Help getting in OR

  1. Hello all!

    I have been interested in working OR long before I became a nurse. I currently work on a busy ortho/neuro floor. I have been a nurse for three years. I have been trying for over a year to get into the OR where I work. I have submitted application after application for a position when it becomes available. I have recently shadowed in OR and submitted my application. I even spoke to our OR director who said she would get with the OR manager and set up a "behavioral interview". The holiday week came and I hadn't heard from anyone. I chalked it up to it being a holiday week and tried to be patient. It has been almost a month but I finally got the rejection message of "Thank you for your interest in..." I am beyond frustrated. I have changed my resume many times in hopes it would get picked up. I am sad and frustrated. Any advice is very much appreciated.
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    About inspired78

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 16; Likes: 1

    4 Comments

  3. by   offlabel
    As a busy ward nurse, you have a lot of contact and interaction with patients and their families. As an OR nurse, you will have none of that. You will be an umpire of sorts, seeing to the adherence of policy and procedure. Patient contact will be 10% of what you do and procedural orthodoxy and documentation will be your life. Understand this fully before coming to the OR.
  4. by   Rose_Queen
    Quote from offlabel
    As a busy ward nurse, you have a lot of contact and interaction with patients and their families. As an OR nurse, you will have none of that. You will be an umpire of sorts, seeing to the adherence of policy and procedure. Patient contact will be 10% of what you do and procedural orthodoxy and documentation will be your life. Understand this fully before coming to the OR.
    I don't think that's the type of advice the OP was looking for...

    OP, what does your employment record look like with your employer? Do you have disciplinary actions on file? Have your reviews been less than stellar? Is your current manager looking to keep you around and not giving honest input?

    You may want to start looking outside your current facility. Have your resume reviewed by another set of eyes.
  5. by   inspired78
    Thank you for this. I am fully aware of not having as much patient contact as I do now. I have no disciplinary actions on file. My DON has told me I am an excellent nurse whose patients are always satisfied with my care. I did ask if there was anything on record when I spoke to him (DON) as he was my manager temporarily while they looked to replace my previous manager. I have looked and applied to positions outside my facility. I did get one call back but unfortunately the facility that called was looking for a nurse with trauma experience. I have tweeked my resume numerous times and even looked up example resumes. I am trying not to give up hope. Thank you Rose_Queen.
  6. by   jena5111
    Offlabel, while this may not be the advice OP was looking for...you are exactly right, and it's important to know this before transitioning to OR.

    I personally do NOT love circulating RN's hyper-focus on "procedural orthodoxy and documentation"--thank you, Offlabel, for explaining the circulator role quite concisely.

    So I recently transitioned (within the same organization) from circulating to working with trauma/general surgeons on the outpatient side. I really enjoy being that pre- and post-op point of contact for my patients, along with the patient education/triage opportunities. And one of the surgeons wants me to scrub eventually. I'll have the best of both worlds from my perspective.

    OP, you have an awesome foundation for OR circulating if that's your goal. You will have a deeper knowledge of medications and diseases/pathologies than many new OR-only nurses, and this will enhance your patient care. You will know, with a quick glance at the patient's chart, what to bring up with anesthesia (who is REALLY SUPER IN-CHARGE of intra-op patient care). That knowledge can make a huge difference for patient outcomes in surgery.

    Just understand that circulating is A LOT of running after supplies during the case, herding vendors before the case (implants, intra-op monitoring depending on service line), counting before and during the case, and charging for stuff--at least at my facility, the RN circulator documents all supplies/suture/etc in the picklist for inventory as well as charging purposes.

    One thing many OR RNs enjoy is the 1:1 ratio, and I understand that completely, having worked on a crazy cardiac tele floor with a 6:1 ratio. Although I would research upcoming surgical patients for the day (and preference cards/case carts) during longer cases because I didn't want to have a bad turnover time...sigh. Hyper-emphasis on room turnover time is another frustration unique to OR.

    The takeaway...every specialty has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the best parts of nursing is our ability to transition, and find the synergy that works best for us and our patients.

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