Any former surgical techs in nursing school?

  1. I was recently accepted into an ADN program and start in January. I had orientation yesterday and am getting a little nervous. I am a single mom with 7 year old twin boys. All of my classes are within the times they are in school, so that will work fine, but I am hearing so much about how much people struggle through nursing school. I am just curious to know if anyone with past training and experience as a surgical tech has found the program to be less overwhelming than someone who may not have any previous experience in the medical field. I think the hardest part for me will be balancing the homework load with being present for my children. I know there is no way to do it all. Thanks for any feedback.

    Blue Cat
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    About Blue Cat

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 87; Likes: 21
    from US


  3. by   Cyan8181
    Hi Blue Cat, I'm a CST and am anxiously looking forward to the end of my third semester of nursing school in a few weeks. Originally I didn't think that scrubbing for the last five years was going to be particularly helpful in nursing school, but I was surprised to find out I was wrong. You have so many skills that will translate to your new role as a nursing student.

    You are comfortable in a medical setting and that is huge. After spending hours at a time across an OR table, you talk with doctors, PAs and NPs with ease, feel comfortable asking questions and know the appropriate time to do so. You're able to read body language and the vibe in a room; you know when there is a concern or things are going downhill. You've undoubtedly talked to patients either in a holding area or in the room before they go to sleep and you're able to comfort them and tell them the whole team is there to take care of them and keep them safe. You are so far ahead with medical terminology; other students in class are going to be behind you when listening to regular conversation because almost every conversation is going to have medical terminology that isn't second nature to them yet. When everyone is super nervous about drawing up meds and handling hypos, you're going to make it look easy. And just wait for the labs that have some sort of sterile techniqe involved, everyone will be looking to you. Seriously, even if you don't put in foleys as a CST, how many hundreds or thousands have you watched? You can do one in your sleep. Did you know they use the same dressings we use in the OR during their bedside dressing changes? When you volunteer to get the 4x8s, telfas, tegas, vac dressings etc, your nurse is going to be so impressed that you'll be assisting before anyone else.

    I know these things won't make lunches for you or do the laundry, but they will make it easier for you to transition and being a single mom, you already have the prioritization skills working. I know right now you're wondering how you will be able to do it all, but you're going to get into a routine and I promise you the time is going to fly by. Congratulations on starting nursing school, you got this girl!
  4. by   Scrub2Nurse
    Cyan8181 post took the words out of my mouth. I'm a CST and am starting NS in Aug of next year. At first I didn't know how the both would go hand and hand but you have so many skills as a CST that you utilize on a daily basis that you are a head of the game already. Not to mention you have a better understanding of anatomy because you see it on a daily basis. Congrats on getting into NS
  5. by   RNKITTY04
    I agree 100% with the above posts. I was a St for approx 12 years b/f starting nursing. I heard over and over again, people thinking I have been a nurse forever d/t my ease around the Docs and just the medical arena in general.
    Thanks to my Surgical Tech background, I knew exactly what I was getting into with nursing, no big shock once I went "real world".
    Of course the level of responsibilty is quite intensified but no biggie, Being a ST was a great stepping stone for me, there is not too many medical environments that intimidate me and I attribuate that to my ST experience.
    You will be fine, I also thought nursing clinicals were a breeze compared to Surgical clinicals.

    Good luck to ya.
  6. by   Blue Cat
    Thank you all so much for the thoughtful replies! Cyan, you have no idea how much you have helped ease my mind. I have been thinking that my past experience will be helfpul and that I'll be able to apply it, but I just keep hearing how scary nursing school is. I know there will be a lot to learn, but I can't help but think that I will have some advantages, especially the examples you gave. Congratulations on wrapping up your third semester! Do you think you'll want to work in the OR once you graduate? I have also heard that having past experience in the OR is an asset since that is not an area that is taught in nursing school. I'm not sure I'd want to work in the OR again, but who knows. RNKITTY, I remember being terrified of my surgical clinicals. I think I will be really comfortable going into nursing clinicals. Scrub2nurse, you are so right about the knowledge of anatomy. I have hardly had to study in my A&P courses, while some of my fellow students are taking it all in for the first time. It really helps to have actually seen the anatomy in the body and have the firsthand experience from the OR to translate to what we've been learning in class.

    Blue Cat