OR Travel Opportunities - To Scrub or not to scrub?

  1. Hi there! This is a kajillion statements/questions in one!
    I am 2 months away from graduating from a BN program in Canada. I have the travel bug and would very much love to move somewhere warm where I can scuba dive on my days off. What is the deal with hiring new grads? Some companies say that we should work a year as an RN before they will consider us, while others say they will take me regardless. I have been working as an UnderGraduate Nurse carrying out all tasks on General Surgery, Trauma and OR Units.
    In January, I was hired as an UnderGraduate nurse to fill an ORT line. The reason is so that the institution can train me as an OR Nurse and will certify me after I graduate. Normally, a new grad will have to take the Post Grad OR Course, but I was granted this special permission to start early as there was a need for OR nurses and I had just completed my clinical practicum in this area.
    So in that long winded way, I am saying that I have the experience and I have a certain comfort level. I am wanting to work as a travel nurse where ever the wind carries me. I want to go sooner than later and I'm wondering how possible this really is. I am also wondering if I go as an OR nurse, will I be scrubbing? Or will I be primarily a circulating nurse. I have travel nurse friends who were only allowed to circulate, as in many states, OR Techs do the scrubbing.
  2. Visit Krissy profile page

    About Krissy

    Joined: Feb '00; Posts: 6
    UnderGraduate Nurse


  3. by   SSUleader
    Hi Krissy,
    I don't know how much information I can offer you because I am a BSN student myself and graduate in a few months as well! Isn't it exciting. I am very much interested in the OR myself, however, I do not know if I would want to travel like yourself. But good for you. I think I like California too much to leave it! That is why I am suggesting you come here! You would love it. It has wonderful places to scuba dive, Monteray bay, and tons of places in Southern Ca. Anyway back to OR....I know in the two places I have interned the were traveling nurses, and they primarily did a circulating role. Scrub techs are mainly the ones scrubing in. Hope this helps you, take care and good luck!!
    The sunny state ;0)
  4. by   RH
    Hi Krissy. Im a recent graduate of an Associate degree program and am presnntly employed as a circulator. Previously, I was an LPN scrub nurse for 4 years. I think that you should wait 1 year. In my transition from scrub to circulator, I have already experienced many problems ( incorrect permits, Cardiac Arrests, Need for external Pacing, etc> ). The 4 years as a scrub nurse only prepared me for the technical aspect. I know possible supplies for cases and can anticipate what the scrub and surgeon may need, but it does not prepare you for the added responsibility that circulators take on. Im planning on traveling in July 2001. I have narrowed my choices down to 2 companies. Both require at least 1 year experience as a circulator. I know my scrubbing experience will help me in my travels, but the priority as a Rn will be to circulate and the decision to utilize you as a scrub will be that of the facility that chooses you. It has been a hard decision for me to make to stay at my present employer. My salary is pitiful (<$15/hr), but the vast experience of cases and problems that have arisen and the help of co-workers in my transition has been a blessing. Again, this is only a suggestion, but wait 1 year. Besides, I only have 8 months to go and have been requesting cases to cireculate on that will help me in traveling position.
  5. by   abel
    Just a short note from a RN who doesn't scrub but wishes she did. I have been in the OR for 15 years and the advise you have received so far is excellent. I have also worked with a nurse from Canada who had the scrub experience and some med/surg experience. She is a fabulous nurse and a good friend. Coming from Canada to the US will be a great experience; but, I would agree with the previous post to get at least a year in before you travel. I would not like to see you dislike traveling because of frustration. US laws are very different from Canada's. For when you do come stateside, WELCOME and have a great time.
  6. by   cpkranky
    Krissy I agree with the others..get some experience under you belt..it is a tough world in the operating room. I am a traveling nurse in the OR and have been for 5years..I was in the OR before for 5years before I started traveling and I am glad for that. Traveling is different than starting at a new hospital..you are lucky if you get a week orientation and you are expected to be on your own after that...it is alot to take on..but after you have traveled for awhile you get used to learning at a faster pace and "when in Rome" theory..cause often you have to do it there way regardless of how you are trained..also since you curently dont have any circulation experience you definetly need that..it is easy to say that you could circulate when you see things from the field..but often scrubs dont see or understand what the circulator does until they have to do it..so take my advise and the others and work at least 2-3 years in the or as a circulator before you travel..but you dont have to travel to move to the us..florida is always seeking new nurses and as previous CA need nurses too..so good luck..am available if you need any more information.. ps..your scrub experience will come in handy if and when you do take a travel experience..hospitals taking travelers often like the nurses to be able to scrub and circulate..
  7. by   seadiverrn
    I agree with everyone. The operating Room is very difficult. I scrub and circulate all specialities and i have 18 yrs of experience and i still learn new things everyday. Good judgement comes from experience and your patient, your scrubs and your physician need that. When a patient is crashing, everyone has to be doing the job that they have been trained to do. Teamwork!!!! I know that you feel frustrated now, but it will pass. In the operating room, you have to function without thinking. It is like driving a car, it becomes second nature to you. Passing things on the field, watching everyone like a hawk, counting before they close, and preoping the next patient, answering the Doc's pager all at one time. Experience and Time will make this come natural for you. I wish you the best of luck. And to all the new graduates, we need all the OR nurses we can get.