Perioperative Nurse Internships - Are you in or did you have one?

Specialties Operating Room


Hello All,

I'm a recent GN and my passion for nursing rests in the OR. I do know I want an internship since the three paragraphs back in 101 did nothing to prepare a student for the OR. I'm a able to go where ever I need to get what I want which is why I've turned to you good people.

I'm here to find out what experiences you all have had with your internship. Where and how long was your internship? Would you recommend that facility? How would you describe your first day? How does it compare to where you are now?

I apprecaite any response and feel free to elaborate as you see fit.


75 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, LTC.

I'm interning in the OR right now but I still have one more year of nursing school to go. It's an 11-week program where I have learned how to both circulate and scrub, thus able to assist nurses/surg techs. So far, I really like the internship, but I have a lot different areas of interest in nursing so I'm not positive if it's the "right" fit for me yet.

Where am I now compared to my first day? Well, I'm still interning, but I can tell you that I certainly KNOW a lot more now than I did. One of the best things about being in the OR is that you get to see so many different things. I'm a bit of a nut and think the human body and every functioning part is just amazing, but it really is fascinating to see a beating heart while scrubbed in on an open procedure, or to watch from the sidelines as a kidney turns pink during a transplant surgery. There's nothing else like it. You can also make more sense of ALL of that information you cram-packed into your head in nursing school and actually SEE how things work. When you have a sense of that, you can anticipate further problems and complications in caring for your patients, whether you're a nurse in the OR or a nurse on the floor. Also, compared to my first day, I wouldn't have been able to distinguish general surgical instruments, know how to open up sterile fields, how to set up a room, prepare a patient for surgery or for the recovery area, etc. But now it'd be second nature to me.

The OR has also challenged me to be on my feet and deal with MANY different personalities you run into. I'm not saying they're all "good" personalities, but you learn how to become professional in associating with individuals you are constantly around. Some surgeons you meet will have brilliant talents but horrible personalities. You also develop VERY tough skin; I will advise you now to NEVER take rude actions, yelling, or criticism personally when you are still learning the ropes of the OR (but it is okay to cry long as the surgeons don't see you doing it ;)).

If you have any personal questions about the internship I'm in right now (the facility where I work, how I like it, etc.), send me a PM. I hope this helps!


75 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, LTC.

Oh, I should add that I only have 11 weeks b/c my internship is temporary...However, the new GNs and new RNs I see interning are in orientation for 6 months or so before they begin working on their own.


200 Posts

Specializes in 2 years school nurse, 15 in the OR!.

I did the Periop 101 from the AORN back 1998. It wasn't a trauma hospital, but a smaller version of one. I worked in the PACU before doing the internship. I am going to be honest, I had a hard time in my internship. My preceptors, they were just mean. It was 6 months long. We were taught how to scrub and circulate. We didn't have to sign anything so after 6 months I left. I went on to bigger and better things, but, years later I realize how much I learned those 6 months. My next job was at a much smaller hospital. I started really scrubbing there, and eventually became a pretty good OR nurse. Internships can be a little rough, but wherever you choose to go you will be fine. I did mine in the Houston, Texas area. You'll be fine, trust me. We need more OR nurses...:yeah:


177 Posts

Specializes in OR.

I did the AORN Periop 101 program at the hospital I currently work for. It was four weeks in the classroom and 5 months being precepted in the OR. We learned to circulate only, not scrub. We spent two weeks in each service and another week at the end revisiting services of our choice. It was not easy but I pride myself on the fact that I did it and I never let them see me cry :yeah:

+ Add a Comment

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