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beachgirl17's Latest Activity

  1. I love your screen name!

  2. beachgirl17

    Age vs Years Nursing

    I'm 38 years old. I have been a nurse for 11 years. It was a second career for me.
  3. beachgirl17

    Epi irrigation for arthroscopy

    I no longer work in a facility that does this, but yes, previously I used a new needle and syringe. Hope this helps.
  4. beachgirl17

    cut and run?

    Hello ltpbrt, It sounds like you are progressing well in your orientation. You didn't mention how far into orientation you are. I, too, was a second career/degree BSN with now 10 years of experience. Two years were spent on the med-surg unit and I hated it with a passion. In retrospect, I now value that learning experience. Anyway, I wanted to transition out of med-surg, but without a clear picture of what I wanted. I shadowed in the OR for a bit and then decided to apply and go for it. I trained in a level 1 trauma teaching hospital with an orientation that sounds similar to what you detailed including the frustration of never seeing the same case twice and having varying preceptors. It has now been 8 years since I've come to the OR and overall, I'm happy with my nursing specialty. I just wanted to give you some background on myself first. My thoughts on your situation: -You stated you find circulating to be very physically and mentally draining and I would agree. I find that I am exhausted when I am a period of learning. You are learning something new every day, every case. It is tiring. It will get better. I still learn something new every day and I take pride in seeking out new opportunities. Yes, I find the OR to be physically demanding; however, I feel it may be less so than other specialties. -I understand that we may only interact with our patients for a limited time while they are awake, but consider it from a different angle. I take great pride in being responsible for someone when they are at their most vulnerable while under anesthesia. It is an honor to be an advocate for them. No, we don't get many thank you's from patients and families, but my advice is to take personal satisfaction from a job well done. On another note, having worked on a med-surg unit, there are also downsides to having a lot of patient and family interactions. It can be great, but it can also be very draining. -I do encourage you to consider their PMH and plan of care. Their surgical procedure is one step along the path to wellness/palliation. No, I may not have a lot of time to delve into their history, but I think it is important to know. If you work on a floor, you often do not have time to know all the fine details either. Your preceptors may not be encouraging to get into the PMH and plan of care, because they want you to focus on the surgery and other tasks. You can delve into this more when you are on your own. -Are you learning to scrub or will you be given that opportunity later? -If you want to continue with education, then paths might include being a first assistant, an APRN that sees patients in clinic and assists the surgeon, becoming an OR educator, or.....(I'm sorry, I'm drawing a blank). -I find that when I am overwhelmed, angry, bored, or any other non-positive emotion in the OR or driving to be my job, I stop and think of the wonder of the human body and the rare experience I have in watching how it works. Cheesy, I know, but seriously. So many people in life are sitting in a cubicle, typing away, but I am in the OR seeing anatomy and physiology in real life and I am awestruck every time I really think about it. It's just easy to miss that feeling of awe when you are feeling mentally and physically drained. -Now, should you cut and run? It's truly personal and I can't give sound advice without knowing you, but I just wanted to give some food for thought. Good luck on your decision to stick it out or cut and run.
  5. beachgirl17

    Join the OR or go into another specialty?

    Shimmer580, Kudos to you for having two great opportunities! Does one specialty seem more interesting to you? I would see if I could spend a day shadowing in the ER and a day in the OR. It might help you to decide. Either specialty would be a good choice and you would develop specific skills related to the specialty. I think the skills in either specialty would be valuable if you ever wanted to transfer to a different department. What are the orientations and culture of the ER and OR you are considering? I would take that into consideration, too. Good luck! Let us know what you decide!
  6. beachgirl17

    New to OR, need advice on resources

    Hello EmergencyNurse2012, Welcome to the best specialty in nursing! Can you tell I'm biased?! Glad to hear that your orientation is six months. It will be an exciting, yet humbling experience. I was a med-surg nurse and changed to OR. It truly was like being a new grad again. I agree with FurBabyMom in that AORN is a great resource. It is the professional organization of OR nurses. The website has lots of information. For books, I would recommend Alexander's Care of the Patient in Surgery by Jane Rothrock and Pocket Guide to the Operating Room by Maxine Goldman. I like the Pocket Guide book for its ease of use. It explains procedures, discusses positioning, prepping, and instruments likely needed. I found it useful when I was orienting to an unfamiliar specialty. Most facilities have preference cards for surgeons and their procedures that you will look over prior to the surgery; however, I liked to use the book as an additional reference. Good luck! Keep us updated on how it is going!
  7. beachgirl17

    In The Right?

