Tell me it gets better! Thinking of going to the floor


Hello my fellow nurses!!

I hope every one is doing well! I need some advice/encouragment/something. I just started in the OR as a new nurse in September and am thinking of going to the floor. I am 29 and this is a second career for me. I'd like to think that time management is not my issue.

I don't know if it is just the OR I am working in or if it is every OR? But it is one of the most unprofessional harsh environments I have ever worked in. From the condesending staff(on all levels) to the unsafe practices (I was put on call for 11p-7a before I am even off orientation). I am just not sure if this normal or what. I really like the circulating role and want to continue.

Please advise.

Thank you!!:heartbeat:heartbeat


1 Article; 78 Posts

Specializes in OR, community nursing.

OR can be a harsh environment. You do need thick skin to survive but it does not mean you have to be harsh to others. Unfortunately, many people in the OR have become that way. You should try to get at least 6 -9 months in before quitting or making a decision. At least you can put the experience on your resume if you every decide to go back.

How many ORs are in your hospital? What type of procedures do you usually do? Since you started in Sept, you only have less than 3 months of experience. I would think taking call is on the unsafe side ... unless they are doubling you up with some experienced people.


375 Posts

You might dislike floor nursing even more. I know a lot of floor nurses who switched to the O.R. because they hated the floor.

Once you get a year of O.R. experience, would you be willing to work night shift? Night shift is much easier and there are fewer coworkers, which means fewer difficult personalities.


1,260 Posts

Specializes in O.R., ED, M/S.

To be put on call before your orientation is done is irresponsible on managements part. Like one poster said you probably would not like floor nursing very much. OR is a very tough environment and does take a lot of determination to get through it. A few months is not enough time to see if you like it or not. I don't know how your department trains their nurses but I see close to 6 months before you will either feel comfortable enough or feel real frazzled! Even after this time, for months after, you will find situations where you feel downright incompetent. Don't worry about that, I find myself even after 31 years times I feel real stupid and frustrated. I wouldn't let them put you in situations you feel uncomfortable with because of the liability issues and there is nothing wrong with telling your preceptor this. Hang in there and don't give up too soon.


1 Post

My OR provides a 9 month to 1 year residency followed by orientation. Also, each new resident chooses a mentor (not a preceptor) with whom he/she is encouraged to communicate with on a personal and social basis. This mentor/mentee relationship has really helped ease the entry of new staff.

So, to answer your question, "no" I don't think that every OR is run the way yours is. Some are highly professional, enriching places in which to work. Unfortunately, it sounds as though in your case the fix needs to start at the top.


61 Posts

Specializes in MedSurg (Ortho), OR.

Hello All!

I, like you, am on my 2nd degree.

I am on my 1st month of an OR training program (6 months).

My hospital assured me that I will not be on call at least till after 6 months.

The reasoning behind their decision is the fact that it is very unlikely that I am able to run a room. The thinking in my hospital is that the circulator needs to know what is needed when an emergent situation is up.

As for going back to the floor, I have come from the floor (ortho med-surg) for almost 1 year and so far it's all the same.

You will have nurses that are not so nice.

Also, that feeling of not getting "it" is the same on the floors as well.

My first 3 months after orientation, I felt VERY squimish, butterflies, etc... Then they eventually go away little by little.

Tell me something is your hospital a teaching hospital?

I found that it is a WAY different environment.

I do agree that you should at least give it some though about 6 months.

Hope this helps


33 Posts

Can I just say "thank you" for your kind words and responses! I wish more people like you guys were working with me;) I am working in a teaching hospital. I think going to the night shift after I get some experience is a great idea!

DeLynn, RN

189 Posts

Specializes in Education. Has 20 years experience.

I spent my first year as an RN on a med/surg floor. I was an LPN prior to this. I went to the O.R. after a year and i'm glad I did. The stress level went down tremendously. You have one patient in the O.R. not 6 or 7 all needing something at the same time. Yes there is definity stress in the O.R. but on the floor I felt stressed about 90% of the time compared to about 10% of the time in the O.R. And it does take at least a year to feel somewhat comfortable. I would never go back to the floor.


54 Posts

Everyday is different in the OR!

I have just finished a 6 month orientation which included the AORN peri-op program. There have been days that I just wanted to run, but over all I am glad I made the change from the floor to the OR. I'll do my first in-house call over the upcoming holidays. I'm looking forward to it since I know that I'm with a Scrub Tech that has a lot of OR experience.

Good Luck!

Specializes in Operating Room, Med-Surg, Home Care.
:nurse: Absolutely! Give yourself a good year to be acclimated before deciding to leave the OR. It is such a different world from the med-surg training we got in nursing school. I promise it gets SO MUCH BETTER! Keep your chin up and a smile on your face. During down times, acclimate yourself to all the supplies so that you are not out of the room for a long time when you are on call (if you need to run for blood tubing, etc etc). Be kind to the housekeepers and transporters, and they will help look out for you. Take care........:cheers:


22 Posts

:nurse::nurse:I just finished the OR Certification Program there was 7 weeks of inclass instruction and then a total of 225 hrs OR time, scrubbing and circulating

I am now on orientation time, the hospital is giving me 4 scrub days of orientation and 8 days of circulating orientation,,,then I am on my own.

I am sooo nervous....I hope it gets better with time. we are not a teaching

hospital at all, and our OR staff are getting into retirement and no new staff are coming I have been a staff nurse on the med/surg foor for 15 yrs,,,then had enough,,,went to LTC for 5 yrs and needed a BIG here I am...I hope I am not to old to learn this I just find the OR fasinating.:confused::confused::yeah:


21 Posts

Specializes in OR. Has 1 years experience.

Yes it gets better. I have been in the OR for 1 yr now. I said the same thing...(check my posts here!!!)....It is hard...its alot to learn...its NEW. Nursing school did not prepare us for this. I am now doing first assistant, circulating and running the board...yes after 1 yr. I started taking call after 6 months. Then only 3rd call for about 2 months more. Our call starts @ 315p and last until 645am. If you on sat/sun...then its from 645a sat until 645a mon. Sorry you dont feel prepared. Did you talk to your director? or preceptor?

Let me tell ya...the floor isnt any easier...especially if thats not where you want to be.

Yes, the OR is harsh...and I think unprofessional as well (speaking only from my OR). You have to laugh, cry and live day to day with the same people...thats hard and they get on your nerves. One case you're hugging and crying and the next you telling them to kiss your a**. The doctors dont make it easy either. We have some great ones...and a couple not so great ones.

Remember this though...we are elite RN's. We "can" work anywhere in the hospital...the rest of the hospital nurses can not work in the OR! :smokin:

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