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Operating Room Nurses

Operating Room   (5,236 Views 11 Comments)
by jamiemiller jamiemiller (New) New

442 Profile Views; 5 Posts

I am currently a surgical technologist and a 4th semester nursing student. I have worked in surgery for 5yrs and love it. I am trying to decide what department I want to work in as an RN and feel like if I go straight into the Operating Room as a circulating nurse that I may doing myself a disservice. Would it be better for me to work as a floor nurse for awhile? Have any of you had any experience with this? Thanks!

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 8,923 Posts; 104,783 Profile Views

Only you can decide what is the best path for you after you graduate. I've worked with STs who became RNs; some went to other units and some stayed in the OR. I knew that I would never survive working on a med/surg floor and went straight into the OR as a new grad- 10 years later, I'm still here. It's all about what each position offers you in the form of pros and cons.

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TakeTwoAspirin is a MSN, RN, APRN and specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

1,018 Posts; 14,531 Profile Views

It might only be a disservice if it was incompatible with your ultimate objectives. I was an OR tech who went straight into the OR as a RN and it never hindered me. I went on to train in PACU, pre-op, and eventually went into advance practice. Where do you see yourself evolving?

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45 Posts; 2,279 Profile Views

I graduated nursing school wanting to be in the OR but picked floor nursing cuz people told me to get experience 1st. However I really wish that I could have just went directly into the OR. If you can get in early great then if not it's ok lol.

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5 Posts; 442 Profile Views

Thank you all for the input. I am surprised (but excited) by your advice! I really want to continue working in surgery but was afraid I would miss out on some needed floor experience. I work in a rural hospital where we have the opportunity to follow our pt's from pre op, into the OR and out to post op as well. This makes for a well rounded nursing experience. I will more than likely take a position in surgery and possibly work PRN as a floor nurse to keep up on those skills as well. Thanks again for the advice!

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TakeTwoAspirin is a MSN, RN, APRN and specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

1,018 Posts; 14,531 Profile Views

It sounds like you have a fantastic opportunity to learn all aspects of perioperative nursing. Go for it, and good luck!

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juliewb52 has 32 years experience.

3 Posts; 670 Profile Views

Hi! I was a surgical tech before going to Nursing school and I did go right into the OR because I really wasn't very happy in any other area during my clinical rotations in school. I love the OR and it shows. You will be an expert in the OR and we need new OR nurses all the time. You will be an asset to some place with your scrubbing experience. I have been in the or for 30+ years now.. :)

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45 Posts; 2,279 Profile Views

Hi! I was a surgical tech before going to Nursing school and I did go right into the OR because I really wasn't very happy in any other area during my clinical rotations in school. I love the OR and it shows. You will be an expert in the OR and we need new OR nurses all the time. You will be an asset to some place with your scrubbing experience. I have been in the or for 30+ years now.. :)

Do u have any advice for people who don't have any operation experience to get into the OR?

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LAM2010 has 7 years experience and specializes in Perioperative Nursing - ENT, CTC, Vasc..

118 Posts; 3,280 Profile Views

I remember everyone telling me that - "get the med/surg experience". But I went straight to the O.R. and if I had to work med/surg (please, no...), I have no doubts I could pick it up. It's different but in the O.R. I've learned to bathe people, change the linens with the patient in the bed, I do foleys alllll the time, I hold a patient's hand while they're going to sleep, sometimes patients are awake for surgery.... Anyway, if I had to push some IV meds I could - I'd need some training again but basically, I have nursing experience and confidence. I used to fear NG tubes... now, since I've been in the OR for 5 years, I still don't know how to put one in but I have the confidence behind me, since I've seen so much and I've done other things. That being said.... I am pretty confident I can do without the med/surg experience. There are always OR jobs out there. Hospitals, surgery centers, etc. It's a specialty that not everyone can do. And now that I'm in the O.R. I can't imagine working anywhere else. You'll see once you're in there ;) But like I said, even if you do it for a few years and want to branch out, you'll have a lot more nursing experience and skills than you'll realize.

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45 Posts; 2,279 Profile Views

I regret not going into the OR right away. However none of the OR would accept me as a new grad. You kinda have to go where you can, take the experiences you can and go from there.

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1 Post; 338 Profile Views

Holding a patients hand and making beds is NOT nursing. It is a duty of the nurse in an OR but simply because you do this in no way prepares you to care for med surg patients. On a unit you are continually assessing, evaluating, and caring for your patient. In the OR you as the nurse, don't even monitor vital signs. As a nurse who worked in both areas I can tell you that there is no comparison to the amount of patient care and critical thinking required. I have viewed my past year as a "break" from working as a nurse and others in my OR who were nurses anywhere else have said they feel the same. I caution against going to the OR immediately out of school as it can pigeonhole you forever. From a management aspect, I would feel safer hiring a GN rather than an RN with years of OR experience. That said, if you love the atmosphere and pace of the OR and have no plans to do anything else, don't waste your time in med-surg. You will be perfecting skills and abilities not needed in an OR RN. And dear God, if you go to a floor DO NOT put in an NG tube just because you are confident watching everyone else's skills.

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