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kubelkabondy's Latest Activity

  1. kubelkabondy

    New grad straight to OR - bad idea?

    Thanks so much for your reply. It's a relief to hear that floor nursing experience doesn't count for much in the OR, because I really don't want to work on the floor. A lot of people including some of my nursing school instructors have made it seem like it's a mistake not to start out in med-surg and that I'd be "pigeonholing" myself by starting out in such a niche area of nursing, but I feel like it would be a bigger mistake to take on a job that I'm not comfortable doing in a specialty that I have no passion for. Based on the research I've done (most anecdotal), it seems like there is better retention among OR nurses and they are much less likely than other specialties to burn out and leave the profession. Given that, it's surprising to me that more nursing students aren't interested in the OR. I do think part of the reason why is just a lack of exposure to OR nursing and a lack of knowledge about it. Even my instructors in nursing school seem to know almost nothing about the different roles of the RN in the OR. The one negative thing I have heard some OR nurses on this site mention is that surgeons can sometimes yell or even be verbally abusive towards the nurse when things are not going well. I wonder if this has been your experience? If so, I'm guessing this would be more the case with trauma surgeries where the outcomes are less predictable? It wasn't at all my experience on the day that I shadowed. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the camaraderie I observed between the doctors and nurses in the OR. It felt much less hierarchical than the interactions between doctors and nurses on the floor.
  2. kubelkabondy

    New grad straight to OR - bad idea?

    Thanks so much for your encouraging post and for sharing about your experience! Since my initial post, I have had the opportunity to shadow in the OR at the hospital I'm currently working at and for me it cemented my goal of working there as a nurse. I absolutely loved it, it just felt like a good fit immediately, and I felt that could envision myself in that environment. Although of course at the same time I felt like a fish out of water because it's so different from the floor and they really teach us nothing about OR nursing in school. I saw an ORIF of a sternal fx and a lumbar laminectomy. The nurses all had great things to say about working there and encouraged me to pursue my interest in it. Even the surgeons asked me questions and were very interested in teaching me, which is so different from my experience on the floor where doctors rarely acknowledge my presence. I especially loved the teamwork aspect and the ability of the nurses to give 100% of their focus and attention to one patient at a time. My major concern now is that I won't be able to get into an OR residency program because I will only have an ADN (I have a bachelors in another field). I live in a major metro area, and it seems that most of the big hospitals here, including the one I work for, either strongly prefer BSN-prepared nurses or flat out don't hire ADN nurses. Moving to a more rural area is not really going to be an option because of my partner's job. But now that I have my sights set on the OR, the idea of working on a med-surg floor for a year while doing my BSN is really unappealing to me. I just don't feel like the floor is a good fit for me, and I also feel like the skills I'd gain there would for the most part not even be applicable to working in the OR. I just worry that I would be miserable and that it would be a waste of time. I have seen so many new grad nurses burn out on the floor, and many of them came into the profession with the desire to work there. I am glad that at least I will be doing my senior practicum in the OR next quarter. Hopefully I will be able to find a residency program in my area that is willing to give me a chance. I will definitely follow your advice about joining AORN as well and going through the modules. Thanks for sharing your contact information as well - I will gladly take you up on that. I am the only person in my entire cohort of 30 students that is interested in the OR, and none of the nurses I know in my personal life work in or know anything about the OR, so it's been great to at least be able to connect with OR nurses online.
  3. kubelkabondy

    New grad straight to OR - bad idea?

    Thank you so much for sharing this information! This really puts me at ease about my decision to pursue the OR.
  4. So I am a senior in nursing school and will be graduating at the end of this year. Up until a few months ago, I had no idea what specialty of nursing I wanted to get into, so I thought I would just start in med-surg since that’s what everyone seemed to be advising. However, a few months ago, I came across a video of an OR nurse describing her role, and it got me really interested. Fast forward three months, and I have decided that I am interested in becoming an OR nurse. I have not shadowed yet, but I will in just a couple weeks. There are a few things that appealed to me about the OR. One of them is the teamwork aspect of it. I have always preferred working in a team to working independently. With floor nursing, although you have support available if you need it, you are primarily responsible for your patients, you are usually alone in the room with them, and you often have to make independent judgment calls regarding their care. I dislike this about floor nursing. Another thing I like about the OR is being able to focus entirely on one patient at a time. I work as a CNA on a med-surg floor right now, and I see the nurses constantly running around from room to room, juggling 4-6 patients and all their family members. I enjoy patient interaction, but I think that this constant cycling through new patients and family members every shift would burn me out fast. This is especially true because I am an introvert. Lastly, I am fascinated by surgery and anatomy. I have spent hours watching videos about different types of surgeries over the past three months since deciding that I’m interested in the OR. That said, I have a few concerns that I’m wondering if anyone might speak to. Firstly, I’m worried about being able to get a job in the OR as a new grad. I know that OR residency programs exist, but I’m not sure how competitive they are (I live in a major metro area), and I will have an ADN, not a BSN, although I have a BA as well. I have requested OR placement for my senior practicum, so if I get it, hopefully that will improve my chances. Another concern is whether or not it’s a good idea to start out in the OR. Although I would learn a ton of new things, part of me feels like it’s somewhat of a shame that I wouldn’t be putting to use so much of what I’ve learned in nursing school – doing H2T assessments, med passes, starting IVs, etc. If I started out in the OR and decided years later that I wanted to do a different type of nursing, I imagine I would be totally unequipped and would be as clueless as a new grad, even with years of OR experience (except for foleys and charting). I wonder if people who start out in the OR have difficulty changing specialties a few years into their career because hiring managers think their OR experience is too irrelevant. I also wonder if my lack of experience as a floor nurse would put me at a relative disadvantage in the OR compared to nurses who came into the OR with years of floor experience. Finally, I wonder if I have the “right” personality for it. I have read numerous posts on this site saying you have to have a super strong personality and thick skin to work in the OR. I am not quite sure what to make of this. I understand that situations in the OR can be very intense, and that OR nurses are likely to get yelled at by surgeons from time to time. However, I kind of feel like you have to have a strong personality and thick skin to work as a nurse in any specialty. As I said, I am introvert. But I am NOT shy. I am an introvert in the sense that constantly meeting and interacting with new people burns me out quicker than my more extroverted peers, which is one reason why floor nursing appeals to me less. But I am not afraid to speak up and advocate for my patients, even if it means stepping on some toes. In general though, people perceive me as being a little more reserved and cool-headed; I am not someone who wears their emotions on their sleeve. I have been yelled at plenty by patients and it usually doesn’t bother me much. But that’s not the same thing as being yelled at by a doc or even another nurse, and that’s never actually happened to me in my short time as a nursing student and CNA. I think that I could probably get used to it over time. Wow, I didn’t mean to write so much, but if anyone’s reading this, I would greatly appreciate some feedback/advice!
  5. kubelkabondy

