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trauma OR

Operating Room   (2,403 Views 4 Comments)
by bnhanna9 bnhanna9 (Member)

bnhanna9 works as a OR intern.

1,409 Visitors; 16 Posts

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I am currently a general OR nurse in SW Florida. We have a local level 1 traume center. I am interested in becoming a trauma OR nurse. Any suggestions for what background is best to get there? Could anyone supply information about what it's like as a trauma OR nurse? Thank you!! :D

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Jarnaes has 14 years experience and works as a OR Nurse.

7,621 Visitors; 320 Posts

Get comfortable with ortho, general surgery, neuro and cardiovascular.

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and works as a Staff nurse educator.

4 Followers; 4 Articles; 102,747 Visitors; 8,626 Posts

Depending on the facility, there may not be a dedicated trauma team. We all take a turn at being the trauma team- we're responsible for checking the emergency case carts that are always kept at the ready, ensuring the room has all of the appropriate equipment (forced air warming blanket, suction that works, cellsaver unit, rapid infuser, etc.), and then help with giving breaks and lunches on day shift. On off shifts, we do everything- any specialty (except open heart) and traumas. Whatever comes through the doors, we do. In order to be able to circulate traumas, nurses have to go through a 32 hour course (that has very little to do with the OR aspect) and then maintain CEs regarding trauma throughout the year. STs are not required to do this.

So basically, you just need to get your foot in the door and find an OR position. Chances of you being hired directly into a trauma only team are very low, as most places would require experience.

As for what it's like being the RN during a trauma, it can vary. Some traumas are more controlled (needs surgery, but not heading towards the light yet). Others are "holy crap!" moments where the patient comes screaming to the OR, CPR in progress, and may not make it through the surgery. My first death in the OR was an MVA, and it wasn't very easy. Hopefully you will find a place that is supportive and offers debriefings after the really bad ones. Mine does but few and far between, and in my opinion not often enough.

Edited by Rose_Queen

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bnhanna9 works as a OR intern.

1,409 Visitors; 16 Posts

thanks for all the info. that's great. well i saw on the Tampa General Hospital (in Tampa, FL) website that they have a few positions open for "Clinical Nurse: Trauma Surgery." It's specific to the trauma, because they're a HUGE location (transplant, burn, pediatric, etc.). So that's why I'm curious about what's the best background to have before applying to a position like that. Thanks again!!

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