Jump to content

Or Nurses

Operating Room   (1,435 Views 9 Comments)
by biker nurse biker nurse (Member) Member

biker nurse specializes in LTC , SDC and MDS certified (3.0).

5,484 Profile Views; 230 Posts

I'm a new RN graduate and in my job hunt, The hospitals seem to be hurting for OR nurses. What is wrong with OR? Should I try it? I'm afraid:uhoh3: But I'm thinking of giving it a try, I just don't want to waste time getting orientated and trained to hate it. In school I only got one OR day. Help!!:roll

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

9 Posts; 562 Profile Views

I too only had a couple of days in the OR during nursing school (I graduated May 2006). I really enjoyed the short time I had there and thought I would give the OR a try as my first job. I like working in a team and am super organized, so from first glance - it looked like a good place for me. The nurses were really welcoming to me and encouraged me to apply. The large research hospital in my town was hiring new graduates and had many, many openings.

Personally, I wish I had spent more time observing before taking the position because I have come to realize over the last year that the OR is not a good fit for me. There was no way for me to know that, though, with the limited exposure I received. However, other new grads who started here at the same time and didn't have any OR experience really, really like it.

Could you ask to spend some time shadowing before accepting a position?

Talk to the nurses who actually work in that particular OR (not all ORs are the same), both the nurses who have been there for a while and new hires.

Ask the hard questions why there are so many openings? We have a team that has very, very high turnover and they are constantly hiring - all of the nurses who have left have said (at least among the other nurses) that it is because the surgeons on that particular team are very difficult to work with (ie, they throw things, yell, etc).

Think about what kind of work environment you thrive in and what you liked/didn't like about each of your clinicals. For example, I did not like my ICU clinicals, mostly because of the intensity and patient acuity, and I knew I would not be a good ICU nurse. I have come to feel that our OR, and my specialty in particular, is also often a very intense environment. I don't enjoy, and don't perform, my best when working in that kind of atmosphere. This was something I did not pick up on from my 2 days of observing.

However, some people really like the adrenalin rush, not to mention working with state of the art technology, the best surgeons, fabulous hours, etc. There are a lot of good things about the OR - and it can be a wonderful place to work - but it is not for everyone. Our OR orientation is 6-9 months long - longer than most floors, so that is also something to take into consideration.

You have to start somewhere, right? If all else fails, and you are still unsure, if there is a position and they are open to a new graduate (some ORs are not) I would encourage you to try it. You may find your home there - some nurses on my team have been there for 25+ years. If you find that the OR is not the best place for you - that's okay. Learn all that you can while you are there - it will serve you well in other areas of nursing.

Best of luck to you. Let us know what you decide. Chloe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

inspir8tion specializes in OR.

159 Posts; 3,758 Profile Views

I worked in the OR as a student nurse for 10 months. I wanted to make sure that OR nursing was for me. Even with the 10 months, during which I did CNA duties and got to observe surgery, I was not prepared for all the the circulator has to do. Probably because I was watching the surgeries and not them. It is a tough job to get a hold of. I am just now finishing my 9 month orientation/ program. It is a bit scary to be going out on my own in less than two weeks. But I've gotten a good foundation to build upon.

Unfortunately, I do not think you know how it is to work in a certain area until you work in it. We have had students leave the 9 month program early at various times - usually they know between 1-3 months if it is for them.

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

elcue has 31 years experience and specializes in OR, transplants,GYN oncology.

164 Posts; 2,601 Profile Views

greetings from an old or nurse! (20+ yrs)

part of the reason we are always shorthanded these days is because, as several of you have said, you only get a day or 2 in the or during school, and then it's to observe the procedure, not necessarily to focus on the role of the nurse. our specialty is seldom actually taught in basic nursing programs anymore, so interested nurses have to find employers who offer a perioperative training program, which is very time consuming and quite expensive for the institution.

if you are in a setting where the surgeons "yell and throw things", that is the fault of an administration that tolerates such nonsense and is unsupportive of nurses. you don't want to work for those people!

