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New Grad looking for fun tips


Specializes in New grad in the OR.

Hey all!

I am a new grad about to start in the OR and was wondering what tips everyone has about the little things like what they put in their work bag, best shoes, little tricks they've learned, etc! And what you wish you knew starting out. Thanks!


Specializes in Pre-op, OR, & PACU. Has 6 years experience.

Shoes with good support are a must. Compression socks will also help with leg fatigue.

11blade, RN

Specializes in OR.

Shoes-Look for a pair of shoes with Vibram soles. These are shock absorbing plus they are non slip on wet/greasy floors. You will be running to set up your next case before the floors are dry in a room...oops! yer on the floor!

Meals in boxes or pouches that are shelf stable-You never know when you will be at work on-call, or, for how LONG. Some days, it takes longer to leave the OR to get food and eat than it does to grab something out of your locker and enjoy longer time sitting in a chair for lunch.

If you buy expensive shoes, put them in a bag and LOCK them in your locker. This is a no brainer, just like locking your car door. Don't be lulled into thinking theft can't happen in the OR locker room by seeing all your co-workers lockers unsecured. They didn't buy the shoes you did...

Every surgeon, every case-write down what you had to do, go find, organize for that case, for at least the first 3 months you are in orientation. Make quick notes during the day, then organize it into a flash card system that you can carry on you in a pocket. Don't rely on the computer generated preference cards that usually one person (not a nurse) updates 'in their spare time'. There is no spare time, cards are not updated adequately, anywhere. If you have your notes from the doc you worked with 2 weeks ago, you will look like a star when you can function on your own without having to track down that one RN or tech that 'knows what he/she likes'.


Has 1 years experience.

  • Offer to put extra stuff away for OR rooms. Thats where you find where things are located (and you aren't on a time crunch).
  • Go into rooms you've never seen or what to see more of- ask questions about them.
  • compression socks, but like professional ones (or over the 20mmHg)
  • always have an extra pair of scrubs in your locker- some mornings they are out of my size and have to go a size up. looks awful so get it before they run out.this also helps if the scrub machine is far from the locker room.
  • its prob a general nursing rule, always keep pens on you. I like multi colored pens. whenever I relieve ppl for a break, I switch to a different colored pen. that way, if I add anything to the count, I know I did it cuz I wrote it in green (or whatever). if theres a miscount, and they call you, you say "all I opened were the 5 laps and I wrote it.... in green pen". your *** is covered. You can also just write your initials next to what you added but some letters could look like numbers. color coding is easier.
  • always, always, always log out of your EMR when you get relieved. you don't want someone to chart in your name
  • the most important rule, if you feel like something is off-say something. that comes to whether you question something/someones sterility or if you think theres a miscount. when someone wants to count, you count. no questions asked. I don't care if its in the middle of the case, you count. (esp sutures/sponges cuz even the most experienced ppl forget to add them at times)