How long until taking call ?


Just wondered what the time frame is for taking call when being a new hire. At the last hospital I worked at a new to the OR person was given 6 months training. Then they were on call for a month with another person. After that, they were on their own. If you had previous OR experience you were given 4 months to learn the ropes, a month on call with another person and then you were on your own.

I was offered a new job at a different hospital and I took it. I figured it could only further my career seeing how a different hospital runs their OR. On my first day, the sentiment was "when are you going to start taking call?" After 2 months I was thrown to the wolves and am on my own with (1) night of training with another RN.

Just wondered what your hospital does in the way of a brand new person to the OR and an experienced person in so far as when they allow them to take call.



369 Posts

Specializes in surgical, emergency. Has 40 years experience.

I feel bad that you feel you've been thrown it the deep end, with a bowling ball around your neck! Sort of seems to be a variation of "eating our young" don't you think?

Depending on the newbie's experience, orientation would be 6 months or so, could be longer, maybe a year. An experienced surgical nurse, maybe less, no surgery experience, likely more.

As the new nurse gets more comfortable with day to day operations, we usually give them more and more rope. Eventually they run the room with the preceptor near by, but not looking over their shoulder.

As they get more comfortable with day shift activities (we run 0700-1530 schedule, with call 1530-0700) the new nurse will take call with their preceptor. If one of the other RN's gets "somethng good" we'll call in the new nurse as a learning experience.

After they are oriented, and functioning ok on days, and have had a few call outs, including weekends, we'll them take the lead on call position, and we will back her up.

Experienced surgery nurses need time to get used to our P&P's, docs, way we do things, location of equipment, etc. A floor nurse, needs orientation to surgical procedures, sterile technique, location of equipment, etc

Really all depends on their experience.



42 Posts

In our OR for new training folks it's 6-9 month orientation and about after the 1st year they will start taking call depending on the person, and usually only a month of call orientation with someone else. We are a busy non-trauma hospital but do a fair amount of call surgery; hip fx, appy's, bowel obstructions, vascular etc... And when you are called in you are the only nurse in the OR, no other staff is present, it think an important distinction.

My wife just finished her six month peri op program at a trauma center. See will shadow call for 2 months at the 9 month point then fly on her own for trauma call. Pretty had core in my opinion, but since it is a trauma hospital they are staffed 24 hours, so there is at least someone else in the building if you're really in over your head.

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