It is a chance to nurse one patient at a time-to be the patient advocate, practice in a sequential prioritization process, be prepared for challenges in safety, pressure of time, working with logistics that may not be ideal, deal with physical activities, maintain your own safety and the safety of your peers, and in all this structure your care to meet the standards of practice. Knowledge of aseptic technique, be the voice of surgical conscience, control and containment of your environment, working in an efficient flow, and be in a practice that requires continual learning.
It is different everyday, every patient, every case. It requires a challenge of staying fresh, not becoming complacent-especially when outside pressures work against your alertness-deeming some cases "simple". No case is necessarily simple. All have the possibility of complications. The nurse has to be prepared for the worst case scenario-to provide the most appropriate responses to each case.
You communicate in a no-nonsense form, succinct and clear, speaking up and out with all the members of the surgical team. The responsibility and onus is on the nurse to be in charge of the room, no matter what. With that in mind, the sobering fact is that whatever goes on during a surgical case-the nurses' performance will be scrutinized beyond all others. You have to know your "stuff". It's a challenging and rewarding career choice and one that is never boring.