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OR Job Choice Help!

mchase mchase (New) New


I am choosing between cardiac OR or Neuro/Ortho/Spine OR. Does anyone know about these two areas of the OR for a nurse? Which would be considered more challenging/more interesting?

I have spent some time in the OR when I briefly worked in labor and delivery and loved it. Both cardiac and neuro appeal to me very much, any input is welcome!

Thank You,


Well, it depends on what kind of a challenge you want. If you are doing open hearts and big vascular cases they can be long and 'slow' (for the circulator imo) but you will get emergency cases where its life or death and you need to think on your feet. Neuro/ortho/spine would provide for more variation in cases and maybe less boredom. I always found cardiac kind of boring personally but I like something different everyday.

Thank God for people like you because those are all my least favorite specialties :roflmao:

It's pretty close, but I always found that neuro/spinal/ortho had a more toxic culture than CT surgery. Just me. I'm sure there are those that have found the opposite. CT is more specialized however and as such has a smaller group of staff. That means more cruel call responsibility, generally speaking.

Depending on the sort of hospital you are looking into circulating at, a lot of the services I enjoy the most are due to the doctors and other staff in that service (ST, other circulators, etc). Personally, with cardiac or Neuro, I was never really able to see much of what goes on aside from the craini's, so if you were to take the interest in cases out of the equation I would see if you could spend a couple days just shadowing in each service to help you decide. Ask lots of questions to the circulator you shadow and base your decision on which service feels more appealing to you. I would very much settle for 'boring' cases in exchange for nice surgeons and helpful techs then the reverse. Also, at my hospital, the cardiac team sometimes has to take 15 days of heart call a month.

OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology.

Both cardiac and neuro OR interest me but I lean a little more to cardiac since that is the area I currently work in. Plus I like the adrenaline rush of a possible emergency case.


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