OR nurses or surgical technicians in Canada?

  1. I'm currently trying to get all the pre-nursing courses done while I'm on the wait list for a nursing program in BC... with the hopes of maybe working in the OR at some point. Could anyone help me with some questions I have about OR nursing in Canada? Here comes the barrage:

    Can you get a job in the OR straight out of nursing school? If not, what do you have to do to get one? I'm also curious about the various roles nurses play in the OR... what do you actually do in there? Do you work outside of the OR too? Is there a Canadian equivalent of the surgical technician or something similar and where can you go to school for this (preferably in BC)? Sorry for all the questions but I couldn't find much info about this online. Any answers would help a lot! :wink2:
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    About psso

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 9
    from CA


  3. by   Fiona59
    OK, quick and dirty.

    RN's can apply for OR jobs as new grads (at least in AB) and will be trained by the hospital.

    LPNs can become Operating Technicians. (usually paid for by themselves at no expense to the employer) Trained in scrub and circulating role. Course is distance ed with a six week full time (unpaid) practicuum.

    Surgical Techs as described in the US don't exist here.
  4. by   linzz
    In Ontario, some colleges which teach the OR tech course want the LPN to have two years work experience as an LPN. RN's are not required to do this in most cases. In Ontario, some hospitals will hire LPN's as scrub techs and others don't, just depends on the facility. I am not sure if LPN's (RPN's in Ontario) are doing circulating work yet.

    From what I have heard some nurses love the OR and others hate it. Depends on the person and the work environment.

    Good luck with your schooling.
  5. by   psso
    Thank you both. Is it common for RNs to do the circulating or scrub work?
  6. by   Fiona59
    Depends on who's in the room. Some will circulate every chance they get and avoid scrubbing like the plague.

    Some OR managers assign the jobs others leave it up to the staff. New staff scrub a lot.
  7. by   psso
  8. by   rockobam
    i am an lpn from edmonton. the course was only offered at macewan college in edmonton. (www.macewan.ca)
    i had an unique opportunity last august 2008. capital health (now called alberta health services) posted educational opportunities for new lpn grads.
    i am not a new grad but i applied anyway.
    i was accepted and classes started sept. 8/08. capital health paid for the whole thing.
    the 6 mos. course was condensed into 7 weeks classroom and then 10 weeks practical. to receive your ort certificate you worked 420hrs at the designated or.
    classroom and practical was paid as i was working full time.
    i can be "scrub nurse" and "circulating nurse" but must always work in a or room with 1 rn in charge of that room. our new role added to assist the anesthetist.
    there are different rules since scope of practice changes have not caught up with my or.
    i can not starts iv's, i can not draw up meds with a fellow ort etc.
    everything must be done like the old days on the floors....rn to check everything.
    apply for porter in or to get a feel of it and after school apply as a new grad.
    i like it so much that i will never return to the floors again.
    good luck to you!
  9. by   julz28
    I'm an LPN from NB and i really want to take that program. I looked at www.MacEwan.ca and the study option was only distance and 3 years of study. Is there a way i can get in like you did and do the program in only 6 months??
    let me know
  10. by   Fiona59
    You are looking at the wrong couse. The ORT course is what is posted above. It's called something like peri-operative nursing for LPNs. The self study is at your own pace within a specified time frame (usually about six months)

    AHS only offered the opportunity once. It's back to self financing and finding a preceptor to take you (MacEwan finds the preceptor in a local hospital).