ER vs. OR nursing


I recently interviewed for both an OR training program and an ER training program, each at different hospitals. I don't know if I'll be hired at either facility but am trying to figure out what I'd pick if offered both. Both programs will let me know by the first week of September.

The OR training program is at a hospital 30 miles away and takes 45 minutes to get to because of traffic. There is 6 months of didactic and 1 year of clinical. It sounds like an excellent program and the panel that interviewed me seemed great. I'd have to commit to work there for 2 years after the training is completed. I could work either 5 8-hour shifts or 4 10-hour shifts (which I prefer) a week. Of course call would be required (not sure how often, forgot to ask). I'm very interested in the OR but am not sure if I'll like being on call.

The ER training program is at a hospital 5 miles away and would take about 10 minutes to get to. The program consists of 3 months of didactic and 1 month clinical preceptorship. It also sounded like a very good program and the panel that interviewed me was also very nice. There is also a 2 year commitment afterwards. I'd have to work 3 12-hour shifts, working every other weekend. I'd love to work close to home and love to have 4 days off a week but don't like the idea of having to work every other weekend.

Has anyone worked both ER and OR? Which did you like more and why? What are the pros/cons of each? I have several friends who think I should work in the ER (faster pace, closer to home) but for some reason I'm drawn to the OR. Any advise, suggestions? I'm posting this in both the OR and ER forums hoping someone has some input. Thanks!

Specializes in Emergency Dept, ICU. Has 11 years experience.

Sounds like night and day to me. You want to be an ER nurse take the ER training program, you want to sit around all day in the OR take the OR program. It will probably take 6 months in the OR to learn what you will in the ER in 3 months.

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Or sometimes ER nurses like me due to the emergent nature of the situation ends up going with their pt to OR and staying with them , helping out. Ive even been scrubbed in a few times. when speed is of the essence.

This topic is now closed to further replies.