Belated welcome to the ORNurses ‘Fra-rority’. I am a second generation O.R. Nurse - my mom was a scrub nurse in hearts at Cleveland Clinic for nearly 20 years.
I had a natural inclination to hearts after hearing so many interesting, dramatic, and exciting stories from her time at The Clinic - albeit, many did not have fairy tale endings.
Entering nursing school, I certainly noticed that perioperative nursing was not encouraged and floor experience (either med/surg or ICU) was seen as the default ‘immerse yourself in the basics’ specialty. I had to basically fight for a perioperative rotation. I was able to gain great experience that enabled me to obtain a post-graduate perioperative nursing residency out of school. The residency was a 6-month program where we got to scrub and circulate nearly all of the specialties (Hearts, Trauma, Neuro, General, ENT, Vascular, and Outpatient).
Hearts just felt right to me. Although I know many don’t like the repetition of cases, teams, etc., it suited me perfectly. I liked working with the same core team (surgeons, anesthesia, etc.) AND I loved the opportunity to scrub high-acuity marathon cases (our institution doesn’t have CSTs scrub hearts). It’s certainly not all ‘fun and games’ and there is more than a fair share of heartbreak, but it feels so right to me - I always say “I didn’t choose hearts; hearts chose me.” I think that’s cliche, but something we should all be on the lookout for - a specialty or niche where we feel completely in ‘our element’ even when put in high-stress, uncomfortable situations.
Feel free to PM me, and I wish you all the luck and fulfillment in your perioperative career.