Day in Your Life

by sleeplessinseattle sleeplessinseattle (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Med-Surg/Tele. Has 3 years experience.

Hey all!

I was wanting to make the move from med surg to critical care when I was offered a role in a surgical progressive care unit and another offer at an OR training program, then full time position following with mainly transplant surgeries. I’d never thought to go into the OR, honestly because I never knew what a day entailed. The work like balance really appeals to me though. I’m wanting somewhere to stay for a few years and want to make sure it’s the right fit.

I will get to shadow prior in the OR to make sure it’s a good fit in two weeks. But any thoughts from current OR nurses on likes/dislikes and what a typical day looks like would be appreciated!

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 17 years experience. 5 Articles; 10,901 Posts

Check out


-quite a few OR nurses have contributed and you’ll be able to see some of the variation from facility to facility.



Specializes in Med-Surg/Tele. Has 3 years experience. 5 Posts

Wealth of information, thank you!


RN1.618, RN

Specializes in Operating room. Has 3 years experience. 40 Posts

I came right to the OR out of nursing school and I love it! Its very different from other specialties. Nursing school did not provide much either in preparation. My typical day consists of:

-morning meeting to discuss any issues or concerns for the days cases

-I'm usually assigned to a specific room for the day either as a circulator or a scrub. Either way you'll prepare your room and gather supplies for the day.

-start our first patient. I'll make sure everything is in order, consents, meds etc. and ill be in communication with the crna and the doc.

-During the procedure (if I'm circulating) I basically make sure that everyone has everything that they need. There is a lot of charting and documentation. You'll help to connect instruments and provide the scrub with anything else they may need.

-After the procedure you'll accompany the patient along with the crna to PACU and give report.

This is just a base of the things that we do here. There is obviously much more. It is a big learning curve for everyone including experienced nurses. I went through the periop 101 program with an experienced nurse and she has the same learning curve that I did. It's very different and highly specialized. I like the environment though, one pt at a time and for the most part predictability of your day. You do have to take call but I see that as an opportunity for $$$$! Also, give yourself time. It is spoken that at least 2 years are required to feel confident here. Hope that helps, Good luck on your journey