Choosing a service


How did you decide which service you wanted to work on? There are so many that I am interested in and I don't know how to decide. On some services I feel I relate better with the nurses and techs, on others I like the temperment of the doctors. Any advice??

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

8 Articles; 2,543 Posts

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

Go with the service that you feel most comfortable in. Are you new to the OR?

Remember that once you get on board with a particular service that you like, you will become very adept in that service and the 'temperamental' docs will come to know you and respect that you know your stuff. It just takes some adjustment time...which is never easy.

When you feel that you are ready to move on to another service to learn more and round out your skills, talk to your boss about it. We aren't 'sentenced' to one particular team. The more experience and exposure you can get from each team, the better off you will be.

Another thought: sometimes certain teams only have a small block time for their service. As a result, the techs/nurses must fill in for other services. Most staff HATE doing this. You sound like you would like to have the experience. If you volunteer to be the 'fill in' person for other services, you will be a hero in your teammates eyes, and you will also be seen as an overall team player for the OR as a whole. You will also be doing yourself a HUGE favor by becoming familiar with off-service preferences.

What are your thoughts now? What team are you leaning toward?


116 Posts

canesdukegirl: Yes I am new to the OR, I guess that is what is making the decision so difficult. You are right, I do want to have the opportunity to learn more about all of the services and be able to fill in where I am needed.

So far I like ortho, CV, and PV. I never had an interest in hearts in school, it was my weak area, but I like the team members. I enjoy the sports medicine side of ortho, but am afraid of getting bored. And then PV, I just found the cases interesting, but nothing else about the team appealed to me. Does this help any?

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

8 Articles; 2,543 Posts

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

Hmmm...I see your dilemma. Would you be willing to learn hearts? Sounds like the team members would be more than happy to help you out. Ortho looks boring, but it really is quite fun. You will probably get tired of it in a couple of years, and then you can change teams. Get your feet wet with your 'comfort' team first, then reassess in 2 years or so.


1,116 Posts

Specializes in NICU, ER, OR. Has 18 years experience.

I personally think if your new to the OR (and if your not, forgive me I didnt read all the posts) a good solid foundation in General surgery is a good idea. master that, then go to another service. thats my opinion. i think you relly need a good foundation in general before specializing.


18 Posts

Specializes in OR. Has 3 years experience.

I agree with RNOTODAY. Go for general surgery. It'll get you use to the instruments and keeping track of your counts. Plus a lot of call cases are general procedures such as lap choles and lap appys.