OR & Psych Nurses are not “real” nurses…judging our own

OR Nurses BLOG

So before you get offended and stop reading my blog, that title was to get your attention. 

Well it is true, there are many nurses that will tell you that psych nurses are glorified counselors and OR nurses are just runners for instruments and supplies. I can tell you from experience watching these nurses in action… that neither is true.

First, I do not believe that either of these two groups of nurses are not “real”nurses. Second I could never do either of these jobs, I respect what they do. I respect the specialty of all nurses, no matter what area of nursing you are in. Ok, now that you know I love and respect all nurses, lets move onto the topic at hand.

So why do we judge other nurses and what they do? Working in different areas, leads us to develop a certain skill set. Many have said to me, “well you take care of the sickest kids in the hospital you are lucky, you could work anywhere in the hospital.” Yes, many areas I could work in because of my skill set, training, education and certifications and many areas I would be (as we say at work) “a hot mess”.  Cath lab, hematology oncology floor…ok any of the floors. Why you ask? I have not worked as a floor nurse for 5 years now, my skills in managing 4-6 patients are lacking. I have 1 maybe 2 patients at best in the PICU.  So yes when the floor nurse calls to give me report, I don’t judge if they do not know all of the “nitty gritty” information I am asking for, they don’t need to know all the specific details that I might want to know.  They are not going to give report like a PICU nurse because they are NOT a PICU nurse, so we shouldn’t judge. Phew.

So to my friends in the OR who put up with me bringing students down, getting in their way and asking questions, thank you for being an OR nurse because well…I couldn’t do that either. I could not sit there, sorry stand there and breathe in my own CO2 all shift! The freshness of gum doesn’t last a full shift people, I don’t care what the commercial says. OR nurses receive specialized training depending on their role in the OR, on top of their nursing degree. In a usually controlled environment, the “poop can hit the fan” and the OR nurse then must then manage an emergency situation. Not to mention the risk for fires in the OR is very high. True fact.

It is a whole different ballgame in the OR.

Lastly Psych nurses. Well, they might not be extremely proficient in starting IV’s, but I don’t care, their skill set is one I DO NOT HAVE. The patience of saint, the knowledge of a scholar and the ability to manage the sometimes unmanageable. They must be strong, yet compassionate. They also are put at huge risk for violence, injury from patients and burnout. Nope, not for me. My friend Joanne loves it and has flourished in this environment. She is amazing.

So I guess what I am trying to say is, lets respect our fellow nurses. We all do something special and no nurse is better than the other. So next time you want to complain about the “floor nurse. ER nurse, ICU nurse, psych nurse, OR nurse and any other nurse you come in contact with, ask yourself why. Could you and would you want to do their job?

So buy your fellow nurse a coffee and tell them that you appreciate what they do.

Take care of each other. Time to make some coffee.


3 thoughts on “OR & Psych Nurses are not “real” nurses…judging our own

  1. I totally agree!! We have a new program where they assign a mental health resource nurse for any off service mental health patients. While they don’t participate in direct patient care, they come to the floor, and answer any specific questions the nurses may have. It’s great!


  2. Love your article and thanks for the shout out on OR nurses! 😉 We all try our best in each area and I agree with you, there are some areas I could never work in either but there’s no need to judge anyone. Great you are a PICU nurse! 🙂


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