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med-surg, OR

Content by ruralgirl08

  1. ruralgirl08

    Stress level on a neuro floor

    I have been working on a neurology/neurosurgical floor for the last 6 mos., I previously did a year of med-surg before this. Do you find neuro to more stressful then med-surg? I have noticed there are a lot more stressful pt/family issues to deal with on neuro, and there seems to be a lot more back injuries, compared to other floors. Have other people noticed this? For those that know, how would you compare the stress level of working on neuro compared to working in the ICU?
  2. ruralgirl08

    OR RN vs Case Management?

    I realize these are two completely different animals, but if anyone has done both, which area did you like the best? I want to get away from the floors and work 8hrs shifts. I am going on mat leave at the end of the year, and I hope to make this happen, after that. Thanks for your responses.
  3. ruralgirl08

    Student Loans....how long did/will it take to pay?

    I owed $18 500 after graduation, but I paid it off in 13 months, only because I didn't have a children yet, or rent/mortgage. I got married right after graduation and we lived with family (which was a challenge in itself), so we could pay off student loans and save for a down payment on a house. Yes, I agree, be very careful with student loans, they can be a huge pain for young people trying to start a family/life. Credit can be so easy to get, but so hard to pay back, (designed so the lender makes lots of $$ off us.)
  4. ruralgirl08

    Compression stockings for OR nursing

    I asked my OR instructor this same question, she wears knee highs and has for a long time. She is in her mid-50s and has had no vein problems so far.
  5. Hi, I feel the same way as you do. ICU and OR are my top two areas of interest. I regret not jumping into a specialty when I had the chance as a new grad (I had an ICU opportunity, that I did not take). Now I have been floor nursing for the last 3yrs, and I feel I need to make a change soon, before I get too comfortable on the road to burnout. I never liked floor nursing in school either, I was drawn to OR/ED/ICU. I always knew eventually I would end up in the OR, but I also think I would have made an excellent ICU nurse. Now early on in my career, I have learned more about myself, and want work/life balance more then ever. I am currently taking an OR program, to get my foot in the door. I think the OR is a better route for me over ICU. Though ICU knowledge/experience is invaluable. You got to go where you think you would be most happy. For me that would be the OR, especially now that I am a mom/wife. The 8hr shifts would be better for my personal life. I am not a Type A personality, I am more of a mediator, but I think this is also useful to a team environment. But like you, I also prefer having one complicated patient, vs. many less complicated. I do like being a little behind the scenes while still working in a challenging scientific environment. I prefer my patients asleep:) If I got offered an OR position, I would take it in a second! Good luck making your decision.
  6. I looked into several of these programs in the past, they should prepare you to work in a ICU. They usually go through the different organ systems, and common pathophysiology/treatment involved. Likely touch on mechanical ventilation, different technological supports in an ICU, laboratory ranges, medications seen in an ICU setting, a course on interpretation of ECGs, and a clinical placement to bring it all together. Check on the college of interest website, and they should have a course by course breakdown for you.
  7. ruralgirl08

    Which specialty in the OR?

    Which OR specialty you would consider to be the most interesting and challenging?
  8. ruralgirl08

    Need Serious Help Deciding

    I guess it comes down to: do you want to be a OR nurse or a PACU nurse? They are two totally different skills sets. PACU is based in critical care. Operating Room is really like no other. That's really what you need to decide. Once you get your training, either way, you can take it anywhere. Good luck with your decision.
  9. ruralgirl08

    Continuing Education for RN

    From my expereince, these are usually taught on the job in orientation, if they are a job requirement, (which they usually are in an acute care setting.) So I wouldn't think need to take them before hand. But if you are going to take one anyway, I would take an IV therapy/initiation course that gives you the hands on training to start IVs on real patients. Make sure the course allows you some kind of clinical time to practice this on real people. This is definitely something that takes alot of practice to be good at. If you can start IVs, then you should be easily able to draw blood. (So you probably don't need a phlebotomy course.) Just my thoughts.
  10. ruralgirl08

    Pregnant and starting in the OR?