    I just want to say that you should hold your head high knowing you acted professionally and in the best interest of the patient. Like most OR nurses, I too have worked with difficult surgeons and it really can affect many things. It sounds like management is aware of surgeon's difficult behavior because they said she is just "that way." Hopefully, management speaks to surgeon about it when she is cooled down. I am thankful my management does not let them act "that way" towards the staff repeatedly. I guess I don't have a solution to offer, but perhaps speak to your preceptor again about how to be successful and communicate better with the surgeon. Maybe he or she will have some tips.
  8. beachgirl17

    Med/Surg to OR? Help!

    I am a previous med-surg nurse that made the change to OR and I have never regretted it. I worked in med-surg for 2 years, then changed to OR about 7 years ago. I shadowed a little bit in the OR before making the switch, so I could be sure of what to expect and it sounds like you have done the same. My opinion is that OR nursing is pretty "love it or hate it" with not a lot of in-between. My OR friends and I love it. The RNs who realized they hated it, moved on to other fields. ORs typically have variable shifts. I have worked three 12-hours, four 10-hours, and five 8-hour shifts and there are advantages and disadvantages to them all. The most important consideration to me when I was starting in the OR is to have a proper, lengthy orientation and a supportive environment when I was off orientation. It can be a stressful place and I felt like a new grad again when I started in the OR from med-surg. Hope my rambling helps in some way. I think OR nursing is pretty dang awesome!
  9. beachgirl17

    How can I get this OR gig?

    Hello KNB3715, I made the jump from med-surg to OR about 7 years ago and have never looked back. I have done many peer interviews and it was eye-opening to hear the responses from the job candidate. Our favorite questions were, "Why do you want to be a circulator?" and "Can you tell me basic duties of a circulator?" Yes, I know those sound like silly, basic questions, but it allowed us to see whether or not the person understood what an OR circulator actually does. Many prospective candidates, especially new graduates, really do not know what happens behind the double doors of the OR. That's ok to a point. We do not expect you to know the in's-and-out's of the job, but a job seeker should have the basic understanding of the position they are interviewing for. Your basic nursing skills from med-surg are applicable, but truly I would focus more on your communication skills, being a team player, taking directions well, and being an advocate. Circulators are big advocates for the patient (they can't speak for themselves while anesthetized, right?!) While working in an OR, the RN is part of a team - surgeon, scrub tech or another RN who scrubs, and CRNA and/or anesthesiologist will also be in the room. Communicating well with each other is imperative. Also be prepared to possibly answer questions about dealing with strong personalities and taking criticism well. We tend to ask the job seeker a question or two about handling difficult situations. ORs can be high stress places with strong personality people, but it is so interesting and I learn something new everyday. Hope this helps in some way. Good luck!
  10. As other posters have said, when you are new, it may be a lot of running around, plugging stuff in, listening for your scrub telling you what they need next. They are not "telling you what to do." They are HELPING you. They have experience and are thinking ahead. Use them as a resource person. They are your teammate and want the case to go smoothly. Plugging stuff in and running around will decrease as your experience increases. My thoughts on why I love the OR: 1. One patient at a time. 2. Listen to music all day, every day. 3. You are making a direct impact on a person's life by ensuring the surgery is successful. 4. I like being part of a team. 5. I like being very organized and to have know what could happen next. Is the OR prone to having unforeseen events? Sure, but after a few years, you have some knowledge to know the potential pitfalls and what complications may arise and plan for it. 6. No call bells. I know this sounds terrible, but oh so true! 7. Saved the best for last ----- the wonder of the human body. Seriously! Not trying to be cheesy. When I am feeling down about work, tired, etc., I stop and look, really LOOK, at what is going on in the case. Human anatomy is beautiful and the miracle of life. Yes, I know OB think they have the corner on the miracle of life stuff, but the OR literally sees life itself, as well. You do not have to be scrubbed in to see this (although I do highly recommend it, if offered in training). Ok, enough ramblings on the joys of OR. I am currently working on my MSN with emphasis on education. I plan on being an educator of nursing students and an advocate for the OR - pique their interest in working in the OR. The nurses in the OR are aging and we need enthusiastic, new nurses to eventually take our place.
  11. beachgirl17

    Is OR nursing a good start for a new grad?

