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Career Existential Crisis

Posted
by Kiri Kiri (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Operating room. Has 2 years experience.

Hi, my name is Kiri

I'm new to this, and hope to seek advice /guidance from this forum. I became an operating room nurse at 26 in a outpatient surgery center in May 2020. I do a majority of orthopedic procedures, urology, gyne and some general. I am really fond of ortho but overall I really enjoy my job, I have a new found respect for OR nurses since becoming one from being a tech.

Now my point is that up till now I loved it until someone said that I was becoming too comfortable , stagnant, that my job was meant for retired nurses. That I don't do anything but chart. I should be in a hospital I should be in another department where I don't lose my skills. This was all brought up cause I felt self conscious doing a Foley, I don't do them often. And they just ripped me up for it. I was deeply hurt and confused if I was doing the right thing. Am I making a career mistake ? Where can I transition from being an OR nurse if I stay. Usually when someone says my job is not essential or for retired I don't let it bother me. But this time it did. And I'm so unsure of myself. I don't know if I'll stay as an OR nurse but I love it till I decide to venture to other avenues but where would I be accepted ? Am I making a mistake being an OR nurse. I apologize for rant.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

No, you are not making a mistake for being in a job you enjoy. It sounds like the person who was saying those things has a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Don’t let their issues become your issues.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I agree with the poster above. If you found a job that suits you well ... be happy and grateful! You are in a situation that most people only dream of.

If you are worried about career security and WANT to have some "back up plans" in place just in case you need them ... that's OK, too. But don't stress about it. Just try to make yourself useful around your current place of employment and be open to trying a few things that take you out of your comfort zone occasionally.

RickyRescueRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Trauma, CCT,Emergency, Flight, OR Nursing. Has 25 years experience.

don't pay that miserable person any attention. Probably some burnt out bitter individual who feels better about themself when upsetting others or being negative. Just ignore them and surround yourself with people who are positive and encouraging (yes they do exist in the OR).

NurseMel5, BSN

Specializes in OR nursing.

Hmm... sounds to me like the person who said this to you is unhappy with their career choices and projecting it on you. If you love your job and you enjoy it, stay in it. Especially now, when there are limited positions and unsafe conditions because of the pandemic.

I've noticed this culture in nursing, putting specialties against eachother, saying some are less than, etc. No matter the career there will be pros and cons. You have a unique skillset being in the operating room and the beauty of nursing is that if you want to hone in on your "med-surg" skills you can get a PRN job to fill the void while still staying in a job you love.

Also to rip you apart because of a Foley, is just not good practice. When did teaching become demeaning? I have worked in amb-surg and we don't do Foleys at my facility because they are relatively short surgeries. So if it was indicated for a patient I would review it because the last time I did a foley was 4 years ago when I worked LTACH and have another nurse there to support me.

Sorry for the long reply, but please do not make life changing decisions based on other's insecurities and perhaps even their jealousy. Good luck to you!

I’ve met some of the most miserable people in my new OR job. They seem bitter, resentful, and just plain hateful. I almost quit but then I decided to be the light in that department that it so desperately needs. Maybe I can help boost morale and let others see they don’t have to be assholes 

RN1.618, RN

Specializes in Operating room. Has 2 years experience.

I too suffer through this very crisis at times. I have had previous posts about changing specialties and feeling a sense of inadequacy. But the truth is, most days I’m happy in the OR and I only have these negative thoughts on grumpy days. I like the OR and we get payed the same as the other specialties. Maybe some within are just insecure about themselves and the ones outside the specialty are just bitter from all of the stress they have to deal with. Stress and work load ≠ rewarding job. Happiness = rewarding job. Work smarter not harder. Haters gonna hate. LOL, I could go on and on. But anyway the nurses who look down upon the OR are usually unhappy or overworked. You cannot condemn a position for which you’ve never held. They don’t understand. If your “comfortable” in your position that is a sign you are doing something right not wrong! Keep on keepin’ on and enjoy your career!

Kiri

Specializes in Operating room. Has 2 years experience.