    I personally would go for it anyway, and not say anything until after, unless you are put into a position where you need to disclose the pregnancy. Only because, if you do not take the job now, would you have a second chance at the position after you come back from maternity leave? Also, normally people wait at least 3 months to announce a pregnancy, to make sure everything is sound. You could have very well not have known at the interview, or were not comfortable in disclosing to anyone at that point. I say go for the job!
  11. ruralgirl08

    Which specialty in the OR?

    "Most challenging to scrub or circulate?" I am interested to know about both, could you shed some light? Thanks.
  12. I am training for the OR in Canada, our program is similar to Periop 101, but we have to request a clinical placement at the end. I work at a large teaching center 50 mins away from where I live, we do a lot of state of the art surgeries in our area here. There is a closer community hospital 30mins also from where I live, they do mostly general sx and ortho surgeries there. The thing is I was denied a clinical placement where I work, but approved at the small community hospital. (I did contact my work and they are looking into it.) Because this is considered an educational experience, I am not guaranteed any job at the end, but potentially I may get a job offer. The Dilemma: Eventually I would like to work at the community hospital, but am worried I could be missing out on the great training/experiences available at the teaching hospital, (plus I already work at the teaching hospital.) If you were in my situation, and potentially offered both placements, which would you choose? I plan to work in the OR for the rest of my career, I still got 27yrs to go!:)
  13. So it looks like I might have the option of doing either. What would you recommend to train in teaching or community?
  14. ruralgirl08

    Full time studies and Part-time work?

    I didn't work during my first year of nursing school, I found it much easier to focus on school and I had my personal highest grade that year. (3.8 GPA) But the next 3 yrs of school, I chose to work part-time. I still was able to achieve good grades (3.5 GPA,) but they were down a little bit. I found working one 8hr shift a week sufficient while going to nursing school. (I occasionally did 2 shifts a week). I also had 2 part-time jobs each summer to help pay for school. Btw, I am so happy I worked part-time during school. It was worth it in the end, not having this gigantic student loan looming over my head to pay back. Student loan debt is a pain in "the you know what" for a lot of graduates, glad mine was manageable and is now gone!
  15. That is encouraging. At this point I will be going where they will take me, thank you for the reply!
  16. Hi I am from Canada, so it is a bit different here. But, it sounds that you are doing the right things. If you cannot move for some type of internship program or job elsewhere, then the surgical-technologist route sounds to me, like it would be a good asset to you. Something you can use when you find that OR RN position. It may be beneficial to get a casual RN job while you are in school though, working part-time or casual, is alot less stressful then full time work especially in an area you might not like that much, and current RN experience with good references would help support your resume. (Not saying that is has to be med-surg either.) Do they offer RN OR training programs through community colleges in your area? If they do, this maybe a more direct route. Just remember either way, the learning curve for OR is tough & can be very stressful, the environment can also be intense & hostile at times so you need to be prepared for this. Take care of yourself first, this is your #1 priority, you are your own advocate in nursing, and you need to be in balance to be an effective care provider to others. Do not let yourself get to the burnout point. (From experience, you & your family are probably familiar with the warning signs, so be aware.) I don't know how to help, other then offer support to you. You sound like you are actively trying. I believe that perseverance does pay off eventually, so keep it up. Good luck.
  17. ruralgirl08

    Rethinking nursing

    You sound down and discouraged and that is no way to be. If you are showing signs of depression (from your writing it sounds to me like you could be,) you may want to talk to a professional, because you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Psych nurses I have talked to emphasize the importance of taking care of themselves as a #1 priority, the job can be emotionally draining. It is hard to develop the confidence, as a new nurse, unless you are in a supportive environment. It is also very discouraging, not being able to find employment. Find a mentor, someone you look up to in nursing, that you can ask questions or advice. Try and keep positive, and take care of yourself first.
  18. ruralgirl08

    What type of nursing?????