 

if you enjoy blending clinical judgement with lots of activity, if you like a very organized setting but are also able to switch gears very quickly, if you are skilled at making quick assessments, enjoy variety, are independent, and are good at prioritizing, you may be comfortable in the or.

it may be worthwhile to see if you can spend a day shadowing an or nurse, focusing on her/his role, as opposed to standing at the or table looking at the anatomy, to see whether this might be a comfortable setting for you. (though the anatomy is usually cool, too!)

 

you must also be able, in most or jobs, to anwer the phone at 2am and be at the hospital ready to work within 30 minutes when it's your turn to be on call.

check it out! you may like it. i can't imagine working anywhere else.

good luck

linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

6 Posts; 740 Profile Views

linda, i am a student nurse considering the or as a career. i love your description of working in the or - you pointed out what i love best about the or, organization and prioritizing ;)

greetings from an old or nurse! (20+ yrs)

part of the reason we are always shorthanded these days is because, as several of you have said, you only get a day or 2 in the or during school, and then it's to observe the procedure, not necessarily to focus on the role of the nurse. our specialty is seldom actually taught in basic nursing programs anymore, so interested nurses have to find employers who offer a perioperative training program, which is very time consuming and quite expensive for the institution.

if you are in a setting where the surgeons "yell and throw things", that is the fault of an administration that tolerates such nonsense and is unsupportive of nurses. you don't want to work for those people!

if you enjoy blending clinical judgement with lots of activity, if you like a very organized setting but are also able to switch gears very quickly, if you are skilled at making quick assessments, enjoy variety, are independent, and are good at prioritizing, you may be comfortable in the or.

it may be worthwhile to see if you can spend a day shadowing an or nurse, focusing on her/his role, as opposed to standing at the or table looking at the anatomy, to see whether this might be a comfortable setting for you. (though the anatomy is usually cool, too!)

you must also be able, in most or jobs, to anwer the phone at 2am and be at the hospital ready to work within 30 minutes when it's your turn to be on call.

check it out! you may like it. i can't imagine working anywhere else.

good luck

linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

4 Posts; 616 Profile Views

im a new graduate RN.Im now searching for a job and would really love to work in the OR.I just came here in US and my question is can i work immediately as OR nurse or do i have to go to medsurg or any other area before i can work inthe OR.just dont know bout the trend here in US because i came from another country.please help me or if you know any hospital in newyork where they hire and train new graduate Rn for OR.thank u very much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

4 Posts; 627 Profile Views

I am a new grad that just graduated in May. I looked at several areas to go into and got an offer to work in the OR at our local hospital. I spoke with the OR manager and the employment manager at the local hospital. The OR manager insisted that I shadow in the OR before finding out if the position was for me. I went to shadow and asked so many questions to some of the other nurses. I saw everything that they did and what roles they played. I saw myself working in that area. I knew then that I had found my place. I am glad to be starting in one week for orientation. I look forward to beginning my career as an OR nurse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

65 Posts; 1,643 Profile Views

That was actually a great discription of the OR as well. I had a one day rotation in the OR as well and decided that it was not for me because I did not think that I would be busy enough. Like she said though, I was standing on the sidelines and not actually doing the job. The OR has always excited me and surgery actually gets my adrenaline pumping. I can't see working anywhere else. Like you said, getting in straight out of school is the problem. I take my boards next week, then I am going to start my search for my OR job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

3 Posts; 644 Profile Views

I have been an OR Director, circulator/staff nurse. I know from experience it takes time to train a new OR nurse. Some young nurses find the Operating Room to be a foreign land. I have always heard that a nurse is a nurse. Any nurse can go any where in the hospital and work. Wrong, An OR nurse has to know so much more, he/she must be alert at all times, anticipating needs of all the Operating Room Personnel and especially the patient. If you are asked to float to the Operating Room for the first time, you would be totally lost. If you were asked to float to a unit you would be a little frightened but you would be able to take care of patient without too much help. Not in the Operating Room. There is equipment, instruments, procedures, positioning for different procedures, prepping, the list goes on. Operating Room nurses are very hard to come by, personnally I feel we are needy for responses, in the Operating Room you don't receive much patient time. Instead the patient is totally dependent on you to take care of them while they are asleep. At no other time in nursing will you be handed a life to care far personnally. Take the challenge it is very rewarding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×