I love the OR...been there for 8 years now. Call us trained monkeys but the trick is to think three steps ahead of the surgeon and scrub (helps to know how to scrub too). Also, know what all the equipment and instruments are, what they do, how they work, how to troubleshoot, etc. Also, training for the OR is the longest of any specialty (pretty good (and necessary) for a trained monkey). There are also a ton of guidelines, standards, and regulations that the good (CNOR certified) OR nurse knows back and forth. My job is to advocate for the patient during their most vulnerable time (unconscious and alone). I am in charge of the room (think of it like a manager) and have a hundred responsibilities as the manager of the room. Sure the doctor is the doctor but I'm in charge of the room (no ego trips here, we are all there for the patients best interest). My surgeons depend on me and know I can get the job done...there are hundreds of room and equipment set ups for every type of surgery (and every surgeon has different preferences so multiple that by over 100), and a good OR nurse knows them all. I am ACLS and PALS certified so I can push meds during a code (I've had surgeons leave during a code and anesthesia can be so busy that they can't run a code...it's all me). The OR is NOT for everyone. You need thick skin and the ability to work under pressure and with every type of personality. I call report to PACU and could give them their life story but they don't need that, so I give them the basics. I am also trying to do 80 other things at the same time (count, open dressings, call waiting room, move patient, chart, specimens, clean up, etc, etc, etc...just forget it if it's a quick case). I don't know if PACU realizes that sometimes or even has a clue what we do back there. And sometimes I just don't have much info to give (healthy 20 year old, lap appy....fluid, dressings...what else is there to tell if it was a straightforward case?). You love it or you hate it. It's highly specialized and under appreciated. I do know that if you think all an OR nurse can do is be a "go-fer" you haven't got a clue. We need ALL specialties! Why so much bitterness between them? I DO NOT want to work the floor, the ER, ICU, PACU (etc). My highly ADD mind would implode. You work your area, I'll work mine! Vive la difference!
MereSanity BSN, RN, CNOR