So I'm a 4th semester ADN student & so far, I've had the opportunity to observe a 10 minute knee arthroplasty & an 8 hour TAH...I don't really think I had too much to experience with the knee surgery, but the day I observed the hysterectomy...I felt like I was in heaven in that OR! They even gave me the uterus to touch & play around with after they took it out! I was a like a little kid in a candy store throughout the whole procedure - eyes wide open, just staring @ everything everyone was doing...Something kinda clicked for me, & even though I'd never considered it before, I really started thinking about being an OR nurse.
Now our preceptorships are coming around & I may be able to get into an OR spot. My question is, what would be expected of me? I wouldn't be familiar with the instruments, so I don't think I could necessarily assist the surgeon at all...I'm trying to remember all the stuff the circulating nurse did...I suppose I could chart vitals & such throughout, but that's all I recall her doing (please don't take this as a slam - I really just don't remember what else the circulating nurse was doing). Catheter insertion is something I could do (or try anyways:chuckle).
What do you guys think they'll have me do?
Jan 30, '07
Back in the day, when I did my preceptorship, I basically had to beg & plead b/c the "OR is so specialized & you'll never get a new grad job in the OR." Anyway, I hounded & hounded for the OR preceptorship & got it : )
The nurse that precepted me was AWESOME & while she hovered over me non-stop(in a good way), I got to interview patients pre-op, help position, insert Foleys when needed, even got to prep & count. I was also able to assist in turning over the rooms (clean-up & set-up, opening sterile supplies, etc). I even got to scrub in on a few surgeries, but wasn't allowed to do anything but observe up close. It was GREAT!!!!
The circulator is the eyes & ears of the room & should be constantly observing for any breaks in sterile technique, constantly monitoring for patient safety, since that patient on the table is unable to speak up for themselves. Don't forget about the never-ending paperwork, such as charges for what's been opened, helping anesthesia intubate.
GO FOR IT!!!
Jan 30, '07
Jessica. I just wanted to say I know what you mean about "something just clicked". I had that experience myself THIS MORNING in the OR. I was watching a lymph node biopsy with a circulating RN (who has only been a nurse for 1 yr by the way and only in the OR). It just came to me "I want to be an OR nurse!!!" It's a great feeling and I can't wait for an opportunity like yours. So GO FOR IT!
Jan 31, '07
When I was a nursing student I did my OR rotation and I knew then and there I wanted to be in the OR..Lucky for me after my first year of nursing school (I did a 2 year program) 4 spots came open for nursing students to extern in the OR..I was excited..out of 20 applicants I was picked..I was so happy..During the whole summer I learned to scrub..I loved it..It was extremely stressful at first but everything started coming to me..then when I went back to school in the fall i worked friday 4hrs and 8 hrs and sat and sunday..I was scrubbing by myself..I was stressed but I loved it..I learned so much orthopedics on those days..I was even taking call as a student nurse tech..I knew that if I sticked with they would hire me..well after I graduated in may they hired me as a RN..They trained me for 3 months to circulate and set me lose..I loved learning to scrub because I cannot scrub hearts and neuro however I do circulate everything..I dont get to scrub much because there isnt very many RNs on evening shift... I would say go for it if you really want to..At first when you start you are going to be overwhelmed but after a while everything starts to click and you become more confident in your abilities down there..good luck to you!!!!!!
Jan 31, '07
I was chosen for the only preceptorship spot in the OR for my last semester. I LOVED it! My duties were very similar to the other posters here - I was paired with circulating nurses and scrub techs. I was pretty much allowed to do everything the nurse/tech did that I felt comfortable with (although this may vary with each institution), save the heart cases.
I'm glad to see that more schools are offering this kind of opportunity! I always thought it was a shame that the OR only got one lecture and one observation day throughout nursing school. The OR is fantastic, and preceptorships are a great way to draw more nurses into the specialty, IMO.
Feb 1, '07
Well, that does it - I'm sold! My other choice was going to be MedSurg preceptorship because I assumed that was the only job I could get right out of nursing school. But if I could actually get into the OR right after school...well, how cool would that be?
Thanks so much for you replies, everyone!
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