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Is it very often that RN's get to scrub in on surgeries, or are the RN's more exclusively becoming circulators while the surg techs take over scrubbing in?
RN's rarely scrub where I work. The only nurses that scrub are our davinci robot nurses. I always wanted to learn how to scrub because I have felt it would help me understand everything better (instruments, anticipating), but we are always so short of circulators that I haven't had the chance to do anything but circulate.
With the exception of the cardiothoracic team, the only RNs who scrub where I work are either RNFAs or former surg techs. Our CT nurses scrub in as second assist but none ever take the table. Nurses aren't taught how to scrub during orientation; they only get a day to practice and solely observe.
I'm a new OR nurse on orientation and I'm learning to scrub and circulate (1 week scrubbing and 3 weeks circulating through each service). We are taught to scrub so that we can do so on days when techs are shorthanded, or in case we need to give lunches/breaks to techs, etc. Circulating still makes up like 90% of our job, but we can request more scrub time in order to get more comfortable with instrumentation and such and they're pretty good about accommodating whenever staffing allows.
I scrub, circulate and first assist. I would guess that at the facility I (mostly) work at almost 40% of the nurses at least scrub if not FA on occasion. How often we scrub really depends on how the staffing ratio of RN to CST fluctuates. Currently, we are short on nurses and heavy on techs so the opportunity to scrub is limited. I firmly believe that the more you know about the different roles in the OR the better equipped you are to deal with challenges, whether it be a problem with equipment or a patient in crisis.
Our staff is about 80% RN, 20% scrub tech, RNs learn both roles upon starting as on the job training. I can appreciate that I'm a more flexible employee, but its stressful to have to learn 2 jobs at the same time when you start.
We have more nurses than techs at the hospital I work at, too, so we scrub regularly as RNs. If you are interested in scrubbing, you should definitely ask questions about that during interviews at each facility you may work. I think it really depends from hospital to hospital (or surgery center).
I am a brand new OR nurse (graduated May 2013) and we are being taught "Circulating" only. We have plenty of surgical techs and they are the ones who scrub in. We are a 528 bed facility and we only use the techs for scrubbing in a case.
whether you scrub or not depends on your facility's usage of surgical technicians, or if there is a shortage. i have been an RN in urology nursing for 20 years, and a nurse for over 30. my previous hospital was an ALL RN facility, and you scrubbed /circulated alternately, dependent on need. at that facility, the number of count errors was virtually zero, the number of surgical site infections was 0.3%. i like to think that is attributable to advanced education, and when i discuss this with former classmates in other facilities, i seem to find the same trend. for the last 24 years, at my current facility, there is a abundance of STs, and scrub days are rare, however i ensure that i scrub at least 5-7 cases per month, to maintain skill level. if you know how to scrub, being a circulator is much less difficult, and you are able to do a better job. in my opinion, if you can't do both, you are at a marked disadvantage.
at that facility, the number of count errors was virtually zero, the number of surgical site infections was 0.3%. i like to think that is attributable to advanced education.
So you're saying that because scrubs don't have the "advanced education", we get our counts wrong and our infection rates are higher? I find this statement rather demeaning to scrub techs. I've been scrubbing for years and I do EVERYTHING I can to make sure my sterile field and the integrity of my sterile field is not compromised. I've had 1 count error. 1! Too bad I don't have an "advanced education". Maybe that number would be zero.
at that facility, the number of count errors was virtually zero, the number of surgical site infections was 0.3%. i like to think that is attributable to advanced education,
I would say it has much more to do with the adherence to policy and AORN standards as well as the workplace culture of safety than whether the scrub is an RN or ST. Surgical site infections aren't tied just to the OR; post-surgical care of the wound in the post-op floor/home also affects surgical site infection rate.
I scrub and circulate. They only use nurses for scrub when we are short on scrub tech and for breaks. If you are a new hire they will not likely train you on scrub. However, if you extern at the hospital, they will train you for scrub. That's how I learn to scrub. I personally think it is really helpful if nurses know how to scrub, familiar with field and all.