    I would like to add something to other's responses: If the circulating nurse looks like she/he has an easy job, then perhaps they are doing an excellent job. As a student, wouldn't it make an impression on you to see the circulator running around getting things, being unorganized, and looking frazzled? Would the student think, "Geez, this job looks tough! Look how busy they are!" If the circulator role seems boring or not "skilled" enough, then consider all the information that is being processed minute-by-minute throughout the case that they are not verbalizing to you. In my mind, a successful circulator often would look like he/she may have an "easier" job than a med-surg nurse because of being prepared, flexible, and unflappable. I hope this makes sense.
  12. beachgirl17

    Circulating nurse

    Amiss5572, There are some very informative threads about the OR and perioperative nursing, so perhaps try using the search function. If you have any specific questions, I will be happy to help.
  13. beachgirl17

    Union gave away random drug testing

    NURSGIRL 252, Thank you for your courage in telling your story. Sometimes people need to open their minds to the idea that working with debilitating pain can be more of an impairment because it is all the person can think about. Just wanted to say thank you for being brave and speaking out because most people would not.
  14. beachgirl17

    Precepting Experienced Nurse

    Thank you for the thoughtful responses. I will try to leave the room, but be in the near vicinity during simple cases. I have not been going to pre-op or pacu with her, but I think I will start doing a little disappearing act during the case, too. I am worried that I will be doing patient, surgeon, and scrub a disservice by letting her struggle without me, but it is going to happen eventually, so may as well happen on orientation. Perhaps after a bit of a struggle, she will be more forthcoming about her real experience in OR and I will know how I can really help her. I believe I may have been mislead about her OR experience because basic circulating skills are lacking. I will ask her directly about standards of care for positioning, counting, etc., then review as needed. Also, I will pick a simple case and disappear for a bit, but be nearby. I have never been in this position before, where I feel like the person is not being forthcoming about their knowledge base. She seems very knowledgeable about nursing, but not OR. If she would just tell me flat out that she doesn't know, then I would gladly teach, but i feel like I am in a pickle, because she is supposed to be experienced. Again, thank you for the responses. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. Have a great weekend.
  15. beachgirl17

    Precepting Experienced Nurse

    Hello all! I am looking for advice for how to handle my present situation. I am an OR nurse with 7 years of experience and the past 5 have been in the OR. I have my CNOR and try to keep up-to-date with new info from AORN, so I feel pretty confident precepting others. I have helped many new hires transition into their new roles. I am currently stumped though. I work outpatient surgery, so it is fast-paced and not a lot of time for teaching. We only hire OR nurses with previous OR experience. I have been assigned to precept a new hire, who has over 20 years of experience in various areas. She states she has basic circulating experience. She does not seem to take initiative, does not seem to grasp basic circulator duties, and lets me take the lead all the time. Even when I say, "Ok, this is your case and I'll help you if you are having a hard time," it is like she doesn't take action and needs reminders on everything. If one is an experienced OR nurse, then she would instantly be taking action because it is automatic type things that need to be done. It seems that she "doesn't know what she doesn't know." How do I help her? How do I make her recognize the need to step it up? Do I tell her to read up on AORN materials? I feel that since she states she has experience, I can't insult her by implying her need for more education. Orientation is not long here. I only got a two weeks or so, because you are supposed to be experienced. Any tips in helping her succeed? I know I need to be more direct. It is hard for me as I am known for being the "nice one." Thank you for any input. Sorry this is kind of wordy. Edited to add: I have spoken to my boss about my concerns and so far, have been told to keep going and hopefully she will catch on.
  16. beachgirl17

    Help with Da Vinci Robot

    Jgruber, I googled it and found the Intuitive website. At the bottom of it: it says for basic training to join the da vinci community. Here is the link: http://www.intuitivesurgical.com/training/ Scroll to the bottom for the link to the community website. Hope this helps!

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