Learn the skill of judging the tone of the room. Being a scrub nurse showed me that no job is well paid enough for you to be mistreated, undermined or less than any other health are professional. Always read your facility's policy and procedure (P&P) book. We cannot control others, just our reaction to them. I think you would make a great OR nurse, especially for knowing that trick about not being intimidated. The reason is that new nurses take upward of six months to get oriented, so that basically means six months of training before a brand new nurse can start working. Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 19, 2018: This is another article that should be very useful for nurses. But do not get sucked into conversations unless everything is going very well. Thanks again. Or, go and observe a doctor you have not worked with. :). They come to remember that you confront them, which is as uncomfortable to them as it is to you. You learn what the surgical routine is. But I greatly admire you for what you do- especially after reading this! Ensure the surgeon knows the reason you felt unable to scrub the case so s/he can decide if they prefer to delay the case (if routine). If you are the only scrub available and the case is an emergency, you have no choice but to scrub it. Never  let a mistake deter you from continuing to pursue your OR career. I once had a surgeon who needed dressings and wanted me to walk between the back table and the patient. Peg, It's true some of this can be relevant in business also. We all have certain things we do not remember. Everything was still sterile. There is also "conscientious objection" which is a moral objection based on personal values. It took a year before I was comfortable with all the equipment, procedures, personalities and preferences. Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on March 04, 2018: This is impressive...and a must read for new nurses, Kari. You can use the link on my profile if you would like to email me. Does he treat the other nurses this way? Surgeons yell many things in the heat of the moment that they do not mean. I have worked with HR depts that will find a way to fire you if you complain too much. I don’t know how to handle it. Over time, nurses will develop an increased ability to remember nuanced details about surgical procedures. I am sure time smooths it all out. It is going to happen. Bake yourself a cake, throw yourself a party, and at the very least, make sure you tell the other staff. You wonder if it will ever let up. Remember all you were taught regarding first impressions. A scrub tech met me in the hall and told me they needed me in the room. In larger facilities, it’s possible to work with different preceptors every day. Any advice would be appreciated. Some doctors are never happy until after the first case. They may see another new circulating or scrub nurse and wonder why they do not get yelled at as much. All that being said, some surgeons are just unreasonable. I used to tell people at work, "I don't need to be liked, but I must be respected. You will also need pens to fill out surgical checklists or any paper documentation. After 10 days off for vacation I am ready to get back into it tomorrow. Nobody knows everything about every surgery. Kati Kleber MSN RN CCRN-K is the founder and nurse educator of FreshRN. Often times this nurse will become your mentor. I do not believe there is a simple right or wrong answer to this question. Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on February 20, 2018: Linda, Thank you! We want people who we can feel safe with when the case goes downhill. Standing and watching the sterile field is a circulating nurse's job. : The First Year Is the Hardest. Reading policies and procedures and/or reading AORN standards is another good use of time. Operating Room Nurse Interview Questions. Don't let it show. Many people do not realize that nurses practice holistically, while doctors are more disease focused. They can’t teach it in school - it’s a skill you honestly have to learn in practice. Reminding yourself of this can help reduce the discomfort of speaking up when a mistake is made. Thank you for sharing this. Excellent communication skills. Although you may never hear them, they do. I do not know of many other jobs that put you under the microscope every minute for a year, lol. But, confront them after surgery, not during. The OR is often considered a difficult place to work. You are right, over time we learn how to handle these things. But, most surgeons will not even remember what they said to you during surgery. I cannot understand that there are HR's still around that do not understand that this is verbal abuse with occasional physical assault and battery. You won't have to prove yourself to any one person, but to several people. Luckily our friendship survived. I take my job seriously and have never had an issue like this before. And don’t try to hide the fact that you’re wearing sandals under your shoe covers. I can’t wait until the day I can look back on the obstacles it took to get to being a great OR nurse. I am just saying that is how it is. Just grow that thick skin (not too thick) and remember to be nice to the new nurses once you are experienced. It is a tough environment and I am a gentle spirited person who has had many life experiences toughen me up but it is rough dog eat dog environment sometimes especially with older techs and nurses and physicians focused on their numbers and ego not their patients or team. Before it overwhelms you, make a routine. Paraphrasing and stating where your knowledge came from will give you more authority. I love being a part of surgery, but holy crap the clashing personalities make it more exhausting than anything. Knowing what to write comes from the daily experience of completing procedures and learning from mistakes. See our privacy policy for more information. Here are a few tips for new grad nurses in the operating room. Is the room a flurry of activity as the teams try to stabilize a crashing patient? Once you are on your own, you will be able to choose the ways that work best for your personality and time management preferences. The charge nurse knows where all of the staff are assigned and can send unassigned staff to help out when necessary. I will ask the speaker how to better myself. This is one of the reasons that surgeons hate to see their circulator standing (or sitting) and having a conversation with the anesthesia provider that does not pertain to the surgery or the patient. And an angel lifts your head up for lifesaving water from a straw. orthopedics, GYN, general, etc.) If I don't get respect from that, at least I still have self respect. Write me any time, even if it is just to vent. Another vital skill in the OR is reading the energy of the room to grasp what is happening at any given time. I was gone for 2 minutes and returned with the paperwork. Over time you will learn when you can joke and when it will get you yelled at. But flip side you see some Drs who amaze you are meticulous and very best patient outcome focus and you feel such pride being part of their team and working with them. For the 13 years since she became a nurse, Kelly Jewell, 35, has spent 11 of those as an operating room nurse. They lift you up and keep you going. Examples of helpful information to include in the notebook are: There is something to be learned from every nurse you work with in the unit – whether they have a few months of experience or several years. Have you asked your manager's or the other nurses' advice on how to handle him? This also offers an opportunity to ask a preceptor questions. I want to stay in the OR, I just hope I survive first :( It’s hard to build confidence when people keep beating you down.... Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on November 05, 2018: C Henson, you pose a very good question.