To my OR nurses

Specialties Operating Room


Specializes in ER.

If this is not the right place,admin can take it out. 

im just a little down I guess. I switched specialty recently from ER to OR and I was super excited for a change. I knew that my ER experience means nothing in the OR but at the same time I've been nurse for years so I came in with a clean slate, ready to learn and was prepared for the challenges…..but mann im not going to lie, being in the OR beat my spirit. Surgeons look down on you because youre new - in a way I get that, I expected that. But what sucks more is that I don't get support from my peers. I know I have to show my worth, and I believe I have been! Every day I try to learn and do my best. I take notes, make checklists, look up stuff I don't know and ask questions whenever I can! Never once did I use the “oh I've been a nurse for awhile” card, cause I know that means nothing in my new specialty.   But even with that I feel like the nurses at my work just let me…drown. I have been belittled by surgeons for simple mistakes and for things that I thought I did right. I have stayed out of their way - and I still get in trouble. And through all that - the nurses/scrub techs just look at me and stay silent. Im just down. Like what I said, im not a new nurse - I've experienced tons of insults and inequality at work, but to experience this day in day out with no support is just…rough. Im not quitting. Im going to keep doing my best there I just need to let it out and I figured this is probably a good place to do it. Sorry for the rant, it’s just one of those days where it hit me a little hard. 

Ktc18 I am so sorry you are having a bad experience in the OR.  I am an OR nurse with 21 years of experience and am very ashamed of the way you are being treated. You are part of the team and they should be looking out for you. My advice is to ask many questions, keep a notebook with tips about each surgeon and procedure, and keep up the great work. It is always difficult to move from one specialty to another, going from being the person with all of the knowledge to the person needing the knowledge. Trust me you will get there. Keep your head up and show the team that you are more than capable of being there. Besides they need you just as much as you need them. Look back on your day and celebrate the little accomplishments.  Hang in there and you will be an awesome OR nurse. ♥️♥️♥️♥️

Specializes in Perioperative / RN Circulator.

You said you recently switched to OR.  Where are your preceptors and what are they doing to support you? Even as an experienced nurse in another department, you should be getting at least a 6 month orientation as a new OR nurse (at least in major OR circulating multiple service lines).  

Specializes in ICU, Trauma, CCT,Emergency, Flight, OR Nursing.

Sounds like you are not in a great environment. That can break the best and most motivated learners. Sadly many OR staff forget that they were once the new person and relied upon the kindness and support of their peers to turn them into the successful professional that they now purport to be. If OR is really where you want to be, you should consider a different OR within the system or potentially another employer. Have you had discussions with your manager and educators about the environment that you are experiencing ? It does not help being quiet about it and expecting it to get better. And, if a surgeon is rude & disrespectful towards you, please stand up for yourself and put them on the spot . That type of conduct in the workplace today is NOT OK. You are an ER nurse. You know how to be assertive :-). ICU, OR and the ED are places with strong personalities and you need to speak up and not accept poor or unprofessional behavior from others. I came to the OR from Flight nursing so I know the steep learning curve you are experiencing. It took me at least a year to feel confident in the circulator role for my service line. It took another year to feel confident scrubbing most of the cases in the specialty, though I am still learning right up until yesterday. Good luck. If its what you want, persevere. 


Specializes in OR.

I'm sorry that things are not going well. I have worked in a couple of different ORs and they all have been the same. It usually takes at least a year to become baseline competent and a solid 2-2.5 to get good at certain things. It will get better. In the OR we are all a little bit crazy. My suggestion is if there is a particular person that is giving you grief pull them to the side and ask them what they think that you could specifically improve on.  If you try to do things their way for a while they can't be mad at you. You have enough experience in nursing that you can add value to their department. Stay strong!


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