What are attitudes towards Perioperative RN's?

  1. Hey everyone

    sorry I'm not posting this in the Perioperative forum, but it gets like one post a month lol, so I thought I'd try here.

    I'm interested in becoming a Perioperative RN, and I'm wondering how they are treated. I've heard that a lot of RN's aren't treated with a lot of respect from people above them, how about Perioperative RN's?

    Also, for anyone who can answer, I've read online that these type of nurses work in the hospital's surgical bays. Is this true? I've heard they assist in surgery, check OR equipment, but then I've also heard that they look after patients in critical care.

    Can someone outline the responlibilites of what they do? I am REALLY intersted in working in the OR, assisting in surgeries and checking equipment, etc.

    If anyone could help me out, I'd really appreciate it
    Last edit by DMR1 on Jun 17, '03
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   fourbirds4me
    In our hospital most surgergies are assisted by scrub techs. Many doctors have their own nurses that assist when the complexity of the surgery warrants. Most surgical nurses in our hospital circulate and work pre-op and PACU.
  4. by   DMR1
    sorry, I'm relatively new to some of these terms, what is a scrub tech? Are they nurses who specialize further, past perioperative?
  5. by   Katnip
    Scrub techs aren't nurses. They're more like assistants, but they are the ones responsible for the surgical instruments before, during, and after and operation.
  6. by   DMR1
    Thanks for the quick replies!

    Also, what type of operations do Perioperative RN's perform? Are they basic, or complex, like open heart?

    AND, I think i already know the answer but I want to be sure, Perioperative RN's get payed, about the same as an ordinary RN, correct?

    Thanks
  7. by   charissa
    YEh, i mean RN's have a pretty standard pay depending on the area or hospital your in. It is a dept like any other that you can transfer in or out of, and like many others requires a little on the job training and orientation. The thing is most of the time you have to live within like 30 min for your on call time so you can get in quickly
  8. by   DMR1
    that's good, because I live in a city with a population of only 200,000 so getting around doesn't take too long.
  9. by   Katnip
    I'm a new grad and didn't do much in periop, but I'll try my best.

    Preop of course, helps ready the patient for the surgery.

    Circulating nurses are in the OR bay--they keep track of the paperwork, help get supplies when needed, and can run errands in and out of the room during the surgery.

    PACU-post-op are there to get the patient awake and monitor them before admitting or discharge.

    I know this is very simplistic. I've never been in a unit during a transplant or open heart, so I can't help you there.

    I do know that like most specialties, Periop nurses are in big demand.
  10. by   DMR1
    Hmmm, I was under the impression Periop nurses actually assisted in the surgery, but if they prep patients, that's good too
  11. by   fourbirds4me
    DMR.... I notice that you are in Canada.... Things could be totally different up there. I would say for the most part cheaper specifically trained scrub techs have taken over the "assist" part of surgery. I was totally disillusioned when I did my OR rotation because I had envisioned the oldtime TV version of OR nurse.... "scalpel......." "scalpel".....LOL
  12. by   cwazycwissyRN
    http://www.ornac.ca/articles/may94-3.htm

    I edited this to include this article

    This site may be helpful, it is canadian on the role of the peri-op nurse. It appears to be much like the hospital I work at here as a peri-op nurse. I did not read it all, but alot of similarities. Good luck with your decision.
    Last edit by cwazycwissyRN on Jun 17, '03
  13. by   cwazycwissyRN
    I am going to try that again
    http://www.ornac.ca/articles/mar94-4.htm
  14. by   chartleypj
    DMR1,

    This web site may amswer many of your questions re perioperative nursing: www.aorn.org

    In many respects perioperative nursing is no different than any other kind of nursing specialty. It can be more technical in that there is instrumentation and equipment involved. The working environment is different than say med-surg nursing in that we work very closely with surgeons and anesthesiologists as a team to provide the best possible outcome for our patients.
    RN's in the periop area assess, plan, provide and evaluate nursing care for the patient in surgery. RN's are the patients' primary advocate providing a safe environment for the patient at a time when they cannot advocate for themselves.
    RN's are capable of circulating or scrubbing in the OR; most facilities require by law that a Registered Nurse be the circulator in an OR here in the US. When they scrub they actually act as a 'second assistant' to the surgeon and his assistant. It is beyond the scope of nursing practice for an RN to act as a first assistant in many states without proper advanced practice and/or certification.
    Types of surgery are dependant on the size and level facility you work at.
    Respect is a big issue in all of nursing. When a nurse acts with integrity holding to the standards of nursing practice and respects herself and others, it becomes a non-issue in the OR.
    Good luck with your decision,

    Paula

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