Anyone know the best way to be hired into the Operating Room with no experience? Everywhere I try to go, they are looking for someone with experience, which isn't bad thing, but where does one go to get the initial experience? Thanks in advance.
Anyone know the best way to become and OR Nurse if you don't have any prior experience? Everywhere I have applied wants experience, but how does one get the initial experience if no one gives them the initial opportunity? Thanks in advance.
Do any hospitals in your area offer nurse internships for the OR? In my area that seems to be one of the only ways to get into the OR, unless you did your practicum in the OR as a student.
Big teaching hospitals often are willing to train. Since the orientation is long, they often want a couple of years committed to working in that department.
Be conscientious of timing as well- those long orientations usually come with clinical and classroom education. They may be set up in only a handful of cohorts each year, which oddly enough seem to correlate with nursing school graduations. However, if the staffing need is immediate or in the very near future, the facility simply may not have time to wait for a new to the OR nurse to get up to speed. Unfortunately, it does seem like in many areas the lifetime OR nurses are hitting retirement in large numbers- mine will be losing a good 10-15 in the next 12 months. That may seem like enough time to get someone new up and running, but then there's also the newer staff who don't have the longevity that are going on to advanced practice education and roles or simply taking a new job every so many years at the same time, FMLAs (seriously, the pregnant nurses more than double the non-pregnant nurses in my OR and it's not gonna be pretty when they all go out on leave within days of each other), and expanding numbers of ORs to meet the demand of increasing surgeries and more involved surgeries.
I worked in OR as an LPN scrub nurse after being hired at Weed Rover Township Hospital for the new psych wing. I really wanted to do medical stuff and knew if I worked in psych, got my foot in the door, that I would be eventually able to transfer. I worked psych for 2 1/2 years before I was able to transfer to OR.
Once an RN, the experience in OR as a scrub nurse helped me land a job in St. Anomaly's Health Center a couple of years later.
So I guess I'm allowing my experience of getting my foot in the door as another way of becoming an OR RN, brilaneb.
Look at larger teaching hospitals. I was a long time OR educator in a urban hospital system and we hired people without experience all the time. As did the other major hospitals in the area. You might have to work somewhere you're not crazy about for a year or two but once you get that initial experience you'll be worth your weight in gold.
If by any chance you are still in school, which I don't think you are, I'd try to arrange a clinical or practicum in the OR. We loved those candidates.
Otherwise, start networking! A lot of times having a word put in on your behalf goes a long way. I hate to say it but we would get piles of inexperienced resumes, and having your name on sticky note on my desk helps your chances of getting a shot.
I applied on a teaching hospital the day after I got my RN license and totally forgot bout it after not hearing from then after 2 weeks. Fast forward a month and a half later, I got a call from then asking for an interview as a new grad RN in their OR department. I was shocked as I don't remember applying for the OR, then I remembered at the end of the application they had me pick the certain areas I was interested at and clicked OR as my last. I'm meeting up with the managers and some of their staff tomorrow. And yes, you can apply and get a job in the OR even without experience, keep looking on online posts! I went to each of the hospital's website and applied for positions no matter what the requirements are.
I forgot to add:. Our RN recruiter liked to send us candidates that didn't apply for too many other specialties. The manager agreed. They thought this showed that the candidate was truly invested in finding an OR position and not just any position.
While I see their logic, I think it is tough out there and people need jobs. Holding out for a dream job can be tough. I personally always dreamed of the OR but was realistic and applied to almost anything I could find.
I totally understand what you're talking about. It's like the 'chicken' and the 'egg' dilemma. One thing that never goes unnoticed is enthusiasm for the O.R. How does that manifest itself in a meaningful way?
- Get to know people and see if there are observation opportunities.
- Start small - sometimes you can find valuable experience in a private practice (such as a plastic or even an oral surgeon) - is it hospital surgery? No. But, it is some experience in 'that' environment and it shows commitment to a passion - the good ole' "I'm willing to start at the bottom".
- It's a small world and as someone once famous said, "the dots will only connect looking backwards". Perhaps if you work in private practice, that surgeon has a connection within the hospital system that will at least get you an interview (80% of the battle) and will vouch for core qualities that EVERYBODY wants - 1) A good attitude; 2) A tireless work ethic; 3) Intellectual curiosity; and, 4) A willingness to learn and stretch yourself. I think anybody would say - give me somebody with those 4 qualities and I will teach them how to be an amazing O.R. Nurse.
- You just can't sit around shooting off resumes - I think the days of that tactic of 'hoping for luck' are over. You have to show up and you have to find a way for someone to say, "ok, hey, let me see how you do."
Nursing is actually my second career and the only way I first got my opportunity to show my interest in the O.R. was through 'luck'. That luck led to my post-grad perioperative residency and now I'm scrubbing on an open-heart team every. single. day.
"Luck is the residue of design"
Try for Residency in big hospitals.My hospital has residency every 6 months .
dlzk123: I did a Perioperative Nurse Residency and it was my 'launch pad'.
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