out there like me? I graduated this May and jumped feet-first into the OR. Just completed 2 out of the 9 mos of training that I will receive. So far, I LOVE it!

Maybe us rookies can swap stories and vent to each other.

***If any of you 'old dogs' have advice, or stories, that would be great too.

Don't give up it is a great field.

The biggest thing we tell our new guys are to let the bad times roll off and don't let them see you cry.

We have six new RN's and 4 new scrub techs right now.

There are a lot of frustrations and a lot of rewards.

Have fun!


Thank you, anglgrl63, I appreciate your comments.

Is there anyone else out there????

I'm a little early but thought I would jump in! I graduate in May 2002 and am very interested in OR, I have applied for a perioperative internship at a large teaching hospital in St. Louis. I am excited and also nervous as I have heard stories of OR nurses and their treatment of new nurses, I am hoping not all nurses in the OR are like this, as I truly find OR a fascinating place!

Best wishes to you all :)


A friend of mine (trying to get her to come in and post) works in the OR and has been there since October. She has great stories to tell, but my all-time fave was when she scrubbed for a LAVH and while holding retractors for the Doc to extract the uterus, she watched as the Doc pulled harder and harder, she supected she needed to back up just a bit. Too late! She was smacked in the face with a Uterus!!!! LOL LOL LOL!! Good thing for masks! Funny thing was, it was her first time assisting as second scrub. She just kind of laughed it off when it happened, and I think the Docs and Nurses all gained some respect for her as a result. :D

That's definately an orientation that I'm not interested in!! LOL :D (Although I can think of worse things that could hit you in the face.)

A nurse that attended the same OR course I did started at the same hospital I did about 4 months ago. We are both pretty green but so far I have avoided any really major mistakes. Anyway a couple of weeks ago she prepped the wrong leg for surgery, and it wasn't discovered until almost too late. Not really a funny story, more of a cautionary tale. Be careful in the ortho room! Most orthopods are former college football players and may have taken a couple of head shots!

Specializes in O.R., ED, M/S.

This is for armyrn, let your friend know it is acceptable to ask the patient to mark the extremity with the surgeon's initials. This will avoid any future problems. Believe me there have been reports of this happening, I do remember many years ago when I started someone did prep and the surgeon did operate on the wrong scheduled knee. The patient was diagnosed with both knees needing totals but the right was scheduled and the left was done. By the way the family sued and won! Just take your time and don't let anyone push you to fast or too hard. Anesthesia, surgeons, fellow nurses or your nurse mgr will try to get you to move faster, this is when mistakes can happen. Remember no one is going to look out for you license but yourself. Good luck, Mike

The correct leg was marked with "yes" and the initials of the surgeon. Normally the orthopods mark the operative limb "yes" and the nonoperative "no". The nonoperative leg did not get marked in that case. Our policy is to mark both limbs and now I get the wonderful job of doing a 6-month CQI audit on surgical site marking, since I'm in charge of running those. Our surgeons are normally great about marking sites though. Thanks for the feedback.

I just graduated last may. I have been working in OR for almost 6 months now and love it. I had to learn how to scrub first, just general cases. I hate scrubbing in on cases but will do it when we become short staffed on scrub tech's. Our OR needs some more scrub techs bad. I am learning how to circulate and do recovery now. I have already learned holding room. Our OR is in charge of Outpatient floor as well so I have learned outpatient already. Gaining and learning alot at one time, it get frustrating at times but I wouldn't do anything else.

Hello all,

I graduate nursing school this Dec. (just a few short weeks away!!!) but have been working as a nurse tech in the OR since Oct of last year. This is a new program for our OR, and myself and one other of my classmates were the first guinea pigs in this new program (we now have a total of 6, 2 from 4th semester, 2 from 3rd semester and 2 brand new 1st semester students). I love the OR and over all it's been a great experience. The way I figure it no matter where you work your always going to have nurses that "eat their young". The OR is no exception and is probably one area where it's more prominent, and with good reason. I remember starting this program and having every single nurse, doc, PA, etc... looking at my name badge and asking me "what are you??" If I have a dime for everytime I've had to explain myself and my position I'd be able to retire!! Luckily after a few months everyone is now used to us and most have gone out of their way to help teach and accomedate us. It's been hectic and scary but looking back over this last year I have learned SO MUCH!!! (not to mention learning when to duck when assisting with a LAVH ). I'd like to hear from others out there about how they got into the OR and the training they received. It's been my experience that most nurses in the OR have been there for years. There seem to be very few "new" nurses in my OR. Is it the same elsewhere??

Specializes in O.R., ED, M/S.

Your right that there are few "new" nurses to the OR. I have been doing this for 24 years now and would do nothing else! But after being on 96 hours of call and dealing with a whole list of stupid mistakes this weekend I think maybe that dogcatcher job looks pretty good. But seriously folks I do my job well and like it very well. I think less RNs are going into surgery because more hospitals are using Techs in the scrub role and they want to be able to do both but are prevented because of cost savings. I am a firm believer that a complete OR RN is one that can scrub and circulate. I am lucky because I work in an all RN staff. This isn't because we do not want to use Techs, it is because that is the way it has always been. I personally want to hire on 1 or 2 very well trained Techs because we are not recruiting any trained people. I wish everyone out there that is going thru Tech training to soak up all the knowledge you can. I also hope you don't run into that pirhanna known as the "young eater"! I hope you have a good teacher that will give you all their know how. Good luck, Mike

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