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Will I ever get it?

Operating Room   (1,592 Views 8 Comments)
by oscar6802 oscar6802 (New Member) New Member

474 Visitors; 2 Posts

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I transfered to the OR after 9.5 years on a med/surg oncology department. While I like my new job, I did not realize how different it would be. I feel so dumb, there is not alot of experience I can carry over to my new job. I wonder how long it will take for me to feel comfortable in the OR. I started 2 months ago. I still feel like I have a long way to go before I can be on my own.

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SandraCVRN has 13 years experience and specializes in OR Hearts 10.

8,995 Visitors; 596 Posts

Hopefully you are getting a good orientation, at least a few weeks-month in each specialty. The trick is not letting them put you on your own until you are ready.

After almost 3 years there are still alot of things I'm unsure of. That's what specialy leaders are for.

If there is a crashing heart pt, I'm your gal, but please do not send me near a crani.

How big is your OR?? How many cases per day?? staffing??

Good luck............we take a little getting used to, but I think we are worth it in the end.

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6,830 Visitors; 375 Posts

Floor nursing and OR nursing are like apples and oranges. Just do your best, learn all you can, and be patient. It will take a couple years to be confident in the OR.

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Heogog53 has 25 years experience and specializes in CCU, OR.

4,267 Visitors; 200 Posts

I cane to the OR as a first rate, well recognized by my peer hot shot CCU RN who could get the worst IV's in, etc...you know, really hot stuff.

It took me close to two years in the OR to stop feeling like the dumbest thing that ever hit the OR doors.

I struggled and went home furious and frustrated, every day was a fight to get it figured out and one fine day, I walked into the OR room, looked at the massive array of sutures and IT ALL MADE SENSE. Suddenly, all those instruments really did look different items and yes, I even knew most of their names.

If you like the OR objectively(does it stimulate you, are the cases interesting, do you like the type of care you give), then stick with it, because it does get better and suddenly easier. Just take deep breaths, get a massage, don't expect too much of yourself(remember, we all learn at our own pace), spend a day at a spa, go out to dinner and don't think about work. Also remember that many of the surgeons you work with are more comfortable with old faces, but they will get used to yours, too, and when they get frustrated because of the difficulty of a case, it is nothing personal. When they get tired of not having the fast turnover they want because for the thrid case in a row you have to flash all the instruments for some reason, when your CO2 tank runs out of gas in mid case- well, sometimes all those things happen. And they will happen for as long as we run OR's the way we do. If we ever get to the Star Trek state, with those handy dandy healers that you can run over the body and voila!!!! patient healed, I can only imagine that those things'll break too.

Heads up, hugs from here. And if you move from one OR to another, everything will be different and yet, the same. I've worked in five OR's over my career, and from a 2.5 room to a 40 room OR, things are always the same, changing and old.

Take care of yourself, til that magic day occurs and you swim like a duck(looks easy from the top, but the legs are going frantically below the water).;)

Helga

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odos has 3 years experience and specializes in OR.

1,401 Visitors; 18 Posts

Everything will be OK. I am new nurse and new to the OR. I've been in orientation for about 3 months now and only in the last couple of weeks have I started to feel even a little comfortable. My educator told me that it will take about a year until I finally get it. So you're probably right where you should be. Just go in and do your best. Don't be afraid to ask questions and if the surgeons, techs, or other nurses make you feel like your questions are stupid just tell yourself that you're learning and move on. I keep a little book with notes that help me remember the routine of the surgeries and surgeon preferences, pretty much just any notes that help me remember things. Also, make sure that you have a little card or anything to carry around with you that has important extensions so that if you don't know what to do you'll at least know who to contact. Hope those tips help. Hang in there- everything gets easier the more you do it.

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fracturenurse has 19 years experience and specializes in 2 years school nurse, 15 in the OR!.

4,112 Visitors; 200 Posts

It does get easier. I remember thinking I was the stupidest thing on the earth when I did my internship. I will never forget one day I was like, "I've got it!" Bovie, suction, etc. I promise you it will hit you just out of nowhere and you will be confident and love it too.

Hang in there and good luck!

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lockheart678 has 3 years experience and specializes in OR.

3,488 Visitors; 118 Posts

Give it some time and you will get more comfortable. I've been doing it on my own for about 6 months now and I haven't had that moment where everything just totally comes together that I've heard so much about, but I can tell you that, in my own experience, things have gotten much, much easier. I went from being nervous on even the easiest cases to being comfortable circulating whipples. As you gain experience, you will become more confident. I know, being new, it is really hard to see people with a lot more experience not struggling with what they are doing, but remember that they went through that same stage when they were new. I have talked to many people about this as well, and they have all told me that it will take about two years before everything makes sense. I know it sucks to think that it will take so long, but remember, each day will get easier and easier.

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gleek67 has 18 years experience and specializes in Bunches.

664 Visitors; 2 Posts

You will. Give yourself credit for the things you do know.

I've been in the OR for 3 months now. I have days when I think WOW! This is a piece of cake, I love my job!

Then there are days when someone asks my for something and while fighting to suppress my "dear in the headlights" look I think why the heck did I switch to the OR.

Now I take time each day, usually on my drive home, to think about that things I got right that day and ask myself if I could have done those things the week or month before. This helps me with the "will I ever get it?" feelings.

Whatever you do don't compare yourself to your coworkers who have been in the OR for 2, 5, 10 or 40 years. I used to do this all the time and it really discouraged me. One day the hospital had a skills fair for all the nurses. I had to help a bunch of my coworkers on some of the more bedside oriented skills. Lets just say they were challenged when it came to things like the assessment and care of pressure sores. At that moment I realized there were lots of things I knew that my very experience OR nurses didn't know. That seemed to change my feelings of being "dumb" to "hey, I've only been doing this 3 months. When I get to 2 years I'll be at least as good as them".

I respect and admire my coworkers for their skills and dedication (well, 99% of them). If you haven't already have them share with you their experiences as new nurses in the OR. You'll be amazed how similar some of their experiences and feelings will be with yours.

Good luck and keep your chin up!:yeah:

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