calling all nurses

Hi~ I am an RN and am retuning back to work and ak wondering if anyone knows of any problems with having a PM and working in the OR? I saw that Lenora is logged on and I know from readingyour posts you are a nurse..I'm wondering about cautery, laser, etc..I love working in the OR but want to make sure I can do it safely. Thanks!!


Pacemakers and OR

by lenora - 2007-04-05 11:04:30

Hi Blessed, You know a good OR nurse is worth her weight in gold right now! I work in CVICU with ventilators and monitors of all sorts and have never had a problem with my pacemaker. My nemesis is the copying machine for dr's orders. It makes me light-headed so I have to push the button and back up 3 feet! Do you scrub or circulate? If you scrub electrocautery might present a problem depending on how close you are to the surgeon when he's using it. Too close and your pacemaker might interpret the radiofrequency as cardiac activity and inhibit the pacer from initiating a heartbeat just like it would in the patient. I know the patient's pacemaker can show artifact during cautery, so it's not impossible for yours to if you were too close. You know when you scrub you're practically in the surgeon's armpit anyway so you might not be able to back away. Are you pacemaker dependent? That might also play a role in your decision. Lasers I think would be OK because they use them now to remove PM leads and they don't seem to do the pt's pacer any harm. I hope you will be able to get back to work doing what you love. If not, you know you can find a niche somewhere else in the hospital ( hint: one of the units!). Let us know what happens. Lenora


by blessed - 2007-04-07 12:04:19

Thanks so much for all your kind words of encouragement!! This has been a very difficult road for me and believe me I have had my share of major health problems but this one has been the worst even though it should be the easiest in comparison. It has helped so much to read all the posts and answers to know the things I am feeling are not so strange after all. I remember the last time I stood in an OR and looked around and I thought "this could be the last time I will be able to do this." I know what you mean Lenora about the strangest things (like the copier:-) making you feel weird. Hopefully I'll be able to sort all this out and figure out if I can go back to the OR or need to go down another path(like the units:-) Take care and have a wonderful Easter!!

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