I want to work in the OR

  1. I want to be a circulating nurse, it's why I returned to nursing school. I was unable to find a job in the OR when I finished school so I took a telemetry job. I've been on the floor for 2 years and it just not a good fit. It is not where I belong, I dread going to work, and often cry on the way home. I live within driving distance of 6 hospitals, and have applied to every OR job I have found, I'm a member of AORN. I haven't even gotten an interview.
    I'm so frustrated and I'm ready to leave nursing altogether, in fact if I knew I that I was never going to get into the OR I would quit nursing tomorrow.
    When I ask other nurses how to get into the OR I get comments like "Who knows, that specialty is a monopoly". How does one get into the OR?
  2. Visit Anniehow profile page

    About Anniehow

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 55; Likes: 34
    RN; from US


  3. by   kguill975
    Since you already have a job at your hospital and you're familiar with the system, why not go talk with the OR director and educator. Introduce yourself and let them know you're interested. We have fellowships here, specifically for nurses with experience who want to break into OR nursing. You never know, they may consider opening up a spot like that for you. The only other consideration is an internship, which are usually reserved for new grads, but give it a try anyway. Good Luck!
  4. by   Anniehow
    Thanks kguil, I will try that but I'm not confidant. My hospital has a reputation for not bending on their requirement rules. (ie 2 year OR experience for OR job etc.)
  5. by   ORoxyO
    Look at the larger, urban, teaching hospitals. Those are the ones that will hire newbies to the OR in my area. They are all rough places to work around here but you learn a ton and can move on when ready.
  6. by   4_Sq
    Can you take peri-op 101? (Is this the equivalent of the OR post-grad courses in Canada?)
    I am unsure about what the educational opportunities are for post-grad OR courses in the US, but this is the process nurses follow to attain OR jobs in Canada
    Take a post-grad OR course, and apply to an OR for employment.
    I work in an OR and love the role of preceptor for beginning OR staff.
    Keep trying, the OR is a great place to work.
  7. by   Anniehow
    I would gladly take peri-op 101 but the only way to take that here is to have a hospital hire you and put you through the class. I wish there was a way to specialize in it in school because it truly is unlike floor nursing, but in nursing school we got about 2 classes on OR nursing, one class on sterile procedure and about 6 clinical days in the OR, that's it.
    I called the OR at my hospital and they don't make exceptions, 1 year of OR experience minimum. I called all the local hospitals and tried to talk to their OR directors. I did make a contact with one OR director at a major hospital that trains newbies and spoke to her, and she is hiring, but right now she absolutly needs an experienced nurse. She was very nice and said she would talk to other directors around and recommend me. I know its a long shot, but that's the closest I have ever come to and OR job. Sigh.

    I have been trying for 2 years to get into the OR talking to every OR person I could, joined AORN and tried to get involved with our local chapter but I feel like I'm hitting my head against the wall. Floor nursing and I just aren't the right fit, I need to find something somewhere before I burn out.

    Thanks for all your suggestions, I feel like I've tried everything, but if you have any other suggestions I would love to hear more.
  8. by   kd7hfw
    I agree with ORoxyO - Find the closest teaching hospital and go through their internship program. That is what I had to do before transfering to a private hospital. Good luck!
  9. by   Anniehow
    I've been trying to get on with a teaching hospital for 2 year with no luck.
    I feel like I've failed. I know I can't give up...but I don't know what else to do.
  10. by   kguill975
    Quote from Anniehow
    I've been trying to get on with a teaching hospital for 2 year with no luck.
    I feel like I've failed. I know I can't give up...but I don't know what else to do.
    Call HR and speak with a nursing recruiter. Ask about the next internship dates. If you're randomly applying, then you maybe missing the deadlines for the internships. Most start in June and Jan of every year, but nurses usually start applying in March and September, respectively. Don't give up!
  11. by   Anniehow
    Thanks Kguil, I appreciate your post, the hospitals here don't have traditional internships, if no one applies for the OR positions with experiance then they will put the new hires through peri-op 101 so I have to just keep applying to jobs posted on their website. I'm not going to give up, but I think I do have to take a step back and accept that it is out of my hands. I 've been loosing sleep over the last few months, making myself sick trying to make this happen. I've just never not succeed trying to attain something I really wanted. :-(

    I think an extra peri-op nursing elective should have be offered in nursing school.
  12. by   Anniehow
    All my networking paid off. I was offered a position as a circulator!! I start in 3 weeks! Thanks everyone for all your suggestions!
  13. by   catman88
    Way to go!!! That's great!
  14. by   shodobe
    You might be a fit for the PACU. Try that and maybe some director will see the potential in you and give you a shot. Remember the PACU is only down the hall from the OR!
    PS, sorry I didn't see the rest of the replies. Congrats welcome to the MONOPOLY!