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Perioperative Nurse (Surgical RN)

Perioperative, Surgical, Operating Room, Theater Nurse

– they are all one and the same.

They are the angels who assist in surgeries; the ones, alongside with the surgeon, who took responsibility of one’s well-being while having that baby out via Caesarean section or when re-connecting those coronary arteries in a heart bypass.

OR Nurses roles and responsibilities depends on their role

Prior to surgery:
  1. Ensures that the operating room is clean and okay for set-up.
  2. The scrub nurse also prepares the equipments needed for the surgery.
  3. Secure that all equipment are complete and strerile.
  4. Together with the circulating nurse, they keep account of all the instruments, sponges, needles and other materials brought in the sterile field.
  5. The scrub nurse also ensures that the sterile field remains sterile.
  6. Assist the surgeon/s in gowning and gloving through proper technique. Watch this:

During surgery:

  1. The scrub nurse should be knowledgeable on various equipment (depending on the procedure) to accurately select and hand-in instruments to the surgeon.
  2. Utilize a keen eye and familiarise himself on different hand signals, while keeping the sterile field, of course, sterile.

After surgery: 

  1. Ensure that the equipment brought and used in the sterile field are complete and intact.
  2. Usually, the scrub nurse will change gowns, gloves and everything to scrub again for another surgery.

Prior to surgery:

  1. The circulating nurse, together with the scrub, ensures that the operating room is okay for set-up
  2. Account for all of the equipment brought inside the OR such as gauze, sponges, and pads.
  3. Verify that all of the machines are working properly, as well as to verify that the patient, surgery, surgeon and site of surgery are correct and known by everyone in the OR.

During surgery: 

  1. The circulating nurse will stay on the table where all of the equipment are laid.
  2. Hand-in of needed tools, clean used tools properly, and replenish other needed equipment.
  3. Maintains sterility of the sterile field.

After surgery: 

  1. Together with the team, ensure that the equipment and other materials (used or unused) are complete and intact.
  2. Helps the anesthesioligist with tube removal, updates the Recovery Nurse regarding the patient’s status, and
  3. May need to prepare again for the next surgery.

Prior to surgery: 

  1. The recovery nurse (together with the surgeon) prepares the patient for surgery.
  2. Keep record of the patient’s vital signs, intake and output record, and
  3. Help the patient meet their needs prior to operation, such as their spiritual needs, for example.

After surgery: 

  1. The recovery nurse is in charge of the patient’s well-being after surgery.
  2. Track the progress of patient’s condition, monitor vital signs, provide medications and analyze laboratory results as needed.
  3. Patient health teaching – do’s and dont’s after surgery, including proper nutrition and follow-up consultations.

Did you know? Perioperative nurse doesn’t only work in a hospital’s operating theater. They may practice their specialty in community care centers, ambulatory care units or even at a physician’s office! According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses working in surgical hospitals earn an annual mean wage of $74,270 with a job outlook of 15%, which is much faster than average!

How is it like to be an Operating Room Nurse? Watch this:

How to be one? You should:

  1. Obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. (BSN)
  2. Pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) in your state.
  3. Get experience! Work, work, work!
  4. Obtain you Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR) certificate.
  5. You’re good to go! You, Perioperative RN!

Thinking of becoming an Operating Room Nurse? Share us your thoughts here! :)

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