- You do paperwork, monitor the entire sterile field and make sure it is not compromised, before the procedure. Make sure all equipment is set up and running appropriately, run to get anything that anyone on the team needs beforehand.
- You learn to become become methodical, as an OR nurse you will be setting up instruments before the surgery and passing it to the surgeon. This helps you because upon closing you are responsible to count all the sponges and instruments to make sure nothing is left in the body .
- You learn to anticipate what the surgeon needs before they ask.
- You never really know what your coworkers look like because your used to seeing them in sterile clothing, hair covers and masks and gloves.
- You appreciate the ability of human bodies because you get accustomed to sight of blood, body odors, internal body organs including being naked.
- You learn to develop a thick skin and not take things personally because you are around some really headstrong, insecure, impulsive and interesting personalities.
- You learn to really rely on a team to keep the ship from sinking and get things to go smoothly.
- You develop OCD around having a sterile field and become a clean freak.
- You learn to control your bladder for hours and forget what hunger felt like. You become a master at it after a few long surgeries when you miss your lunch breaks.
- There are easy and hard days with high intensity depending on the procedure, for example moving patients, working with heavy instruments, holding forceps or camera still for long periods of time for the surgeon.
- After the surgery, once closing count is done, you help with cleaning and dressing and transporting the patient to PACU(Post anesthesia care unit). You help set up the monitors and you officially hand off the the patient care. You also have responsibilities of labeling and sending off specimens collected during surgery to pathology.
- And finally, you make sure the room gets turned over pretty quickly before you start out another case.
The field teaches to become organize, because the more prepared you are the better you can handle anything that comes your way. The moments in surgery can go as routine or in a split second complication can arise and there is dead silence, these are moments to watch closely so in the future you can stay one step ahead
If you enjoy fast paced environment, high adrenaline rush and have no physical limitations, you'll love being part of an OR team. The actual job itself is rewarding, you'll get to see the difference you made.