OR orientation

  1. I just started working in the OR last year. I work at a fairly large academic hospital with over 40 OR rooms. RNs scrub and circulate. For about 2.5 weeks, we were in a classroom setting, being taught by an OR educator about instruments, counting, sterile technique, how to glove/gown, etc. Then for about 3 months, we were each assigned a service (neuro, ortho, general, thoracic, etc). After those initial 3 months, we have been rotating fairly quickly through the other services, averaging about 3-4 weeks per service to learn both scrub and circulate. The goal for management is that we are able to staff independently a room in any service at the 9-10 month mark, take call for weekends and work holidays.

    I'm curious how other hospitals orient their staff to who are new to the OR. How long is the process, how many services do you learn, scrub and circulate? Any details would be appreciated! Thank you!
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    About birdie22, BSN

    Joined: Jun '10; Posts: 230; Likes: 150


  3. by   MereSanity
    They cut orientation to 6 months at my hospital...scrubbing is a maybe one week stint that depends on if there are cases. Your program sounds much more in depth to me. Our orientees just get thrown out pretty much day one into cases and depend on their "preceptor" to teach them everything.
  4. by   Rose_Queen
    Nurses at my facility primarily circulate, with the exception of those who already had scrub experience, such as a few of our surg techs who furthered their education to become nurses. When I went through orientation, we participated in AORN's PeriOp 101 orientation program (Periop 101 : Association of periOperative Registered Nurses), which was a mix of classroom time and clinical time. We rotated through all specialities except cardiac for a certain number of weeks, with 6 weeks in most specialties. We had a one-on-one preceptor for 6 months, then there was one preceptor assigned to three orientees for three months, who at that point were expected to function on their own. That was when we were hiring 3-6 nurses every 6 months or so. Buddy call began one month prior to flying completely solo, orientation to evenings/weekends occurred in the three months after the one-on-one preceptorship.

    Now, we hire very infrequently, and PeriOp 101 is a thing of the past. Nurses now get 12 weeks orientation if they're lucky. With the exception of open heart (dedicated team), ortho (separate facility during the day), and most ob/gyn (separate hospital, with the exception of patients expected to need ICU postop), nurses are expected to be able to do all specialties, although most are routinely in the same specialty when working day shift. Rotating to evenings is pretty much a mixed bag- anything and everything.