OR to Med/Surg, ICU or ER - Is it Possible????


  • Specializes in Operating Room. Has 3 years experience.

I just completed a 6 month perioperative training program as a new grad in a trauma II hospital. Even though I enjoy my present position, I hope one day to try a different type of nursing (Med/Surg, ICU or ER) to become more well-rounded. I would like to know, from a nurse's perspective, if this is a difficult/obtainable transition. Most of my peers in the OR left their med/surg posts and have no interest in "going back" to floor nursing. Since I am a newbie and have known nothing but the OR, could you shed some light on the many other specialties in our profession that you have worked and why you liked or disliked the position. I hear it is very hard to change areas in a hospital especially if you do not have department-related experience.

Also, thank you fellow RNs for the input and guidance you provide!

Lev, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 2,803 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. Has 10 years experience.

I work med-surg and it is mostly crazy. Constant movement, running up and down the hall, a mix of high acuity and patients who are "just fine." Lots of surgical patients, pain medications, and blood transfusions. We know all the surgeons but don't have to put up with them too much. Surgery still rules medicine though, even on the floor. There is a lot more to put up with on the floor. Much more charting, a lot more meds, not as much support right there and then when you need it, unlike in the OR. And the patients are awake and need your attention. And there are psych patients who need medical attention. And there are agitated "sitter patients." It's a good experience, but for me, not a long term specialty. One day, after I work ICU, I will "retire" to PACU.


57 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 3 years experience.

Thanks Lev