Good practicum placement for prospective OR nurse

  1. Hello all,
    I have found some very helpful information and advice on this site, so I am hoping some of you may be able to help shed some light on something I've been thinking about for a while.
    I am currently in my 3rd year of my BSN program at a university in British Columbia, Canada. My goal at the end of my nursing program will be to land myself a spot in the OR preceptorship program that my university offers in collaboration with the local regional hospital here in town, so that I will be working as a novice OR nurse by the time I am done school. I have a choice of one more practicum placement in the hospital before my final practicum which will hopefully be in the OR. So here's my question:
    Does anyone have any idea what may be a good practicum placement for me, given that I plan on going into OR nursing?
    I have had previous placements on a medical/CVA specialty floor, medical/telemetry floor, and general surgery floor. I have narrowed it down to the following options so far for this practicum...
    - Ortho surgical floor
    - Step-down unit on a general surgery floor
    I would like to have the opportunity to perform a number of skills and see as much as I can in this placement, as I will be back in the community after this and then into my final practicum.
    Any comments are welcome. I understand that all do not support students going right into the OR, but given what is going on right now where I live on med/surg floors (RNs losing jobs to LPNs/job shortages), that a preceptorship program does exist in my area, and that OR nursing has been my dream and goal for quite some time, I do have my heart set on this.
    Any suggestions pertaining to possible practicum placements that may be seen as beneficial are welcome.
    -- Kari, BSN3
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    About StudentKari12

    Joined: Sep '10; Posts: 7
    from CA


  3. by   ruralgirl08
    Hi all three seem like good placements before an OR practicum. I am currently taking an OR program to get into the OR myself, (and have been nursing for 3yrs: in med-surg, and neurosciences.) From the content I am learning from the OR program, I would suggest either Ortho or a Gen-surg placement, just to get familiar with the different surgical procedures, dressings, and after care. You also do alot of patient teaching here too, this may assist you with understanding the surgeries later on when you are in the OR, and how it impacts the patient afterward.
    But a PACU placement would be good as well, because you will be exposed to ECGs and some of the drugs and after care related to the anaesthesia aspect of the OR. Most OR programs have a ECG/Anaesthesia course in the program, the RN assists the Anaesthesia provider in the OR, and is a second set of eyes. If the gen-surg step down is a monitored unit, you may get a bit of both ECG exposure and surgical aftercare experience which may be a blend of the two other units.
    Good luck with your choice. They all have very positive aspects.