What to Expect in the Operating Room Nurse Career

Operating Room Nurse Career Overview
Operating Room Nurse Career Overview

The operating room nurse (ORN) career is one of the most rewarding and challenging nursing careers available. You may start off working in a hospital or other medical facility, and eventually work your way up to becoming a chief operating officer. The ORN job can be highly rewarding, but it’s not for the faint of heart. You will spend much of your time caring for patients during surgical procedures, including intensive care unit admissions, cardiac surgeries, and major abdominal operations. There are also periods when you’ll be caring for patients in the hospital’s general ward or in an out-of-hours emergency department. This is a fast-paced career that requires you to be organized, detail-oriented, and have strong communication skills. To become an ORN , you’ll need to have at least a high school diploma or GED as well as at least 2 years of nursing experience. Most importantly, though, you’ll need to have a true passion for helping people heal from illness or wound care. In this article, we break down everything you need to know about becoming an ORN .

What is an ORN job?

An ORN is a registered nurse with specialized nursing skills who works in a nursing setting. You may work in a hospital, healthcare facility, or another type of setting that has an operating room (the place where a doctor performs procedures such as amputations or surgeries). An ORN’s job is to assist in the management of patient loads, assist in the healing process, and ensure the safety of both the patient and the staff.

What does an ORN career look like?

You’ll start out as an entry-level nurse in a hospital setting, working in an OR suite (the part of the hospital where patients have medical procedures). Eventually, you’ll advance to working in a medical office setting, where you’ll be responsible for billing and managing patient care. As your experience grows, you may start working in other settings such as a doctor’s office or a long-term care facility.

Knowing your skill set before applying to nursing programs

In order to succeed as an ORN , it’s important to understand your skill set before applying to nursing programs. While there are many areas of nursing that overlap with other fields, such as surgery and anesthesiology, there are specialties within nursing that are focused on specific areas of care. This will help you stand out among other candidates when applying to nursing programs.

The best ways to stand out in the nursing application process

  1. Be aware of your interests.

Do you have a true passion for helping people heal from illness or wound care? If so, you may want to consider a career as a nurse practitioner. While both degrees provide you with similar nursing training, the post-master’s degree in nursing is a great option if you’d like additional training in a specific area.

  1. Be prepared to interview.

You’ll probably get matched up with patients during your time as an ORN , and you may be asked to talk to them and their families about their experiences with the healthcare system. While you won’t be treating patients in an urgent care clinic or an emergency room, you will need to be familiar with how to conduct an interview and how to properly document their experiences with the healthcare system.

Deciding where to apply to nursing programs

When you’re looking for an opportunity to break into nursing, it’s smart to apply to a program that’s close to home. That way, you can gain valuable nursing experience while getting your foot in the door with a local hospital. Many large hospitals have separate specialties for in-house training, so looking in that direction could help you stand out.

Beyond that, though, it’s important to consider where you want to go to school. Are you more interested in a generic nursing program that might not prepare you well enough for the job market? Or do you want to be specific and go to a school that specializes in nursing? This is something to think about carefully before applying, as it could affect your decisions about where to apply and even affect your applications to nursing programs.

Working in a hospital or other medical facility as an ORN

Working in a hospital or other medical facility as an ORN is a great way to get your foot in the door with a broad range of patients, including critically ill and injured patients. You may also find that you’re most comfortable with certain types of surgeries, like major abdominal procedures.

Most medical facilities will have an operating room (the place where doctors perform procedures such as amputations or surgeries). The operating room nurse (ORN) is responsible for managing the flow of patients, setting up and maintaining a surgical team, and taking care of patients while they’re under anesthesia.

Working in an out-of-hours emergency department as an ORN

Out-of-hours emergency departments (OHE) are places where most of the cases you’ll see are non-urgent, but you may find yourself working in an emergency situation. You’ll likely start out as an ORN in an emergency department, but your role will likely evolve over time to become more like a short-term emergency room doctor.

Out-of-hours emergency departments are notoriously overbooked, which may be why you see so many applicants. The good news is that you can thrive in this environment. First, you’ll have more room to grow as an ORN . At an OHE , you’re responsible for managing a large caseload. You’ll be providing primary medical care, as well as surgical and medical diagnostic services. This is a great environment to develop your leadership skills, as you’ll be managing large numbers of patients.

A little bit of luck goes a long way when you’re looking for work as an ORN

Despite what the job ads may say, the job of an ORN is rarely sunshine and unicorns. There will be challenging times, and you’ll likely find yourself dealing with tears, broken bones, and other challenges. This is a thankless job, but someone has to do it, and luckily for us, you’re one of them.

Your coworkers will likely be the most important people in your life. They may be your best friend, or your coworkers may be your family. They may be a spouse or a parent, or they may be a peer in a nursing home. Regardless of how you choose to bond with them, knowing and trusting them is incredibly important. Your coworkers will be your friends for as long as you work together, and you should treat them as such.

Tips for being successful as an ORN

Wrapping up!

An ORN job is a rewarding and challenging career, but it’s not for the faint of heart. You’ll spend much of your time caring for patients during surgical procedures, including intensive care unit admissions, cardiac surgeries, and major abdominal operations. There are also periods when you’ll be caring for patients in the hospital’s general ward or in an out-of-hours emergency department.

To become an ORN , you’ll need to have at least a high school diploma or GED as well as at least 2 years of nursing experience. Most importantly, though, you’ll need to have a true passion for helping people heal from illness or wound care.

Noah Chapman
Hello, Im Noah Chapman. Im Editor And SEO analysis for Cambridgehack.com. Im a man with 3 beautiful angels towards me. That my beautiful wife, and two beautiful daughters.