I really appreciate that all of you guys are very supportive and you're right if I enjoy my job then I shouldn't be ashamed to be in it. That person was cruel and unfortunately I dated him before he started to deem his specialty as the superior. I broke it off for other reasons but I'm glad because regardless any nurse does not need that negativity around them. I truly love my job and I continue to work hard and learn everyday. I also respect other specialties and am grateful to be a nurse in general because our jobs are so versatile. So thank you for helping this new nurse to continue loving her job.

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

On 7/16/2020 at 6:53 AM, Kiri said:

Hi, my name is Kiri

I'm new to this, and hope to seek advice /guidance from this forum. I became an operating room nurse at 26 in a outpatient surgery center in May 2020. I do a majority of orthopedic procedures, urology, gyne and some general. I am really fond of ortho but overall I really enjoy my job, I have a new found respect for OR nurses since becoming one from being a tech.

Now my point is that up till now I loved it until someone said that I was becoming too comfortable , stagnant, that my job was meant for retired nurses. That I don't do anything but chart. I should be in a hospital I should be in another department where I don't lose my skills. This was all brought up cause I felt self conscious doing a Foley, I don't do them often. And they just ripped me up for it. I was deeply hurt and confused if I was doing the right thing. Am I making a career mistake ? Where can I transition from being an OR nurse if I stay. Usually when someone says my job is not essential or for retired I don't let it bother me. But this time it did. And I'm so unsure of myself. I don't know if I'll stay as an OR nurse but I love it till I decide to venture to other avenues but where would I be accepted ? Am I making a mistake being an OR nurse. I apologize for rant.

If you enjoy your job, don’t leave!! I was in emergencies for over a decade....first a paramedic then an ER nurse. Yes, I had a lot of skills in both of these areas from titrating vasopressors to starting ultrasound guided IV lines to septic shock bundles and giving Alteplase. However, the last year or so, I dreaded going to work. Granted - there was a lot going on in my personal life and having a highly stressful job didn’t help.

Now, I am in pre-op/PACU. I actually LOVE my job. It is more redundant and maybe less critical thinking. However, I actually leave work at work when I clock out now. My personality is more like it used to be. My opinion? Life is stressful enough. If you have a job you enjoy, then don’t try to fix something that doesn’t need to be fixed. I know I have this tremendous weight off me and don’t miss the ER at this point. There are so many nursing jobs that are very stressful, physically demanding, high probability for sentinel events, etc. I have found an area that’s so much better for my life and it sounds like you are in the same situation. If you like your job.....don’t try to change anything to please someone else that is likely unhappy with their job.

FurBabyMom, MSN, RN

Has 8 years experience.

The thing about nursing and health care - all types are required to "make it work".  There is really no specialty better or worse than another, nobody more special.  I left the OR recently and am in a vastly different kind of role.  I love what I'm learning. But at the end of the day, a part of me misses surgery.  I'll be back to periop eventually, but I don't regret trying to learn something new.

In my new role, a lot of my coworkers and others I encounter do not believe I know anything - how could I as an OR nurse?  All I ever did was sit around and chart 😉  I refuse to perpetuate that kind of BS in nursing and healthcare.  I have just as much (very likely more) to learn as I have to share.

I know all about all of the drugs anesthesia gives, the drugs given from the field, positioning, lines/tubes/drains, procedures, way more about anatomy than any of my coworkers... Some have started to listen as I explain some of the drugs used and things from the OR.  ECMO has been a popular topic lately, I've been able to educate my new coworkers about that.

My coworkers are amazed how calm I remain during the emergency situations I am present for.  Once you've lived through some of the things experienced as an OR nurse in a Level 1 trauma center...very few things excite you (and even if you are nervous it's internalized and your approach is methodical).  You're mindful that the situation may escalate, but it just doesn't top your worst day or worst emergency. 

The skills ARE different. But no set of skills is bad or wrong.  Do what you like. When you don't like it or feel the need to move on - do it. Try something else and decide if that new something is for you or not. You can learn to titrate drips easily, IVs and art sticks are just skills to learn.