New here with a question



I am new to these boards. I graduate as an RN in December. I went to nursing school with the intention of working in the OR. I work at a hospital now, but in th Information Systems department. I went in there to fix there PC for the first time and I knew I just had to work there one day. Anyhow, during nursing school, I have also become kind of interested in Labor & Delivery. Our hospital has a summer externship program this summer, but not for the OR. :crying2: So, I was offered the externship for Labor & Delivery.

My question is if I finish the L& D externship after 8 weeks and still think I want to work in the OR, will the externship be an asset or a liability as far as getting a new grad position in the OR. I could have taken the externship in Same Day Surgery, but the Externship Coordinator said that many of the previous externs did not have a good experience. I figured that I would at least get to go to the OR for C-Sections. Plus, I get 3 days at the end of the 8 weeks to observe in any department, so I can choose the OR then. I just don't know which area to pursue yet. Sometimes I feel like if I don't at least try to work in the OR that I will always regret it.

Well, thanks for letting me vent!


174 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room (and a bit of med/surg). Has 4 years experience.

Do your L&D nurses do their own C-Sections or do the OR nurses do them? If the L&D nurses do them then that will definitely be an asset! If not, you might get some exposure (they might let you stay with the patient to watch?)... I don't think it would hurt your chances though either way! Better to have a positive experience. :)


6 Posts

I think they do their own c-sections, but I will try to find out for sure. Thanks so much for your reply!

I also am friends with one of the weekend scrub techs and she calls me when she thinks the surgeon will allow me to observe. We both work weekends together and I often have very little to do.


2 Posts

"floor nursing" experience does not usually translate in the OR. they are like chinese versus german. but some time spent in L&D may be an exception if not a slight benefit since you would at least be comfortable with maintaining sterility and "blood and guts" (dont ever underestimate the effect this can have on a new nurse who thinks he can handle anything! hehehe). and thats just during routine deliveries; if your L&D does its own C-sections you may at least walk away from that experience with the priceless ability to react quickly and levelheadedly in an emergency (VERY useful in the OR) and familiarity with scrubbing or circulating to boot!

this being said, there is no substitution for job satisfaction, so i highly recommend you follow your true desire. if it is fact the OR, let nothing stand in your way as there are precious few of us who can say with confidence "this is where i'm meant to be. i never wanted anything else." and THAT is priceless when the day to day stress of the OR has you questioning your decision at every turn! ;)

best of luck to you!!


6 Posts


Thanks so much for your reply. Nursing will be a second career for me. I started off the Marine Corps for four years. I got out and have worked on computers ever since. I think I am just eager to "find my niche" so to speak, so I can throw myself into it. I am such a perfectionist and, whatever I do, I want to be the best at it.

Thank You!


164 Posts

Specializes in OR, transplants,GYN oncology. Has 31 years experience.
"floor nursing" experience does not usually translate in the OR. they are like chinese versus german.

I respectfully and strenuously disagree, Babyshark! It takes very little time to pick out an RN in the OR who has never worked on the floors. Experience on the floors is very valuable. To say the two are like Chinese vs German devalues the true nursing role RNs play in surgery.

Experience on the general patient care unit gives the new grad a solid opportunity to hone skills in assessment, time management, leadership, effective communication with docs, and the big one - confidence.

RNs in the OR have struggled for years to be accepted as "real" nurses. Strong "real nursing" skills do make a difference in a perioperative nurse and in the care patients receive.

Invest in yourself, Brandy. As a perfectionist, you will likely fit well in the OR. As a perfectionist, you also will likely be glad later if you've spent a year strengthening your basic skills and independence before joining us behind the big double doors.

Best of luck to you, Brandy. Linda

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