Would you recommend OR Nursing?

  1. Would you recommend OR nursing? How's the future outlook? Do scrub and circulating RNs get paid differently?

    The reason I'm asking is because I'm considering a switch (I'm a rather new nurse who may have an opportunity to become a circulating RN).

  2. Visit MrWarmHearted profile page

    About MrWarmHearted

    Joined: Jun '10; Posts: 112; Likes: 58
    Emergency; from US
    Specialty: Emergency


  3. by   dottimur
    My first job out of school was in the OR. It was not a fit for me and I tried to leave nursing several times in my two years in the OR. On the other hand one of my classmates is still doing it and she likes it. I am pretty sensitive and it wasn't a fit. I am now a hospice nurse, got my MSN in education and am starting NP school in May.

    I did not feel like I was leaning anything that could be applied in other areas of nursing and you don't spend hardly any time with the patient. There was a great deal of focus at our OR to get patients in and out as soon as possible because down time costs money. I would recommend you work in med surg a year first but it may fit you well. Good luck.
  4. by   netglow
    It's cold in the OR, but you are MrWarmHearted so, guess you'll be fine!

    ...had to do it
  5. by   MrWarmHearted
    oh funny! My heart is warm but my body is sensitive to cold (unless I'm moving a lot)
  6. by   NP Sam
    Go for it! Yes there are strong personalities but I love it! It brings out the assertiveness in this super shy girl. I will be attending PNP program in Fall. No there is not a lot of "awake" patient time but I love the mixture of nursing, the team approach, and the knowledge of cutting edge equipment. Wouldn't trade it.
  7. by   brownbook
    Quote from MrWarmHearted
    Would you recommend OR nursing? How's the future outlook?

    OR nurses are in great demand. You can't just float a med/surg nurse (or any inexperienced OR nurse) into an OR. You have to KNOW OR, it is very specialized. Few hospitals have training programs to become an OR nurse (another reason they are in such high demand).

    Do scrub and circulating RNs get paid differently?

    RN's get paid the same amount. Many OR's do not use scrub RN's, they use scrub techs who do get paid less.

    The reason I'm asking is because I'm considering a switch (I'm a rather new nurse who may have an opportunity to become a circulating RN).

    As other posters said....you might just not like it. You do not spend a lot of time doing direct patient care. In the OR your "patient" becomes the surgeon, anesthesiologists, scrub RN (or tech). Your job is assist them, trouble shoot machines, have all the supplies they need, etc.
  8. by   canesdukegirl
    You could easily shadow for a day in the OR to see how you like it.

    And no, there is no pay difference between nurses who scrub and those who circulate. In fact, the roles are interchangeable. If you DO learn how to scrub (and I highly recommend that you do), you will become a valuable asset to any OR that you work in.

    I can't imagine doing anything other than OR nursing. I love it, despite the challenges. If you love to be front and center in learning anatomy, you will FALL IN LOVE with scrubbing. There is simply nothing like it.
  9. by   MrWarmHearted
    Do the OR nurses administer blood/products? Or is that only the scrub nurses? thanks
  10. by   Rose_Queen
    Scrub nurses are part of the sterile field, and therefore cannot administer blood products without breaking sterility. The way things work at my facility, anesthesia and the circulator check the blood unit, but anesthesia is responsible for starting it.

    The way you need to think about it is how the surgical site is sterile, the surgeon is sterile, and the scrub person (may be an RN, may not be an RN- there are surgical technologist programs that graduate people able to take this role as well as some old-timers who had on-the-job training to scrub) is sterile. They only work with sterile items (instruments, sponges, sutures). The circulator is unsterile, does not touch any part of the sterile field, and may work with such things as IVs, equipment in the room, and any other tasks not requiring him/her to be sterile- with the exception of foley insertion and prepping, which only require sterile gloves.

    P.S. Nurses who scrub are OR nurses. Many places will not distinguish between the roles when hiring. It's not job as just circulator or job as just scrub. If you are an RN, you are expected, as a minimum, to circulate. If you are able to learn to scrub, you can fulfill that role as well. However, AORN standards, CMS requirements, and several states require an RN circulator. Scrub personnel are not required to be RNs. Many hospitals hire surgical technologists to fulfill the scrub role, who generally get paid less, and hire fewer nurses, requiring them to primarily fill the role of circulator. Right now my facility is about a 40% RN staff and 60% ST staff. RNs very rarely scrub.

    I think you really need to spend some time shadowing in the OR to understand the role(s) of the RN in the OR.
  11. by   granitestater
    only if you don't take call. it is hell on earth.
  12. by   MereSanity
    LOVE the OR! It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do as a nurse! Great for those with ADD!

    "MereSanity" RN, BSN, CNOR
  13. by   cf1692
    go for it! you'll never know if you won't give it a try...