What are your roles in the OR?

  1. [FONT=Fixedsys]Do you have patient interaction before and after the surgery? Like put in IV lines before? Who preps the patient (shave, scrub, position, draping)? The circulator or the scrub/ST? Do you help with restocking and pack preparation? Who cleans the theatre afterwards, is there housekeeping or is it the OR staff? What about after? Do you play any role in recovery, applying bandages, giving meds, etc, or are all your duties in the OR only??

    [FONT=Fixedsys]What exactly is involved in circulating? I know charting and monitoring the patients vitals. And if the surgeon needs something not there, the circ runs and gets it, right? What else is involved? I know it is very demanding and challenging and would love to hear more in-depth about the roles in the OR. If anyone wants to give a summary of a typical day, that would be great! Thanks!!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Annony RN
    [FONT="Fixedsys"]Do you have patient interaction before and after the surgery? Like put in IV lines before? We meet, interview and do a focused assessment of the pt. Answer questions and reassure. Sometimes I put in IVs, sometimes the CRNA/MDA does it. Either of us might start antibiotics, IV h2 inhibitors, etc. All other drugs they give exclusively

    [FONT="Fixedsys"]Who preps the patient (shave, scrub, position, draping)? The circulator or the scrub/ST? Circulator shaves and scrubs the site, Circ, CRNA/MDA, and soemtimes surgeon or PA/RNFA positon as a team, Scrub person drapes ith or ithout help of surgeon/assistant.

    [FONT="Fixedsys"]Do you help with restocking and pack preparation? restocking, yes. Very little to do with packing except replacing some hardware in sets. We also flash our own sets if we need to reuse them.

    [FONT="Fixedsys"]Who cleans the theatre afterwards, is there housekeeping or is it the OR staff? Housekeeping... unless I'm really pushing for a fast turnover

    [FONT="Fixedsys"]What about after? Do you play any role in recovery, applying bandages, giving meds, etc, or are all your duties in the OR only?? Circ applies bandages and assists CRNA/MDA with extubation and immediate recovery before handing off to PACU

    [FONT="Fixedsys"]What exactly is involved in circulating? I know charting and monitoring the patients vitals. And if the surgeon needs something not there, the circ runs and gets it, right? What else is involved? I know it is very demanding and challenging and would love to hear more in-depth about the roles in the OR. If anyone wants to give a summary of a typical day, that would be great! Thanks!! You're right about the running! We only monitor and chart vitals on local or conscious sedation cases without a CRNA/MDA. Lots of charting. We also hook up and run equipment- cautery, insufflation, suction, irrigators, power injectors. Also assist CRNA with hanging blood, labs, emergencies...
  4. by   Satori77
    Thanks, this is really helpful. I am not a nurse yet, so my thoughts on this might change, but OR nursing is one that I am definitely interested in. Though I would love to scrub too. All the hospitals in my area employ surg techs to scrub though, nurses don't. I am really considering going for that first, just so I can scrub for awhile. I know that would mean putting my nursing education on hold for awhile, which I don't want to do (I am 30 now), so I am pretty torn...
  5. by   GadgetRN71
    Quote from Satori77
    Thanks, this is really helpful. I am not a nurse yet, so my thoughts on this might change, but OR nursing is one that I am definitely interested in. Though I would love to scrub too. All the hospitals in my area employ surg techs to scrub though, nurses don't. I am really considering going for that first, just so I can scrub for awhile. I know that would mean putting my nursing education on hold for awhile, which I don't want to do (I am 30 now), so I am pretty torn...
    My hospital employs many surg techs, and new RNs in the OR are also trained to scrub. This tends to work out for everyone involved, especially if there are call outs etc. I was a tech before and while I loved my job, the pay was ridiculous compared to how much I spent for my surg tech program. I wish I had gone to nursing school right out of the gate..plus, if you ever want to branch out and try something new, it's a lot easier to do that as an RN

    IMHO, go to nursing school. I'll bet you'll be able to find an OR that is willing to teach you how to scrub.
  6. by   Satori77
    I hope so. Everyone I have talked to in this area (nurses and surg techs) say that ONLY techs scrub, nurses don't. I would enjoy being in the OR either way, but I know I would love scrubbing....on the other hand, I have always wanted to be a nurse and I know there are so many opportunities out there for RN's. I like variety and am not sure I would want to do any one thing (even if it is amazing) for 20 years.
  7. by   ewattsjt
    The comments you may hear, “Techs scrub and nurses don’t” is coming from a growing trend to use techs to scrub. It is a financial thing...for every 3 techs they employee, they get an extra for free because of pay differences and sometimes 2 will get an extra. You must look around at the facility where you will be to see how they handle it. At the facility I work it is that techs scrub unless there is a shortage, and then an RN will scrub. I know of a place that is a surgery center that is closer to me that only hires RNs.

    The pay scale is vastly different (between a tech and nurse) and here the associate degree for a CST has the same prerequisites and costs the same as an associate in nursing. Your options would be more with a nursing degree because you can transfer to different departments, etc... A tech will only be in surgery/decontamination/central and possible move into management with a BS in healthcare management.

    I wish you well in your decision.
    Last edit by ewattsjt on Dec 12, '07
  8. by   Satori77
    Thanks, you all have given me a lot to think about.

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