I just applied to a new grad OR nurse program, but I actually don't really know what OR nurses do. Does it include pre-op and post-op care, or will I be stuck in the operating room all day long handing instruments to a doctor??
Also, I apologize if this has been asked before. I went back a few pages and didn't see anything.
Aug 23, '12
Before landing my current job, I had shadowed/interviewed for the OR. They explained to me that the RN (at this particular hospital at least) fulfills the scrub role as well as the circulating role.
As the scrub RN, you pass instruments to the surgeon as well as set up sterile fields/equipment, help dress the surgical team, perform instrument counts with the circulator, communicate with the circulator when items are needed, and assist with passing off specimens (These are a lot of the major tasks that I witnessed but there are much more I'm sure...)
As the circulator RN, I noticed that they help set up the room with the scrub tech/RN, interview the patients, perform the "time out", keep track of used items for billing purposes, collect specimens and pass them on to pathology, perform instrument counts with scrub and DOCUMENT. There is a lot of documentation for the circulator RN.
I hope this gives you some kind of idea. It's MUCH MORE than simply passing instruments I assure you. They work very hard in the OR and it's a HUGE learning curve. Lots of equipment/instruments/procedures to learn. They told me it typically takes 6 months to a year to get it.
Last edit by Joe V on Aug 23, '12