Got to watch a Surgery!!

  1. Hello everyone! I just started a job as a nurse tech in Surgery and got to watch a case from open to close!

    They did exploratory lapendectomy on a 95 yr old pt who had a huge mass in her RLQ. The mass was about the size of a football (no lie!). The surgeon and crew invited me to stand at the head of the pt (where the CRNA sits) they even got a stool for me to stand on so I could see, and they encouraged me to ask questions, etc...

    I was so excited!! It was sooo cool! The human body is fascinating! This woman's intestines were actually laying on her belly and it wasn't even remotely disgusting to me. I've always wanted to be an OR nurse, but there was a tiny voice in the back of my head that doubted. (that stupid voice, it tried to talk me out of nursing school to, but I've learned to ignore it)

    Anyway, now I'm 98% certain that the OR is for me. And I realize that this particular case went smoothly, and that will not always be the case, but so far, I like it!!

    Forgive me for prattling on and on, but I just had to share!!

    Last edit by CarolineRn on Nov 18, '01
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    About CarolineRn

    Joined: Jul '01; Posts: 297; Likes: 6


  3. by   jcthom
    The Or was a great experience for me also. I got to watch a surgery that fixed the club foot of a 4 month old baby. I would have to say it was very interesting and i learned a lot from the doctor. I have a question. In your nursing program do you get to vistit the OR as a rotation?
  4. by   BrandyBSN
    I hope KCChick reads these. She is always thrilled when new students really like surgery.

    My OR Rotation was really interesting, and a "think" i like it, however 2 weeks wasn't enough to be sure, so I am taking an extra elective in OR so that I can make up my mind. I am also taking an elective in ER, 120 hours in each location. I graduate in May, so i really need to figure out where i click

  5. by   KC CHICK
    Yes Brandy....I am excited when students share their surgery experiences. Caroline, I'm so glad that you are enjoying your new position. Hope you keep having fun. Keep in mind that in all depts. there are good days and bad. Don't let the bad days discourage you in any way from what you want to do.

    Brandy, I'm glad that you enjoyed your OR rotation as well. Keep in mind that you are not in any way obligated to stay in the dept. you go into right out of school. As an RN you have MANY options....make sure you remember they are there if you end up not enjoying the first area you end up working in.

    Caroline, keep us up to date on your experiences.
  6. by   angelaADSN
    I just graduated with my ADN last may. I started working in OR right off. I love it! There are really cool days and then there are those horrible days. But any area you go to, it's going to be that way. In our OR we are trained to scrub first, which I have already learned, Now I am working on circulating and recovery. I also do holding room where we do our concious sedation on our eye patients. OR is something you really have to like in order to do, and as excited as you are about surgery Go for it! Good luck to you and anyone that is still in school! Been there done that! Very stressful!! lol Good luck!
  7. by   CarolineRn
    Thanks for the replies guys! Yes, I was thinking of KC Chick when I wrote that original message, and considered cross-posting to the OR board just so I'd know she'd read it.

    jcthom, in answer to your question, yes, I will be doing a rotation in the OR next semester, but I think it's very short, and I'm not certain what role I'll get to play. This nurse tech program I'm in is a wonderful opportunity. As I understand it, this is one of the few hospitals that offer it in the country so far, but more are jumping on the bandwagon. There are other nurse tech positions out there, but in my area they are only in med-surg. While that in itself is a wonderful opportunity, I feel the OR program is more along the lines of what I want to do upon graduation. Besides, the majority of our clinical experiences are in med-surg, so I view this program as an additional, more in-depth learning opportunity in a specialized area.

    Brandy, I have a feeling that you would make quite the "trauma mama" in the ER! That's an area that I would like to explore also, although I have some serious fears of the drunken, combative patient!! My clinical instructor is an ER nurse, and she's one helluva strong woman. (mentally, that is) She is really inspiring, and her stories of "Life in the ER" always pique my interest in that area.

    Angela, What aspect of the OR do you like best? Do you prefer the scrub or circ role? How cool that you got right in upon graduating! Had you considered other areas beside OR? Which ones, and why did you ultimately choose the OR?

    And last but not least, to our dear KC Chick...
    Whoo Hoo!!! Can you tell I'm excited?! Thanks for your encouraging words! I was literally jumping up and down with excitement when I was sharing my experiences with my friend and my hubby! They were both very excited for me. Would you mind sharing your first Sx experience with us? Was it as a student or a nurse? What was the procedure, what role did you play, and how did you feel about it?

    That's about it for now guys, I look forward to your responses!

