perioperative nurse internship program?

Specialties Operating Room


I am a nursing student that will graduate in May 2004. The large university medical center where I attend school and work part time as a patient care tech has a perioperative services nurse internship program for new grads. It provides 2 weeks of theory and basic skills, one month of clinicals in preop, one month in the OR and one month in post-op. Then you choose one of those three areas and receive 3 months of orientation with a preceptor. Does this sound like a good training program? Can a new grad be successful in perioperative services without working on the floor first? I would appreciate any advice experienced periop nurses have. thank you.

sharann, BSN, RN

1,758 Posts

I don't know the answer because I was a new grad Tele nurse for about a year befortransferring to PACU. I do not float between pre-op, OR and PACU. I know that all our OR nurses save 2 never worked anywhere else besides OR and could never function anywhere else unless given a lengthy orientation. I could on the other hand can be cross trained to ICU?CCU, Tele(been there) pre-op, med-surg or Maternity if wanted(I do not). So I think it depend on how much you learn and how willing they are to train you. It sounds like a great oppurtunity though!

orrnlori, RN

549 Posts

I must have missed this question. YES, you can be a good OR nurse right out of school. I only worked 6 months in trauma before I came to the OR. I was green as a gourd. My training program was much more intense than what you described. Ours was 7 months full time classroom, then observing, then assisting, then learning to scrub, then rotating through the different services, then finally getting through it and getting our own rooms. I would have to assume that since you are in a large university setting (so am I) they have it down to a science in training. Go for it. You'll either love it or hate it. I like it that you have the opportunity to see the whole thing. Ours was OR only, but that's where my interest was so it worked out great.


11 Posts

Thanks for your reply. I am going to do a 5 hour "job shadow" in the OR tomorrow. The manager encourages those interested in the OR to do a job shadow first before interviewing for the perioperative nurse internship. I am looking forward to seeing the OR again since I only had one day in the OR during clinicals (that was last summer). I know this won't be enough to really tell if the OR is the right fit for me but I am hoping it will help in the decision making process.

orrnlori, RN

549 Posts

Really really watch what goes on in the OR. Do the doctor's treat the nurses well? You have an opportunity here to really see a day in full swing. Take advantage of it. Hopefully they will pair you with a nurse who knows her stuff, can answer any questions you have and still make the case run smooth as glass. I noticed the one and only day I was in the OR during clinicals how the doctors treated the nurses, it made my decision for me. Had I seen anyone acting ugly, I probably wouldn't have decided on the OR THAT DAY, but it went so well that I knew from that day on, it was what I wanted to do.

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