Pysch RN interview with an OR transition program panel


Hi Everyone!!!

I had posted on here a while ago about transitioning to the OR but was concerned because my background is mostly in psych. Anyway, I had some really positive feedback from everyone on here and great advice.

I applied for an OR transition program at my Hospital and I HAVE AN INTERVIEW!!!! Any tips or advice on what it might be like? Anything you think I should know ahead of time? Thank you so much!!!

Also, can anyone tell me the difference in duties between the OR nurse and the surgical techs? Thanks!!!


3,413 Posts

Has 38 years experience.

Generally a surgical tech is not an RN, some, most, techs, have been through tech training programs. The tech is at the surgeons right or left hand side handing the surgeon the clamp, bovie, pickups, scissors, the myriad, 100's of different surgical instruments the surgeon needs to cut into a body, stop bleeding, sew things up.

Some OR's do use RN's as techs.

The OR nurse goes to the pre op or holding area and double checks that the patient is okay for OR. Are they NPO, is the correct consent signed, what are their allergies, do they agree, understand, what the surgery is. Is their arm band, name, date of birth correct. Is there a less than 30 day old history and physical. Did the surgeon order antibiotics. Does the patient have metal in their body. Do they have dentures, are they wearing contact lenses. Are they completely naked under their patient gown.

The OR nurse helps set up the OR so it is ready for the patient. Does the anesthesia cart have all the basic supplies the anesthesiologist will need. Does the OR tech have their basic supplies.

The OR nurse with the anesthesiologist take the patient to the OR. The OR nurse helps position the patient on the OR table. They may do a scrub of the operating site. They assist the anesthesiologist putting on electrodes, O2 sat sensor.

Once the surgery starts, the nurse can be a "gofer", get extra instruments the tech needs. Or a med the anesthesiologist needs.

This is some of the basics. It sounds like a lot, but there are check lists and it becomes pretty routine after a while. There are many variations of all the duties I mentioned.

You could watch some Youtube Videos of surgeries, or specific ones showing the duties of a tech or OR nurse.


42 Posts

Thank you so much!!! This helps1 I'm going to youtube some things this weekend. Thank you!!!

Has 15+ years experience.

I transitioned from psych to OR. I was a "runner up" for the first program I applied to. The interview consisted of many situational questions, such as "tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a patient etc..." I gave excellent answers, and all were very impressed by my professionalism and grasp of psychiatric nursing. That was the problem - I showed that I was excellent at the job I currently had, and they feared that I would not be a good fit for the OR, because I was so effective in psych! Moral of the story - Interview for the job you want, not the job you currently have.

So, instead of focusing on critical conversation you have had with patients and de-escalation techniques, focus on skills that can be directly translated to the OR. These include organization, critical thinking, time management, adapting to a stressful and every changing environment, and dealing with challenging personalities (EG surgeons). They will likely ask you how you feel about having much LESS patient contact. During my interview that led to an offer, I stated that I spent the last five years talking and listening to patients non stop - positioning and prepping a sleeping patient for surgery sounds like a dream!

Congratulations on your interview!


42 Posts

OMG!!!! Thank you soooo much!!! So are you in the OR now??? If so, how are you liking it? My background is mostly emergency psych and not inpatient. I also have worked in jail which is all medical. Are you liking the OR?