Updated: May 4
I am a nurse with 5 years experience in medsurg tele on eves/nights. I had a very short attempt at case management within the same hospital, but it was not a good fit. I couldn't wrap my mind around all the insurance stuff, the constant communication with a million different patients and staff, and the overwhelming pt case load. Ultimately I went back to my floor where I stayed for another year, but I couldn't ignore my burn out any longer especially with being a new mom. So most recently within the last 2 months I transitioned to a cardiology office where I do medication refills, coumadin management, triage pt calls, and room pts for providers. It's M-F, no call, no major holidays, or weekends. Sounds cushy but this job comes with its own headaches. First being that I experienced bullying from my orientator from day one, I called her out on it after a few weeks then it got a little better. I also work primarily alone which is kind of well, lonely. I don't think I like the M-F schedule either, and I just feel like a glorified customer service representative. I'm feeling quite bummed because I never thought that I would be questioning my career choice this much. I want to make another career move since this doesn't feel like the fit for me either. I saw an opportunity for an OR nurse residency and thought.... hey maybe this would be for me. I have been doing so much research about the OR and I am on the fence about applying. Would it be just another dud of a career move like case management or the cardiology office job? Would it provide me with the work life balance I need being a new mom? Would it give me the fulfillment I want in a career? Would I be able to handle the stress of the OR? Some of these questions I obviously have to answer for myself but if anyone has some input on how to help guide me through this I would appreciate it. Pros and cons of working in the OR? Do you think the OR would be a good career move while having a baby at home? Has anyone else been through a similar predicament and has any words of encouragement to help a girl get through this career crisis? I'm searching for answers and am scared I will make the wrong move ?
Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN
Please head over to the OR forum and my profile to check out my articles and posts from other OR nurses to get a better idea. Ask to shadow, and please pay attention not to the surgery itself but to what the nurse is doing.
BlueShoes12, BSN, RN
I work in PACU/pre-op and it offers the best work/life balance that I've found — much better than bedside nursing. There are a huge variety of shifts and start times available: 8, 10 and 12 hours, and start times from 5 am to 1:00 pm (plus night shift/weekend staff). Positions are both full time and part time. We have quite a few staff who have younger children, and it seems to work well for them.
The hospital I work at offered a great residency program, so I was able to start without having critical care experience. I had several years of surgical tele experience, much like yours from the sounds of it. Look around for a hospital close to you with a similar residency program — I know they're out there!
There are no primarily PACU residencies near me, but there is this 6 month OR residency that is available at a hospital 10 minutes away from me. The orientation sounds very in depth which makes me more interested in applying. I think this OR residency would give me the satisfaction/challenge I crave in a career change. I also wouldn't have to worry about having a 6 pt assignment like on the floors and not feel so bored/lonely like I am in this office setting. I'm sure the OR comes with it's own headaches, but I am completely aware that no field of nursing is stress free.
@Rose_Queen Thanks I will head over to the forum now. And I have shadowed in a cath lab which I assume would be similar to an OR. I found the nurse's role quite interesting. She was really working her butt off in that room though LOL. I wish I could shadow in an OR but I frankly don't have the time. I work M-F and Im sure there are limited-to-no opportunities to shadow on the weekend. But I have been getting opinions of people I know who work in the OR and doing my own research of the field.
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