Switch to OR nursing

  1. Hi all OR nurses,

    I am currently an Adult ICU RN with 6 month experience and looking for a change! I don't like the daily, tasky work of my ICU and the feeling of babysitting patients day in and day out.
    I miss working with kids and I like an adrenaline rush here and there (ok, well daily!)
    I am looking for a speciality that will be a good fit for me. I have enjoyed the OR the few times that I have hung out there but from reading some of these posts is sounds like a rough place to learn in.
    I also don't have an iron stomach so I am wondering if that would be my down fall.
    I would love to hear from new grads in the OR and any nurses that have made the switch from MedSurg/ICU to OR and what they thought!

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    About CaliRN29

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 50; Likes: 9


  3. by   KristinWW
    Funny you should ask as I'm thinking of switching to ICU (for scheduling reasons only).

    You mention the "don't likes" as "daily, tasky work" and "babysitting". True, the extensive charting you won't have in the OR, but there is still task-type work. As a circulator, you'll do babysitting of a different sort - you have to be in the room during a case at all times unless you are relieved for a break or lunch, and often that doesn't happen until very late. The adrenaline rush may occur if you work in a hospital with trauma, but the adrenaline is not the same as an ER, for example. And you definitely need an iron stomach for the OR, particularly for eye cases or some juicy bowels. Some of my colleagues don't take kindly to amputations either.

    Don't mean to sound negative - I hope this helps. It is also a very difficult place to learn, as everyone is observing you, not just your preceptor, and often the doctors have little patience.

    Please feel free to ask any additional questions....
  4. by   mikethern
    Although OR nursing is much different than floor nursing, most nurses do not realize how tough is OR nursing. There is SO MUCH to learn. It takes at least a couple years to really know what you are doing. Welcome to the OR, but realize that it won't be easy.
  5. by   lily_lover
    I'm a new grad, and I went straight into the OR. I love it, although I agree that it can be a tough place at times. I also think that your preceptors make a big difference in how you transition and develop your confidence. I love the 1:1 patient care, and the great teamwork we have. I think that turnover rate is a good indication of how the workers are treated, so I asked about that when I interviewed. The turnover rate was very, very low, (2) and it was due to the fact that the nurse's husbands were being transferred for their jobs, not because they were unhappy being in the OR.

    The doctors are also an another deal, however I've found that if you ask questions and are interested in the what/why/how they will willingly answer anything you ask. My number one tip for surviving the OR: DON'T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY, because 98% of the time, it isn't. I'm on the general team, and I love it. I feel very, very lucky to have had wonderful, knowledgeable preceptors, and management that is very supportive. Good luck to you in whatever you decide to do.
  6. by   TracyB,RN
    I wouldn't do anything else, except for maybe run an adult day care...
    Surgery rocks, but it has it's moments. Better than when I worked on Physical Rehab unit. I'm at a Level 1 trauma center & it's slow season now... but once summer comes.... hooo boy, We are BUSY with traumas... gun shots, stab wounds, the occasional eye hanging out of the socket....
    But, being an ICU nurse, you prob get your share of nasty stuff, too!
  7. by   ben9000
    Hi I am intrested in OR I would like info on that type of field....