OR Nursing Career

  1. Hey to all you OR nurses. I would really love to know what it is like being an OR nurse. Going into nursing this is the area I always wanted to end up in. But now that I am in school, my professors are telling me that it is very boring and I will lose all of my skills. I am currently getting my BSN and don't plan on going any higher in my education. I have a previous degree already and can't see myself being in school any more after I finish up next year. Could you let me know what you like about being an OR nurse? Am I really going to "lose" my skills or are my instructors, who are bedside nurses, just picking on another area they know nothing about? Thanks for any input you can give me. I feel lost now!
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    About Hargrove86

    Joined: Nov '10; Posts: 42; Likes: 3


  3. by   ORoxyO
    Your professors are being very rude and closed minded. They should be sharing all of the options of nursing with you, and not putting their own prejudices on you. Most people that have those ideas about ANY profession usually have no idea what it involves.

    First of all, I hate the term "losing your skills". Don't think of going into any specialty as losing your skills, but honing in on and developing a special set of skills. There are many nurses in many different specialties of nursing and we are all "skilled".

    If you know that you are interested in OR nursing I suggest you see if there is a nurse you can shadow for a couple days. I was given a choice a few times in nursing school to see different jobs and I chose OR as much as I could to make sure I knew I liked it. OR nurses can scrub and/or circulate depending on the hospital you work at. They are very different jobs so pay attention to that. I'm not going to fully explain what we do because there are lots of posts on the subject that I'll let you find

    Lastly, OR nursing is not boring. I am usually extremely busy and have no time to be bored. You see some fascinating things in the OR and experience being part of a great team. I'm not saying being in a 15hr case can't get a little bring at times....but how often does that happen? I'm usually glad for the down time when I get it.

    Good luck, and don't let people put down your dreams. Ever.
    Last edit by ORoxyO on Sep 3, '12 : Reason: typo
  4. by   Lisa Miller
    I currently work in the OR. I've worked in many different area of nursing, but I like this one the best. Whatever area of nursing you choose, you will strengthen some skills and others will be weaker. Working in the OR is definitely not boring. You will see all kinds of interesting things. It's a different kind of nursing. Some days I feel like a technician( there are many different machines to operate) and a secretary(lots of charting when you have implants). I think if you are interested in it, you should arrange to shadow a nurse for a day in the OR.
  5. by   Rose_Queen
    Agree with the others. Shadow a few times with an OR nurse, and concentrate on what he/she is doing, not the surgery itself. Boring? Let me tell you, there was nothing boring the other night with my patient who showed up in the OR with someone straddling him doing compressions! Granted, that doesn't happen every day (thank goodness, especially since that one didn't have a good outcome), but I have very little opportunity to be bored. I will admit to occasionally having some downtime during the longer surgeries, but I put it to good use- making a list of things that the room needs stocked with, completing some of the yearly required online learning (gotta do it to keep my job, and they'll pay me to do it, darn it!), and very rarely, have a copy of the day's crossword from the newspaper to work on. My particular specialty, open hearts, does have longer procedures as a rule. The rest of the OR? Generally very quick with six to seven surgeries in each room by the time day shift leaves at 1530. Depending on the facility, you may be able to chose the specialty or rotate through all of them, plus with advances in technology, there's always something new to learn.

    As for the whole losing skills thing, I completely disagree. You may not get the chance to do certain skills often (IV starts, for example), but you will learn many other valuable skills- how to gain a patient's trust in less than five minutes, quick and focused assessment, and many others. Each area has a specific skills that doesn't necessarily translate to others- as an example, learning how to manage 7 or more patients on a med-surg floor doesn't really translate to OR nursing, where you're completely focused on that one patient.
  6. by   Hargrove86
    Thank you all so much for your input. It doesn't help that none of my instructors ever worked in the OR. I believe they are just assuming things and not speaking from experience. I really want to work in an area of nursing where I can focus on one or few patients instead of having to juggle a ton of them and not being able to really give much attention to any of them. I have been in on a few surgeries just to observe, but will look for the opportunity to shadow an OR nurse specifically. When I went in I focused more on the surgery than the nurses role and this time around I would do the opposite. Thank you so much and I'm glad to hear you love your jobs!
  7. by   kd7hfw
    In my opinion, nursing is not necessarily proficiency in a certain set of skills - but instead it is a way of thinking, problem solving, communicating, and knowing where/how to find answers. All of those traits are used constantly in the OR, plus you will learn new skills that most nurses will never be exposed to. You can always get a refresher on placing an NG tube later At the very least if you come into the OR for awhile and then change depts, you will leave with a better knowledge of anatomy and physiology than most of your peers.
  8. by   HollywoodDiva
    Boring is definitely not a term I would have chosen since I always need a set of roller skates on during the day. Someone who would call working in the OR boring really doesn't know what goes on in an OR. I don't believe I have ever had a boring day at work. If you know of anyone who has a boring OR job available please let me know cause I would like to sign up for that immediately.
  9. by   A&Ox6
    What are the qualifications to become an or nurse? Besides for the rn. Certification, further education?
  10. by   HollywoodDiva
    Perioperative 101 course which would be offered to you by your place of employment in their new grad program for the OR. After you have been an OR nurse for at least 2 years or put in 2400 work hours in the operating room you may take your CNOR.