Questions on surgical nursing

  1. Hello,

    I am 17 and enrolled in a LPN program to explore nursing. I am really interested in surgical nursing. Could you tell me the the different roles and jobs for surgical nursing. What type of schooling does it require? Anything that you can tell me would be great.

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    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 7


  3. by   Daytonite
    hi, lj!

    i was actually going to reply to one of your other posts before i took a look at this post you made. i decided to answer this one first. first of all, what a great thing you did to go to nursing school so young! you have so much of life and a career ahead of you.

    i am assuming that you are interested in working in surgery, not on a post-op surgical unit. as an lpn in surgery you would be a scrub nurse. that means you would work in the sterile field with the doctor handing him instruments and assisting him about as closely as anyone could without actually tying the sutures. you would help set up the surgical room before the patient arrives, specifically the sterile field, and help with the clean up afterward. lpns work under the direction of the rn circulator who manages the surgical room and makes sure that everything is going as it should. the rn is not in the surgical field and is able to be the go-for and bring things to you and the doctor who remain in the sterile field.

    lpns are also widely utilized in gi labs where doctors are doing upper gis and colonoscopies as well as pulmonary labs where bronchoscopies are done. many of these procedures are now being done in outpatient surgical centers as well as hospital ors. part of the job involves learning how to sterilize the endoscopes that are used in these procedures.

    a post-op surgical unit is where a patient stays after having their surgery. it is not much different from a medical floor of a hospital except that most of the patients have had a surgery. there are many ways care is delivered to patients. either by primary care where each nurse is assigned a specific number of patients to perform all care on, or by team nursing where as an lpn you may be assigned to only give medications, or do treatments and dressing changes only. each unit organizes and gives the patient care the way that has worked the best for them.

    getting through your lpn program is about all the initial training you need. you will also need to take and pass the nclex-pn licensing exam. just before you are ready to finish your lpn program you should start applying to hospitals and outpatient surgical centers and talking with nurse recruiters and letting them know you want to be a surgical nurse. they will tell you what is available. some may tell you that they would like you to have at least one year of experience on a medical/surgical unit first. you should also talk about this with your nursing instructors and see what kind of advice they will have for you. once you are hired on your first lpn nursing job you will be given orientation and on the job training for that particular nursing specialty.

    this is a thread that was started by one of the forum members who works in surgery. you might want to read through it:

    see you on the nursing student forums. welcome to allnurses!