How does OR nursing in the US differ from other countries?

  1. Ok so I'm a nurse in Australia. I have been in the OR for 6 years & I love it. I'm intrigued as to how the OR is different compared to Australia.

    We have 3 nurses to a OR for all cases. 2 are scrub/circulating nurses who will take turns in scrubbing throughout the day (we don't have techs). And the 3rd nurse is an anesthetic nurse who assists the anesthetist.

    We also have OR tech who help position the patient, set up equipment and make sure all equipment is in the OR for the surgeon.
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    About Sezza83

    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 67; Likes: 49
    from AU
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in OR and Midwifery


  3. by   Rose_Queen
    I think you'll find each facility does it differently, even in the same country. At my facility (US), we assign 1 circulator (always an RN) and 1 scrub (almost always a surgical technologist, rare occasions will be a nurse). Some rooms get 2 scrubs (mainly vascular and cardiac). We have anesthesia techs who are responsible for helping anesthesia providers, which in most cases is just with turnover. Sometimes they help with arterial line insertion, central line insertion, or hold for epidurals. Patient care assistants are responsible for helping in room turnover, moving/positioning patients, and holding for preps. Generally, staff in the room is responsible for gathering equipment and supplies between cases.
  4. by   elle604
    In rochester ny, at my hospital there is usually 2 nurses circulating on day shifts and always 1 scrub tech could be an rn if short. The Operating room assistance help with turnovers, moving help, prepping if needed and grab equipment and supplies if the nurses havnt grab it yet before surgery. The nurse will transport patient from holding area to surgery room and sometimes anesthisia will help. On evening shifts there's generally 1 rn circulating and we can be put in any services except the heart team because they have their own people. The anesthesiologist is always present of course and it could be a crna. So depending where you located in the U.S. its very different on how the OR is structured.
  5. by   Sezza83
    Thanks very much for your replies!
  6. by   RN-J.
    I work in a hospital in northern Ontario, Canada and we only ever have 2 nurses assigned to each OR room. It would be really nice to have a 3rd to be able to help with all the extra bits, however funding is constantly being cut to hospitals in Ontario so we are scheduled with the bare minimum to be able to run. 1 RN to circulate and either 1 RPN or RN to scrub. We do not utilize scrub techs (I'm not aware of anywhere in Canada that does). The circulating RN is responsible to assist the anesthetist for intubation and extubation, assist with patient positioning and then do all the rest of the running around throughout the case. We have RBA's (Room Based Attendants we call them) that clean the rooms and help turnover between cases. Then the scrub nurse is responsible for their setting up/tearing down etc. Hope that helps!
  7. by   Greenclip
    In my hospital the nurses scrub and circulate. Depending on the case we would have at least 2 and up to 4 nurses in the room. It's a large academic hospital so the nurses never assist with anesthesia. There is an anesthesiologist (doctor) with a resident or a CRNA (master's prepared nurse), who may or may not have a student CRNA with him/her.
    Again because it's a large academic hospital, the nurses rarely first or second assist. That is done by the residents, fellows, and med students, who also usually drape the patient.
    We have techs, but their work role is like the RBA's that RN-J described above.