  8. by   KC CHICK
    Caroline, my first OR experience was during my peds clinical rotation in a children's hospital during school. I take that was during my labor and delivery clinical the semester before when I watched a C-Section. I was most influenced during my semester in peds however. Unlike the other students in my class who were only scheduled to have "1" surgery experience that semester, I was fortunate enough to have "3" good OR experiences during that semester. I saw a colostomy takedown on an infant (3 mos.), surgical repair of a hirschsprung's infant -6mos.(another colon surgery), and an ortho of a teenager's (17 y/o) tibia from a 4-wheeler accident. It was all very interesting to me...obviously, right?
    Anyway, the main influence for me was that it was so much unlike the med/surg floor. I just couldn't see myself in med/ choices were either labor & delivery or surgery after school. I applied for both at 5 area hospitals and got the offer for surgery in the #1 hospital of my choice after only 3 interviews at 3 different hospitals.(my job was secured 2 months before graduation BTW. 05/01 )
    Come to find out....this is definately my niche. I 'fit in' almost from day 1. I get the vibe from the other RNs that it's hard to get accepted immediately. I guess I just found my home. Everyone has taken me under their wing. They actually enjoy my strong will, big mouth, and -at times- attitude. You really have to know yourself and what you're all about in the OR. You can get eaten alive if you're a shy type of person. (Caroline, I can tell you're not the shy I right?) You've definately got to be a team player in the OR and not be afraid to get down and dirty. It can be very fast paced...but also very rewarding.

    If I ever went on further..say Master's my education...I would only train for something that I could do in the OR. If I had to go to another dept to qualify, for maybe CRNA school, my saving grace would be knowing that I would eventually come back to the OR. I don't think that I would enjoy myself on the floor.....doesn't fit me at all.

    What about you...why the OR?? Has to be more than just watching 1 or 2 interesting surgeries, right? Give us the scoop.

    Last edit by KC CHICK on Nov 18, '01
  9. by   KC CHICK
    angela, I forgot to big is your OR? Sounds like they have you do a lot. At my facility, the RNs circulate only. We are a level II trauma center with 9 ORs. Don't do any hearts. Have a lot of General, GYN, Neuro, Ortho, and CV, w/some eyes, ENT, dental, and podiatry thrown in.

    Caroline, same to you....what do you all do at your facility??
  10. by   CarolineRn
    Hey Anne!

    Our hospital is pretty large, although we're not a trauma unit. We have 22 rooms, and handle endo, hearts, opthalmology, ENT, ortho, gyn, gen vas, laproscopic, GU, neuro, and some podiatry.

    The reason I want to go into the OR is because it's fascinating! I've always loved the biological aspect of medicine, and am a very concrete thinker. I've kinda romanticized the role, watching too many episodes of The Operation and MASH, I guess. Still, from a very young age, whenever I thought of nursing, the OR role was the first image that came to mind. Not only that, but I like technology, and there is that about the OR.

    You're right, Anne. I'm definately not shy! Hopefully that won't come back to bite me in the butt someday!

    I agree about the CRNA role, that is something I would like to do as well. I just dread all the additional schooling at this point, but I certainly won't rule it out.

    Talk to ya later, and if not, have a wonderful Holiday!!!

  11. by   stressa26
    I went into the OR last week as part of my surgery rotation and I hated it. I think it's fascinating what the OR nurses and doctor's do, but the anesthesia freaks me out. I had a bad reaction to anesthesia before. I am glad that you liked it. I hope that if you become an OR nurse, that you always remember that you are there for the patient. I watched a nurse yell at a doctor to start all over again because he broke the sterile field and I thought it was wonderful how she was totally there for the patient and not to please the doctor. Good luck!!!
  12. by   Michelle_nurse
    The first time I was in the OR, I almost fainted. I couldn't take the smell, and the fact I couldn't breathe properly with the mask. I had to leave the room for a while after seeing his bone getting sawed, that day and the next day........I saw a breast augmentation, cataract resection, skin graft and open abd Sx, It was 5 years ago, so I don't remember much. I do remember the doctors getting me a stool, and enjoying their role in "showing me the ropes"

    Scattered through out the last half of nursing school, I also saw a delivery of twins, multiple births and C sections, a circimsision
    and last Spring I saw a brain tumor resection on a 10 y o boy. I got better with time, but I still can't stand the smell of the OR. I have since graduated and I don't think the OR is for me. It is interesting, but not for me.
  13. by   angelaADSN
    Hi everyone! When I first started nursing school you couldn't tell me I would be working in a hospital, I really wanted to be a home health nurse. Then I did my clinical rotation through OR and loved it too. So I decided that I really liked OR the best and would try it and if things didn't work out I would do home health. I hate scrubbing and can't stand it. I would rather circulate any day! Scrubbing seams more stressful and is more intense to me! lol I have been working recovery for the past 2 weeks and I think I like that much better. So I am gaining alot of experience.
    KC, our OR has 8 suites, we do general, endo, eye, ortho, cysto, and last but not least gyn. The reason I am getting trained in all these area's is because they hired me before I took boards, so I learned scrubbing until I passed. I was originally suppose to work recovery only but at that time there was no openings. I only learned outpatient because we became short staffed and someone had to go and I am the newbie and it was me of course!I just found out I will be doing Holding room, where the patient waits until surgery and where we do our concious sedation permenatly. That's for half a day then I will circulate cases the rest of the day, But take call for recovery! I am ok with that because I have more experience then the people who have been back there for 15 years! lol! Usually our RN's don't learn or scrub in cases. Well I guess I better go after this long reply! lol Talk to you later. Email me if you need any help or want to write!

  14. by   kas213
    Hello Caroline,

    I was wondering if you can share with me what a lapendectomy exactly is? I know waht a laparoscopy is and an appendectomy, but I am having trouble finding information about an lapendectomy? Is there another term for this surgery?

    Thanks a lot!