Hey Christine, tell us about yourself!
Hi! I’m Christine. I’m a nurse + educator for the OR (Operating Room) department. I’m a mama to 2 young babes, surviving day to day. 🤯🥰 My favorite thing to do is lounge and eat chocolates while watching the Office or korean dramas! (I’ve watched the full seasons of the Office 5738473959 times over and that might just be my greatest accomplishment.)
Can you tell us what you do as an OR RN Educator for those who are unfamiliar?
The full title is Operating Room Education Program Coordinator. I’m the nurse educator for the OR department. I teach all things related to surgery to current OR nurses in my department and new graduate nurses who are new to OR. I also do a lot of (boring) work such as writing policies and procedures and I coordinate a lot of meetings, trainings, competencies, etc.
How did you decide to pursue your specific career?
I always knew I wanted to be in the service industry. There was a point where I was debating between teaching and nursing. I also always knew I had a fear of commitment (with all things in life haha). Nursing was the perfect fit because there’s so much you can do in the world of nursing: different roles, different departments, different shifts, etc. I chose the OR because I felt like it was a unique, team-centered environment and I liked that there was the same process, a beginning and an end to every case.
I became an educator because of my love for teaching. To be able to teach and be an RN, it really is a perfect combination for me and I’m so thankful. My favorite part of my job is teaching and mentoring new grad nurses. I consider them all my little babies! They are so cute, fresh and excited. But as much as they might learn from me, I learn so much from them. I honestly enjoy the relationships the most. That is the most meaningful part of my job. 💛
What made you interested in your field?
I really don’t know how to answer this without being cheesy, but the truth is it was always about my love for people. I knew I wanted to be in a profession that helped others. And I knew I wanted to be around and interact people on the daily. I was always interested in being an educator because teaching always felt fulfilling and I also knew I was good at it.
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
I interview new nurses all the time. I would say what stands out the most is when you have a passion and you are able to clearly articulate what it is and what you’re going to do with it. This is basic, but you’ll be surprised how many people will apply to be an OR nurse but hardly have an idea what an OR nurse does. Also, I noticed a lot of young new grads have great, wonderful aspirations but it is evident that they are only wanting to be in this particular role for a short period of time. As much as we love the goals and determination, we also realistically want someone who is going to make a reasonable commitment to our department. Older gen (like me 😩) admire loyalty, commitment and devotion. Also, take your time to think about the questions asked and answer honestly and thoughtfully. Maturity and thoughtfulness are a gem.
3 Character traits that would make someone excel in your field
Fearless, Engaged, Socially adept
Most difficult thing about your job?
I wish I had more time. I often feel spread pretty thin.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
Don’t be scared. Use your voice and be confident. You are stronger than you think. Don’t overthink every situation. Focus on the moment. Don’t let the past or future steal the joy of this very moment. Ask questions and take every opportunity to learn. Always be grateful.
Best advice you've received/heard?
Hmm, I don’t know if this is advice but I love this from Mayo Angelou, a good reminder to be present and sincere when talking to patients and to one another. “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Oh but let’s not one from my favorites: “You should never settle for who you are.” - Michael Scott 😂
Any last thoughts, advice, or recommendations for someone who is interested in becoming an OR RN Educator?
I know in the nursing world, there’s a lot of seasoned (aka old) nurses who can be discouraging to the younger gen of nurses. Don’t doubt yourself. You know more than you think and you’re a lot stronger than you think. Take initiative, be brave! You will be the change we need. Burnout is real but if you love people, focus on that. Day in and day out, remember why you chose this path and you’ll be good. The best nurses are the ones who treat each patient/person like family. Expect the bad days, the days you aren’t 100. The point is to keep moving forward - upwards and onwards. 💪🏼 You’re going to do great! Please feel free to contact me if you’re interested in nursing or the OR!