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Timid personality in the OR?

Operating Room   (2,995 Views | 4 Replies)
by RNsunluv RNsunluv (New) New

RNsunluv has 18 years experience .

574 Profile Views; 5 Posts

Hello

I have worked med surg for years and definitely looking for a change. I am worn out from bed side nursing. I have often thought about working in the OR since most of my positions have been on surgical units. However one thing I hear often is that "you can't take things personally" and "you have to have a thick skin". I have to say, I do let things get to me but I eventually get over especially after I get the know the person and understand the situation. So my question is this; is it possible to be shy/timid and still be successful in the OR?

Thanks in advance for those that reply

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222 Posts; 5,580 Profile Views

Wow, I'm sorta surprised no one else has replied to your post yet. I guess I'll give you my perspective and hopefully you find it helpful.

Before I straight away say one way or another, let me start by stating what might sound like a blurb from an HR presentation.

I believe that what makes any organization great is diversity. People from multiple cultures, backgrounds, personalities and life experiences can be helpful and beneficial to any organization because it can bring more than just one perspective to any problem or situation. When you're a hammer, everything might look like a nail to you, know what I mean? Sometimes it takes a slightly different way of seeing the same thing to truly find a great solution.

Having said that, I will say that I work in a wonderful facility with people who I cherish and think that they all bring something unique to the table. I may not agree with everything everyone else says, and sometimes I get truly annoyed by some. There are many personality types here. Some are loud. Some are short tempered. Some are just plain confrontational. Others are shy, quiet, or in your own words, timid. What we all have in common is an understanding that we are here to advocate for our patients. For some it's easier to speak up. For others it requires stepping out of their comfort zone. At the end of the day, we each have to be okay with how we presented ourselves in every situation that day.

To answer your question, yes, you can be successful in the OR, but with the caveat that it's like anything in life and you're the only one who can control how you react to any situation. You can be upset about something someone said or did, but if you did the right thing by your patient, then I think you are successful.

Hope that helps.

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50 Posts; 1,950 Profile Views

Hi, I am a timid personality in the OR. I transferred here from the Med-surg floor. You can survive, but the OR has more difficulty personalities than floor nursing. A lot of Type A personalities here. And the big personalities get the attention. People will like you, especially if along with timid, you are also calm under pressure and cheerful. But if you are prone to shutting down in the face of pressure, you will struggle here. You need to be able to speak out to the surgical team. If you don't think you will be comfortable doing that, the OR may not be the best place for you.

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RNsunluv has 18 years experience.

5 Posts; 574 Profile Views

Thank you both for your comments. It's reassuring to know OR nursing is still an option for me. I may not be the loudest person in the room or the "life of the party" but I do speak up when I need to and I am not afraid to advocate for my pts.

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bunnehfeet has 3 years experience as a BSN and specializes in RN-BC, SCRN.

47 Posts; 1,620 Profile Views

You can't be afraid to be loud in the OR if for no other reason than sometimes it's incredibly hard to hear. Think about doing your bedside nursing job, talking to patients, talking to colleagues, responding to emergencies, talking to people on the phone - and then think about doing it wearing a mask. You need to make sure you can be heard, and that also means not being afraid to take charge. You do this when you call time out. You do this when you see someone contaminate. You do this because you can't wait around for the "right time" sometimes to do something, sometimes you have to interrupt or you'd be there all day. And that means sometimes you have to be the loudest person in the room. This can be hard to do when you're a novice in the OR, and also more introverted than not (or at least that was the case for me). So yes, you can be timid (I was), but you also really do have to come out of your shell if you want people to listen to you. If you find you love it (and I recommend you shadow and get a chance to really see what it's like in the OR first), you'll do what you need to in order to shine in this unique area. I've seen it go both ways. Best of luck!

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