Travel (within Living Distance) limitations for OR nurses

  1. I am an RN student who is hoping to graduate (finally) in December. I have a very great interest in OR nursing but feel my local small hospital (2 miles away) will offer only very limited OR experiences. I would like to apply to other hospital but they are all 30-45 minutes away. Is there any chance of getting an OR position when one lives that kind of distance? I know that being on call is usually required and I am willing to stay physically at the hospital during that time period...Do hospitals allow for this with their nurses who do not live close by? One other unrelated question...when I did a rotation through the OR this semester, one of the surgeons indicated that someone who hasd many allergies to antibiotics (as I do) should not work in an OR. Does anyone have an opinion on this? Thanks for any feedback on these two issues...obviously, I am trying to determine if this is the route I should go despite my interest.
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    About CDRNURSE

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 4

    5 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Fist, there are many nurses who have to commute to their jobs, this includes OR also. Call can be done from the facility, when you would stay in-house, or someone else on staff may wish to pick up your call hours.

    As far as the allergies, you would need to discuss that with your PMD, since he/she knows your full history. Remember that there are nurses and surgeons that work in the OR with latex allergies, so anything is possible now.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  4. by   grimmy
    [font=book antiqua]i live 30 minutes away from the hospital in which i work. while there are some guidelines for call, this has not proved a problem for me. for those that live greater than a 30 minute commute, our hospital provides a hotel room or a call room in the hospital. several hospitals have this sort of arrangement.

    as for the allergy comment, that's bogus. i'm allergic to pcn, i know several residents and nurses and techs who are allergic to latex, and just wear latex-free gloves. some are allergic to the white webbed material on the cuffs of our sterile gowns and wear the goretex gowns. there is a way for everyone. a few extreme examples:
    one of our surgeons was in an airplane crash. he was burned and lost several fingers. he still performs surgery. he has specially made gloves, and has taught himself to manipulate the instruments in certain ways to suit him. he's the nicest man, too.
    one of our residents is missing fingers from a childhood accident, and he wears special latex-free gloves made for him.
    there's no reason you cannot be in the or and work effectively. don't let anyone tell you differently.
  5. by   mcmike55
    I agree with the others about the allergy statement. Many people have various types and severities of allergies and still function. I don't see why you can't as well. Not to say the sacrifices would be worth it, that's your call. One nurse in OR has developed a rather significant latex allergy. She adapted, and does quite well. Actually, she has become a valuable resource, when I have a latex allergy question, I go find her.
    As far as the call response time question.
    I work in a small rural hospital. Our job description says you need to live 20 mins or less from the hospital. We have had a few (techs and nurses) that live farther away. They stay at the hospital on call nights, or work it out so someone closer responds first.
    When the weather is bad, a lot of us stay in house when on call.

    Mike
  6. by   shodobe
    I live 450 miles from work and stay at the hospital during my 9 days down there. So I am in essence 5 minutes away. The other people, on the other hand, have to be within 30 minutes of work, but we don't hold that to the letter of the law because we don't do trauma anymore and we don't do C-sections anymore. Since I have been staying at the hospital over the past 8 years there has been very few, if not at all, times where we had to rush in for a true emergency. Most of the surgeons will tell staffing that they want us there in 30 minutes but they will waltz in in about an hour, so you can see no rush! I have worked at the same place for 28 years and there was a point where we did alot of true emergent cases so we had to be there in 30 minutes or less. I know one small hospital I thought about going to wanted you within 20 minutes, this I think is unreasonable because of the safety factor for the call crew. This almost forces you to stay at the hospital when on call, no problem if they provide you with a place to sleep. I am lucky because we have a call room that no one uses so it becomes my home away from home when at work. I have a good working relationship with my boss so she considers me like a traveler. Mike
  7. by   CDRNURSE
    Thanks very much for your responses! They confirmed my novice opinion that OR people are generally a good group to work with. I inadvertently ended up speaking with a nurse manager at one facility yesterday who stated that they require their staff to live within 15 minutes OR to stay within that distance when on call. I guess the best approach is to be open to possibilities when interviewing.
    I also appreciate feedback on the allergy issue. I cannot even remember how the discussion with this ENT doc came about, but when I mentioned my numerous drug allergies, he stated the OR "is not the place" for someone so susceptible particularly with MRSA and VRSA so prevalent. It really blew my mind. Thanks again. Laura

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