Would it be inappropriate to ask for a transfer to another department after six weeks of working in an OR because I miss patient interaction?

By | 2021-05-28T17:42:39-04:00 January 21st, 2015|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I switched jobs back from an ambulatory surgical center to a hospital OR. I thought what I wanted was more OR experience and after being there for six weeks, I’m not happy. It has nothing at all to do with the people I work with; they are all really great people. I have discovered what I desperately miss is patient interaction, discussing the patient’s health history, using my assessment skills and performing other duties I don’t get to do in my current position.

Would it be considered inappropriate to put in for a transfer to another department so soon after being hired or should I wait a while before doing so? I could be content in this position but not very happy.

To Stay Or To Go

Dear Donna replies:

Dear To Stay Or To Go,

Sometimes you have to cut your losses quickly and move on. There is not much point in staying unhappy because of how it might look. I once accepted a position and knew within two weeks it was not the right job for me. But, like you, I didn’t want to quit so soon. So I stayed for six months becoming increasingly unhappy. I eventually resigned. I did learn a lot while there about the specialty and about myself. I vowed to trust my instincts when something isn’t right for me.

You might consider talking to your supervisor to let him know how you’re feeling and why. Ask for his advice. I’ll bet you’re not the first nurse new to the OR setting who came to the same realization. Then go ahead and put in for a transfer if it seems like the right thing for you to do.

In the article, “To act or not — it’s your decision” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/To-act-or-not), I provide five steps to follow.

You have to follow your heart and go with your gut. It’s your life and career regardless of what anyone else thinks. And you have to live with your decisions so do what makes you happy and fulfilled.

Best wishes,


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