Operating Room (A to Z Challenge)


If you’ve never been wheeled into an Operating room (O.R.) before, consider yourself lucky.  I’m about to give you a humorous tour of an O.R. from my nursing experience memories I had for over 15 years.   Just a heads up, Grey’s Anatomy and ER is fake compared to the real world 😉  Just sayin’

  • The O.R. rooms are freezing cold. Colder than air conditioning because we stand for long hours and the overhead lights send off a lot of heat and we wear gortex gowns.  We don’t want to faint during your surgery
  • Nurses give warm blankets to patients immediately when they arrive into the O.R. because of this cold temperature. Blankets are kept in a warming cupboard and we joke that we baked them because they’re so toasty and warm.  Patients laugh only because they are nervous
  • Helpful skill for an O.R. nurse is how to be a DJ because everyone fights over the music played in the room and you have to keep up with the program. Knowledge of classical music will get you on the good side of the surgeon
  • Surgeons want everything yesterday. Try to be one step ahead
  • You need to have a thick skin, nobody said it would be easy
  • Prepare to be yelled at, it’s nothing personal, just frustration venting. Breathe…
  • Despite all the equipment and beeps, it’s a very controlled environment and we take awesome care of patients one at a time
  • When helping the anesthesiologist in putting the patient to sleep, have a sense of humor and chat it up with the patient so they feel less nervous. Being a comedian comes in handy.  Hold the patients hand as they go off to sleep, they like this
  • Try to know your wine and beer list and travel destinations if you want to jump into the conversation happening between the surgeons, anesthesiologist and residents
  • R. nurses can give conscious sedation to patients for minor cases, therefore an anesthesiologist isn’t needed. The patient feels like they’ve had a few glasses of wine so having a sense of humor goes a long way because you can joke that you are their own private bartender, take their order and serve it straight up
  • Don’t say you like Rod Stewart to one surgeon otherwise he will kick you out of the room
  • The longest case I was in on was 14 hours, it was a multiple trauma case after a car accident, broken bones, bladder tear, collapsed lung
  • Eye cataract removal or tonsil removal cases take 5-10 minutes. Setting it up takes longer
  • Rule number one is always eat and go to the bathroom before you go into the O.R. because you never know when you will get out for a break
  • R. nurses sometimes start intravenous lines (I.V’s) this is called “breakfast” for surgical patients
  • When doing orthopaedic cases nurses are surrounded by pans of instruments and Murphy’s Law the surgeon asks for the “curvy one” that’s at the bottom of the pile at the back of your second table
  • Having orthopaedic experience is good because you know how to use power tools at home. Learn to love the lead apron and goggles
  • You must have a good memory to be able to remember all the instruments of every surgery and every preference of every surgeon. For example, Bulldogs are clamps for vascular surgery so I think of a dog biting someone and it causes them to bleed a lot. I know we are a sick bunch of people but it’s how we cope
  • My favorite names of instruments are ice cream cone, frying pan, alligators, bulldogs, mosquitos, peanut, persuader (don’t ask), and mother in law
  • The O.R. areas I worked in were General surgery, Vascular surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Urology, Orthopaedics, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology, Thoracic and Plastic surgery
  • Nothing grosses out or freaks out an O.R. nurse. Abs of steel.  We’ve seen everything especially in emergency situations.  Oh the stories….
  • You need to know computers and how to work with high tech equipment
  • Get used to wearing and sleeping with a pager when you are on call
  • Surgeries are ongoing 24/7 365 days a year and 4 a.m. is the witching hour where everything and everyone becomes hilarious for no reason. We’re just dead tired
  • You need to know how to drive very fast and not get caught by the police. I succeeded in this somehow
  • O.R. nurses are a lot of fun, we have big hearts and can be persuaded with chocolate

You are in great hands with an O.R. nurse if you ever need surgery ❤

Or a partner 😛


Much Love ❤



54 thoughts on “Operating Room (A to Z Challenge)

  1. Having had two babies in the OR, I can exactly understand how helpful it is to have a superb nurse. We look at the job from our perspective but your blog gave an insight into how tough a life it is! It made for an absolutely joyous read. Would look forward to one on your real life stories from the indoors of the OR.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much Sri for reading and for your lovely comments ❤ I'm happy your experiences in the OR were positive ones with your babies. I'll definitely need to pick one of many stories I have and blog about it one day 😉 Hope you are doing well my friend ❤


  2. Reblogged this on Discover Deepika and commented:
    Recived this post in my mail. Laughed my head off. Being the proud daughter of an orthopaedic surgeon, I honour this post so much and logged in immediately. Reblogged it. Read it again. Laughed my head off once more and would love to tell Jen she is one amazing nurse whom any patient would be blessed to go to ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Wow! Jenni. . This is such a beautiful post and at the same time very informative on operation rooms and surgeries. And Eye cataract in just 5-10 minutes! That’s awesome. I like the humor you added in this post. Feeling good after reading this. Each point brings a different energy in me. Such a helping and satisfying work you do. Thanks. And chocolates ❤
    Haha. .

    Have a good time. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You should better start a TV series and should definitely break Grey’s Anatomy’s all records. Well your experiences in O.P. can never be dramatized but can only be felt and you have made me to feel them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahaha..thank you so much Dileep and it’s really great to see you here! Your comments definitely made me smile and I’m sure I have enough data and stories to go on to make a good TV series 😛 Thank you for that 🙂 I’m very happy you were able to feel the experiences I have many great memories of working there. Btw, I visited your blog and left some comments but WP is giving me trouble when going to new sites so maybe check your spam folder to see if they landed there from me. Have a great Tuesday and thank you for visiting!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that is so good to hear Cheryl!! 😀 I’m glad you remembered them, so many others feel the same way you do. I always used to say to patients that we should all have a warming cupboard in our bathrooms! Wouldn’t it be nice to have warm towels all the time?


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