    Many nurses who have been nursing a few years, still ask themselves this question. I know that is not much of a help. But I would suggest, networking with people you know that are nurses themselves, ask them about their careers. Search the postings in specialty areas on this site, especially in areas of interest. Once you get into a nursing program, they will expose you to different areas. You usually know you may like an area if you can "see yourself working there," and it sparks an interest in you to learn more. It is difficult to navigate a career in nursing for many, b/c other factors that also influence career decisions we make such as: # hours needed, location, family obligation, ect. A lot of specialty areas require expereince as well, such as OB as you mentioned above. Some hospital offer internship programs for new grads. This is probably a good route to take if you have your heart set on a specialty area, but you may be required to relocate to get this kind of opportunity. Look over job postings in your areas of interest, to see what employers are looking for. Your advanced degree should be an asset to you on the job hunt. Hope this helps a little.
  19. I have to agree with the above poster. I would be tempted to get pregnant after you get the job and pass the probation period, that way you will have some recent nursing expereince after graduation. But if you cannot wait, maybe waiting until you are done staying home with the baby would be a good idea. Depending on what nursing job you plan on doing, you may not be able to physically stay on working as long as you like if you were to get hired being already 5 months along. I work on a heavy floor, and most nurses leave at around 8 months pregnant, due to the heavy lifting, walking, ect.
  20. I am going to go out on a limb here. I don't know if this is something for RNs to panic about, I live in Ontario, and our wages are frozen and I don't think the government will negotiate big "raises" for nurses in the future. Other professions may get theirs, and we may be at a standstill for awhile. I personally would be willing to take less pay to have a secure job and better work environment. The problem is alot of times we work short, under tremendous pressure, with little resources, and huge responsibility. It takes days to recuperate from our 12hr back to back work schedules. We deserve to be paid well for this, it is the most difficult/stressful job I have had. But if the stress & pressure were decreased, by: better resources, adequate staffing, and respecting nurses rights. I would think that the majority of the work force would be willing to take a pay cut. Also, RPNs should work in their scope of practice, and should be paid adequately for it. But maybe they should utilized RN advanced practice nurses to their potential, since all RNs require advanced education, the BScN in my eyes should be a stepping stone. I don't think the plan was to choke out the RN. I don't think they have fully created the practice model that they meant to. I think the money situation has really hindered everything. There may be a problem if they start pumping out RNs with no jobs to fill them, (like they have done with teacher education.
  21. What program did you take? And did you get a job out of your clinical placement? Just wondering how often it happens with RN specialty certificate students...
  22. My work also sometimes trains nurses internally (through a college program & with pay,) but that only happens every few years (if at all) and they have to be hired into the position before they can take the training. So out of say 40 applicants, only 5 nurses are chosen. A lot of times it goes by seniority or "who you know" for that route. So, I figure it is probably better if you want to work somewhere, to do the training on your own time. I am taking an OR program, and have a clinical placement set for later this year. I am hoping to get a job out of it, just wondering how many other people have landed the job they wanted this way. Thanks for the replies.
  23. ruralgirl08

    Did you get pinned?

    I think it depends on the school. My BScN program did not do a pinning ceremony, we graduated with the rest of the university and were "hooded" like everyone else. But I did hear that another nursing school program in the area did "pin" their graduates.
  24. I am taking an OR program, and have an upcoming exam. It covers: gen sx, urology, & gyne. I don't have a lot of time to study, but I need to make the most out of the time I have. Any suggestions on how to learn the procedures & instruments from the text book in these specialties? I am studying from Alexander's, and have not had the opportunity to step into the OR yet to handle the instruments or see these procedures in action. Any tips on how to memorize these basics, in a way that it will "stick" in my mind? How did you successfully learn them? Any feedback would be appreciated:)
  25. ruralgirl08

    Are these books worth the $$$

    I purchased "Pocket Guide to the Operating Room," a few days ago, and wish I would had got it sooner to help study for my last OR exam. It's straight forward, and the necessary information is condensed for you. I also studied Alexander's, but this is a quick reference. It will definitely be useful to prep myself for clinical.