This post is not meant to discourage anyone who is pursuing their nursing degree or has already newly graduated.
When I was offered the OR position as a new grad RN, I was ecstatic. I didn’t think much and accepted the position. The hospital was great and the Peri-Op 101 program was designed in a way where I was learning. But I did not realize that we do not use much of our nursing skills.
As a new grad, I wanted to learn to start IVs, learn more about medications in depth and different health conditions. All the good stuff that we learn in Med-Surg. But there was so much negative vibes towards the Med-Surg unit while graduating that I kind of did not want to look into it. Now, everyone is different. Some love the OR, some love L&D and other specialties. Some are drawn to Med-Surg/Tele unit, geriatrics, etc. There are just so many options for nurses to choose from.
As an OR nurse, I learned how to set up the sterile field, pass instruments and learn the different types of instruments as a scrub nurse. I did not get into circulating because I left before my circulating rotations began. Circulating nurses are basically the ones documenting and making sure the surgery is going well. They do the pre-op interviews, bring the patient in, do counts with the scrub nurse, document, take the patient to the post-op area and do hand off reports.
The pros to working in the OR is that you take care of one patient at a time and you actually get 30 minutes of uninterrupted break time. Maybe one day I would want to go back into the OR after I have worked on the floor and gained the experience.
We hear how bedside nurses are burnt out and that’s because many hospital administrations are not taking care of their staff members. That’s why it is important before applying to any facility to do your research and read reviews from current/former employees on websites. Also during in-person interviews, ask the hiring manager for a unit tour.
Also, really look into what you want to do in the future. Some may choose the NP path and for that you may require some experience on the floor. Some people may choose to go into informatics, management, education, etc. For me, I’m still not sure which field I want to pursue my Masters in. But I guess I will figure it out once I start working on the floor. I still haven’t decided which hospital I want to work at since I am still interviewing. Hopefully I land somewhere where I will be happy and satisfied with my nursing career.
You can leave a comment below with your thoughts!! 😊