    First time working night shifts - advice?

    I just accepted a 0.6 FTE CNA float position at a local hospital. My shift will be 7:00 PM-7:00 AM. It will be my first time working in a hospital, working night shifts, working 12-hour shifts, and working while in nursing school full-time so it's a lot of firsts for me! However my only major concern right now is how plan my sleep schedule so that it's not too crazy and erratic. I have classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so I've requested not to be scheduled on Monday and Tuesday nights. Other than that, I could be scheduled any day of the week. I don't mind sleeping during the day on the two days after I work night shifts but other than that, I want to be on a daytime schedule. I don't know how to make this work. Advice? Thank you.
  6. kubelkabondy

    Time to get rid of care plans?

    Does anyone else agree that care plans are an extremely ineffective and outdated way to learn? I found myself getting so frustrated during clinicals this quarter because due to COVID, we didn't have in-person clinicals last quarter and it looks like they might be canceled for next quarter too. The clinical time we have is therefore extremely valuable, but our instructor expects us to spend hours poring over the care plans and the paperwork which cuts into the time we should really be spending at the bedside honing the psychomotor skills we will actually use when we become nurses. I certainly understand the value in learning about the nursing process and being able to select and justify appropriate nursing diagnoses, interventions, and outcomes for your patient. But do care plans really need to be 10 pages long and take 8 hours to do? It seems so ridiculous, especially considering that we are expected to get it all done in between two 8-hour shifts on two consecutive days. Sleep is also really important and frankly it upsets me that there seem to be so many nursing educators out there who act as if needing sleep is a weakness. It's not just important for us, it's important for the safety of our patients. But what really gets me is that writing care plans is not an actual thing that nurses do. My preceptors would come in, spend a few minutes getting report on each patient, glance at the charts, then start caring for their patients. And obviously as students we are not at that level yet, but still the disparity is absurd. Even IF writing care plans was a necessary and vital part of nursing education, it is something we can do from home. It is not a skill we need to practice in the clinical setting - we can just look at fake patient charts online and write care plans based on "virtual" patients like we did in v-sims. As a former educator myself, I'm really bothered by nursing educators who are so stuck in their ways just because "it's the way it's always been done." Where is the innovation? If you see your students stressing to get their 10 pages written and coming in the following day on two hours of sleep, you're really not going to question whether this is an effective way to learn? Okay. Rant over.
  7. kubelkabondy

    Digital/ Hardcover Books

    I think either is fine, but if you're planning on carrying them with you, digital is obviously the way to go. Personally, my textbooks never leave my house and I prefer the real thing so I have the actual books. Whatever you do, DON'T make the mistake I did and get used books because you won't have access to the online resources, like the NCLEX practice questions which are often more valuable than the book itself. Also don't get an older edition of the book because the page numbers will be different and it will be a huge pain.
  8. kubelkabondy

    Best path to PMHNP?

    So I'm halfway through my ADN program and just finishing up with my med-surg II clinical rotation. Although I've survived, I don't feel very competent as a med-surg nurse, and the fast pace of it as well as the amount of psychomotor skills you have to be proficient at intimidates me. I've always been interested in psych and I'm more confident in my ability to deal with behaviors and use therapeutic communication with patients than I am in my ability to perform the technical skills learned in lab. The other thing is that I know I don't want to be a bedside nurse long-term. I have psych clinicals next quarter, and depending on how they go, I might decide to pursue a career as a Psych NP. Two questions: 1) As a new grad RN, is it a bad idea to start out in Psych? Most experienced nurses I've talked to tell me to start out in med-surg cause then I will have the most skills and I can go anywhere from there, whereas if I start out in Psych, I will be stuck there even if I decide I don't like it. I understand that perspective, but at the same time I'm feeling more and more that I wouldn't like med-surg, or any other super high-acuity field of nursing so starting out in med-surg just cause it's a "smarter" career move doesn't really seem to add up. 2) If I do decide to go the psych route and pursue a career as an NP, what's the best route to get there? I already have a BA. Once I have my ADN, would I be eligible to apply for MSN programs or would I need a BSN first? And how many years of RN experience should I aim for before starting down that path?