OR night shift


  • Specializes in NeuroICU/SICU/MICU.

Is there a night shift in the OR? Is it mostly trauma or emergency surgery from the ER? I'm a nursing student considering OR, but I'm more of a "night" person than a morning or afternoon person..so I'm wondering if I'd have anything to do in the OR at night :)

Thanks in advance for your responses!

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Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,339 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

Night shift in the OR varies from hospital to hospital. I currently work in a level 2 trauma center, so we staff one room on third shift with two backup call teams. Anytime a case comes up, one call team has to come in so that there is staff on hand for another emergency or trauma. Other hospitals that aren't trauma centers usually (in my experience) only have call teams, and the nursing supervisor is responsible for calling them in if needed. Also, because of the emergent nature of cases that come up, it's usually the more experienced nurses and techs who work third shift; new nurses aren't even oriented to off shifts until they've completed AORN's perioperative course, which lasts for 9 months where I work.

Hope that helped!


174 Posts

We do have a 3pm-11pm shift. Usually they finish up whatever surgeries are left from the day shift. There are a variety of cases on the evening shift, you definately get alot of experience. Sometimes there are emergency add ons late at night usually gallbladders, appys, hip fractures, once in a while they'll get subdural hematomas or emergency AAAs. After all the cases are done they help stock rooms and then set up rooms for the next day. There is only one charge nurse and scrub person from 11pm-7am. If they get cases during these times, then they have to use the call team.


448 Posts

The question will vary from facility to facility. You need to ask around where you think you will be working. The facility does have a night shift consisting of one RN and one CST. If they have an emergency they pull, set up, open, run the case and finally turn over the room. I work at a smaller facility so, most the time there are not any surgical cases that can not wait until the next day.

That being said; they both do all the technical things like double checking case carts and setting up the rooms for the first case of the day, pulling case carts that were not pulled and checking rooms, specialty cart stocks and checking anesthesia supply etc…

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