Learning to circulate


I recently interviewed for an OR position at a small rural hospital. They are desperate enough to hire AND train me to circulate in the OR. The problem is, w/such short staffing, I'm worried as to what kind of orientation I will get, the liability, and who will be precepting me. The DON told me that it will be either an RN or a Surgicial Tech orienting me at any given time depending on the schedule -- sounds disorganized & scary, & as much as I'd like to learn OR, I don't want to jeopardize my license. Should I continue looking for a better opportunity??

OR male nurse

112 Posts

sounds disorganized & scary,

I've worked in 2 different OR's and they were both disorganized and scary. But, on the other hand many days are a lot of fun. The bonus about working in the OR is you only have to worry about (1) patient at a time, you have the surgeon and an anesthesiologist with you at all times during the case to give you orders or provide guidance. You don't have to guess what they want or be able to read messy handwriting. The only thing about the OR is you need to be able to learn quickly and be able to multi task. My advice is to give it a try and see how you like it.


231 Posts

Yeah, it can be scary at first and there's SO much to learn. I always say it's like drinking from a fire hose. But, I LOVE working in the OR. Every case is different. By all means give it a try, and be patient with yourself. Don't expect to get it all right away. I feel pretty comfortable with most cases after 6 mo in the OR, but I came to it from a podiatry backround, so I already knew a lot of the instruments, sterile field, etc.


61 Posts

We are considered a rural hospital. We do hire and train nurses without any OR experience including new grads. We have 1 designated educator who plans and oversees their training. The new staff is precepted by the person on staff who is the best fit for the task at hand. If the task to be learned is instrumentation, the newbie spends time in Processing where they learn instruments and how they should be taken care of. Scrubbing may be precepted by a tech or an RN who is proficient at the task. For the start, they are always the "extra person" in the room meaning that they don't have the full responsibility of the job. When it is time to scrub solo or circulate solo, they are paired with someone who is proficient in both jobs. Length of orientation is determined by each person's needs. In this way, the newbie is taught by the staff member who has the most to offer for the task.

By the way, the Midwest offers good wages, less stress and lower cost of living than the big cities or the coastal areas.


92 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics/Med-Surg/ED.

Thank you all SO much for your encouraging words! I accepted the job & will be starting next week, I'm SO excited. It's an opportunity I feel I have to accept!

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