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JackChase1212 BSN, RN

Surgical Nurse
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  1. JackChase1212

    Sitting down - New nurse looking for advice

    MgoBlue I sympathize with your back issues. Many nurses have them after years of lifting patients and heavy equipment. However, to start your career off with what appears to be life-altering level pain is perplexing to me. Indeed taking a position in an ER was setting yourself up for increased pain. I am writing to share with you that the OR is not a safe haven for someone with a back injury. I have been a circulator for over 15 years, in many settings from large trauma centers to small surgery centers and no matter where you go the work is very physically demanding. It is a setting that requires stamina and strength. You would be required to position, lift and turn patients who are dead weight under anesthesia. It is not something you would delegate because if the patient falls, it is your responsibility and license on the line. Each case requires the opening of heavy instrument trays. I currently work in orthopedics and open anywhere from 2 to 20 metal instrument trays, depending on the type of case. This repetitive action is a major issue for anyone with back pain. There is very little sitting involved, and a circulator who is sitting in the corner, tied to their computer is not watching the field appropriately or anticipating the needs of the surgical team. Some may suggest working in a surgery center because there is less lifting and cases are shorter, however, the pace is typically faster and there may be less support staff to assist. Some cases require fluoroscopy, which means you would be wearing a lead apron for the duration of the case which compresses your spine. At the end of some days, I cannot bend down to put my shoes on when I leave. I ruptured two discs several years ago, and have endured daily pain ever since. It has been life-altering. If I continue to work in the OR, I will continue to complicate my injury. There is simply no light duty in surgery. My solution is to further my education, and I am halfway through a masters program. I do not agree with the sentiment of the responder who commented that she paid her dues, and so should you. That is old school thinking. There is a place for you that will fit your health needs. Good nurses are needed, and you clearly are a smart person. I can say with certainty that PACU is a setting where the nurses sit the majority of the time. I have observed them with envy for years. They are closely monitoring their one patient, and have a lot of support around. It is a sought after unit that a lot of ICU nurses go to after they have "paid their dues". However, things are changing and new nurses now have the opportunity to train in PACU. My PACU has several young nurses on staff and they provide excellent care. I wish you well, and hope you find your niche.
  2. JackChase1212

    Bully Scrub Techs

    I’m sorry you’re experiencing this. I have encountered some very difficult scrub techs in my career also, and when they have the ear of management it can be hard to deal with. I am a circulator. I would address the issues with management regardless, and document every incident to keep privately in case the issue gets worse. Documentation will increase your credibility. I have in the past asked management to mediate (so they can witness) discussions with the tech to address specific issue directly. That helped in one circumstance. Good luck.
  3. I did my BSN in an accelerated program so I can’t speak to a regular paced program. I went straight through, no breaks, clinicals all over... I remember falling asleep in my car in between a clinical and class on more than one occasion. The sheer pressure of it over time was very difficult for everyone in my program. It’s all in how you approach it though I think. If you’re not organized it will become harder than if you stay on top of things. There were definitely some students who were clearly more intelligent than others, however, other factors play a part in one’s success. Ability to navigate clinical environments came naturally to me, whereas some of the top student struggled there. Everyone is different, but there’s more than one way to get to the end of the tunnel. I was successful in my program...top of the class, but no doubt about it, I worked my tail off for it.
  4. JackChase1212

    I think I'm gonna quit nursing

    If you have truly lost he desire to care for people then move out of direct patient care.
  5. JackChase1212

    Operating room gases

    Depending on the type of agent used you may smell it if your are standing at the head during induction, which is where I always am. If I smell it strongly I may seal off the mask with hand pressure if the CRNA is comfortable with my assistance. Some are not. After intubation, the smell should be gone. Tube in....no smell. I would have an issue if it persisted. I’ve had my lips tingle and developed a headache from gas before. Nothing to make light of.
  6. JackChase1212

    I'm leaving my first nursing job, how do I tell my coworkers?

    First, I’m so sorry that you experienced this behavior. It is definitely still an issue...in 2019. Second, hold your head up high as you leave and say very little. You owe them nothing. Sad situation, but unfortunately not uncommon. Good luck to you
  7. JackChase1212

    Operating room gases

    It is standard procedure for anesthesia machine to be run through several function tests prior to the first case if the day. You may want to find the individual who performs the tests and share your concerns and what you are experiencing with them. They may find an issue, or at minimum explain what is normal and not. Any time I have smelled gas during a case (15 years OR experience), I immediately called to have it looked into. On several occasions the room was shut down for the day until it was fully investigated or the machine was changed out. Anesthesia is typically involved in the process and decision making. Always better to be safe.
  8. JackChase1212

    Is it wrong to ask

    Poor form.
  9. JackChase1212

    Operating room gases

    A word to the wise...even if you’re new, if you sense something is wrong, ask a question. I’m surprised no one else smelled it. Especially the anesthesia provider.
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