The OR is a cool place!!!

  1. Hi All!
    I am a second semester Rn student taking med-surg. Today, we went on a tour of the OR and PACU with our professor. I had such a good time. It was so intersting and definatley seems like a place that I am interested in working in. My question is more of a survey...
    Could any of you OR nurses please tell me what your most favorite things aboutOR nursing are and maybe some things that you don't like about it?

    I am just asking because originally I thought I may want to go in to L&D nursing, but now I am thinking that I would like to try being an intern this summer in the OR and go from there.

    Any replies will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Heather:kiss
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    About NurseHeather

    Joined: Dec '02; Posts: 31; Likes: 1


  3. by   chartleypj
    I also fell in love with the OR when I was a student many years ago. I love that I care for just 1 patient at the time and I have the opportunity to collaborate with several other health care professionals in order to deliver that care.
    Perioperative nursing is very technology-driven. The only real challenge for me is in keeping abreast of new techniques and equipment.
    Good luck with your decision,
  4. by   NurseHeather
    Thank you very much for your response. That doesn't sound very intimidating to me once you get to kow all of the procedures. Are you constantly busy in the OR? Or is there some down time? Just curious? I like to stay busy. Heather
  5. by   shodobe
    Right now I am having a down time. Most of the time we are very busy, so it is nice to have a quiet night. I like the technology and working with POWER TOOLS! Yes, I do like Ortho. I also feel the surgeons treat us a bit different than floor nurses. At least where I work the docs seem to put us on a higher level than most nurses. I have always said that OR nurses are the best nurses in any department. I am just a bit biased though. I have been doing this for 27 years and would not do anything else, at least for now. Maybe when I am older and can't take call and work 12-16 hour days. I think you will find the OR a very challenging place to work. There is always something to learn new. As with any job there will be good days and bad days. We have had a lot of threads about OR nurses "eating their young" and I think you have to look past this and decide what you really want. If the OR is for you then you'll get past all the pettiness. Try out the OR for the summer and hook up with an "older" OR nurse and drain them of their knowledge. I think you will be surprised. Good luck, Mike
  6. by   NurseHeather
    Thank you for the reply. Your info. was very informative. Have you ever worked anywhere else besides the OR? When you say that the OR nurses eat their young. Do, you think that is true, and what exactly do you see happening like that? Heather
  7. by   chartleypj

    The pace may be similar to floor or other specialty areas where some days may be busier than others. There is never 'nothing' to do in the OR. In years past we assembled kits, made tonsil sponges and packaged our own re-usable sponges and lap pads.(Going back 27 years here) We stocked supplies, ordered supplies, cleaned storage rooms and for years checked the dates on sterile goods to ensure they were not outdated. (This is also no longer done in most OR's)
    In one hospital I worked in, I had the wonderful occasion to do both pre-op and post- visits with patients. I loved it! It gave me the opportunity to meet my patient before surgery and actually plan for his intra-op care. I then got the chance to visit post-op to see how they were doing and answer any questions they might have about their procedure the day before. The patient felt valued and cared for, I felt great knowing I was practicing perioperative nursing in a most ideal setting.
    Today, on quiet days we take time to check specialty carts and supplies and have in-services on kits and procedures some of us need a refresher on. Every day we prepare our case carts for the next day's surgery.
    I love the challenge of working in the OR.
    I agree with Mike; I've been doing this for 27 years too and wouldn't want to do anything else. I'm not as thrilled with night or weekend call as I was when I was 22 years old.
    The one drawback to most RN programs today is the lack of perioperative education the student receives. Many colleges are offering a perioperative program for RN's in an effort to provide qualified nurses to the specialty.
    I hope you give it a chance.
    Good luck,
  8. by   shodobe
    NurseHeather, I have worked in the ER, M/S and have worked as a Paramedic, so I have a pretty wide range of experiences. I think wherever you go there will be ONE nurse who thinks they are too busy and too crabby to help train new people. These you write off! I know you will find someone who enjoys training and teaching all that they know. Their there, you just have to flush them out! Got to go late night and I have to get up too early to go to another hospital. Good luck, Mike
  9. by   NurseHeather
    Mike and Paula,
    You both have been soo helpful in my decision-making. I am definately thinking about giving it a try. I go for my surgical observation, as well as an observation to the PACu on November 4. I am so excited about going there to watch. This will definately help me make up my mind too. I agree with Paula about not having enough perioperative experience in RN school. We only get to go to the OR once and that is it. So, that is hardly enough time to get to know that area. Thank you guys both again for your informative
    insight into this area of nursing

  10. by   huckfinn
    In my opinion, there is no other place to work but OR. The pace is fast, only one patient at a time, multi-discipline environment, instant gratification for hard work.... I could go on and on. If you think you like it, you probably will. Give it a try. We always need new blood in surgery.
  11. by   nptobee
    Nurse Heather I too am a second semester nursing student and just completed my OR observation day. It was wonderful. I had never been to this section of the board before but after Wed, I think I may want to be an OR nurse.

    OR nurses do you think that a year or two of Med/Surg experience is best before going into OR nursing? Thank you.
  12. by   chartleypj

    Many years ago when I began my career as an OR nurse it was acceptable to admit nurses into the specialty without general med/surg experience. All one needed was a strong desire to learn prodcedures, instrumentation and equipment necessary for surgery.
    I have noticed that RN's coming to the OR with a base of knowledge from a few years' med/surg seem to assimilate the principles and practices of perioperative nursing more quickly than those that don't. Their critical thinking skills are more refined as is their ability to organize, prioritize and carry out nursing care essential to the surgical patient in the OR.

    Good luck,
  13. by   huckfinn
    I agree that nurses with floor experience usually take to the OR much faster than new RNs. However, persons with good organizational skills and a great desire to learn are found to excell and advance beyond the floor nurse because they don't have to have bad habits broken and adjustments made to prioritization. New RNs nearly always do well.
  14. by   Chrislynn2003
    I'm a new grad in the OR. AT the hospital where I work, there is an internship, which lasts a year. So we are going to be with a preceptor for a while. I am glad though b/c i think it's tough learnign so much new stuff. I refuse to work on the floor, so I am making the OR the place for me.