OR safety

Specialties Operating Room


I'm considering a jump from psych to OR. I just read an article about the dangers of glutaraldehyde in the OR. Do you folks feel safe with the chemicals etc. in which you come into contact? What questions should I be asking to evaluate the safety of my OR?

OR girl

6 Posts

I'm excited to hear you're interested in the OR. It is a great place to work, something new everyday. I feel very safe with the chemicals we use. Our OR's no longer use glutaraldehyde, we use Steris. THis is a sterilization method that is very safe. All sterilization is done in a closed system. If there is any "spillage" you do need to flush the area to dilute the active chemical. In the last 5yrs at least we have used the Steris system we have only had one spill and that was easliy diluted and no harm was done. The problem as you may, have read, with glutaraldehyde is proper ventilation.

If you are thinking of working in the OR ask about the sterilization methods, the procedures for handling specimans, what is the procedures for needlesticks. Ask about their safety records. But most of all talk to an actual staff person in the OR, not just the manager. The OR staff will share how they feel about their department. I have found the OR a safe place to work.


17 Posts

Hi OR girl,

Thank you so much for your information and advice. I will certainly ask those questions of the interview committee and OR staff.

How long have you been in the OR? what is your favorite area and why?

I'm a long time noc nurse and am concerned about the stress of doing actual days. I figurel, though, you must be so busy that the time passes quickly.

Thanks so much for the feedback!

OR girl

6 Posts


I have worked in the OR for 15yrs, WoW I can't believe it has been that long. People say " Once you work in the OR you never leave". Well I don't know that is always true but we have a lot of long term people in my area. I enjoy ENT, Plastics and Maxillo-facial. I started in those areas in the beginning because the hospital needed people to work in those areas. However I really enjoyed the reconstructive aspects of those areas.

I work at a facility where we only have 8 OR rooms, so the staff has to be able to function in all specialities. Working some days can be very busy but the time does usually go my quickly. The longest days seem to be the ones when I'm "on call". I am "on call" for our Open Heart program. Luckily the times we have to come in for emergencies have been few, we just seem to work long hours while we are there. At this time my main focus is going back to school to become a CNS.

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X