I've never seen the OR as a place of job security, and I'm going back to 1983 when I was offered a position to 'learn' OR at a small hospital. I've worked at many since (travel nursing) from one operating room to 35+ OR's Level 1 Trauma. Low census always has dictated how many bodies will be at work or off the clock. When I made the mental decision to only work for agencies in 1989, I thought things couldn't be worse than 1981-86, the Savings & Loan Crisis. Wrong. Many more financial hits coming about every 10 years have taught me that to survive economically I should work in what areas are not low censused until OR picks up again.
I have audited charts, worked in occupational health, home health, some non nursing jobs...what ever it takes to keep cash flow.
Through all of that, I weathered economic downturns on my own dime. I had never collected unemployment benefits myself, having counseled others to apply as soon as a job ended. This economic situation is a horse of another color. The problems we face today will not be solved by the end of Summer, or even the end of this year. A year from now, economic times may be even more dire, as cities, counties and states run out of funds to support the numbers of people disrupted by this game changing pandemic. If I thought I'd be back to work next month or even in July, I wouldn't have applied for benefits...that may not be the case. The lights may be green for increasing surgical case load in the month to come, but the patients that had insurance to pay for it are now out of work, and, don't have insurance coverage. Elective case load will not be back to levels seen pre Covid for many months or years to come.
And then there's the safety issue. I'm reading on this forum of hospitals already rushing back to surgery without implementing proper safety protocols. "Three minute" wait for air exchange, "paper masks, not N95", wearing the same mask ALL DAY?!?, no dedicated housekeepers in OR,....do I really want to end my career on a vent in the ICU all for a hospital that doesn't value my safety?
I'm taking the U.I. checks right now, hoping to see what the second wave of this virus is going to do.....