Assisting/scrubbing in the OR..

  1. Those of you who scrub in-- do you ever have to hold certain devices or clamp certain things for long periods of time? A weird question, I know, but I have tendonitis (which I am seeing a specialist for and is being treated) and have some recurring issues with one of my wrists. Gripping things for long periods of time (or repetitively) aggravates it.

    Exploring OR as a possible future area and wanted to know if it's something I should rule out already

    Thanks in advance!
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    About ivyleaf, ASN, RN

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 294; Likes: 112


  3. by   Rose_Queen
    Depends on the type of surgery. I've held a kitner on a kelly clamp on a heart to occlude a coronary artery while the surgeon was grafting for up to 10 minutes. And you can't move at all when doing that.
  4. by   qrkid
    it can be a concern and not only for instruments. I have had cervical issues which cause my 1 arm to be numb and I sometimes have to stand and hold the heart while he does 2 grafts and all he can say is make yourself smaller. I even resort to using my other hand to hold my arm steady while obviously shrinking my body size to non existant.

    Something for you to consider about going into the OR. Does your facility have new to the OR RN's scrub? A lot of facilities do not use RN's to scrub so this may not be a concern for you with your plans to get the tendinitis taken care of.
    Last edit by qrkid on Aug 12, '17 : Reason: correct word
  5. by   rianne_w
    A little background on me, first: I am a CST, I've been scrubbing and assisting in the OR for a little over seven years now. I am currently taking pre-reqs for nursing school and I should hopefully be getting my RN, BSN within the next two years. I have scrubbed and assisted in thousands of surgeries- ranging from phacoemulsifications to spine 360's, CABGs, bowel resections, hearts, transplants of all kinds, etc.

    It is very rare that a circulating nurse scrubs in. The only time this really happens is if another scrub tech or assistant is unavailable, because as a circulator, you cannot leave your unsterile position in the operating room- what happens if we need something that isn't in the room? That's when the circulator goes and gets whatever is needed, and opens it onto the field!

    So, if you are concerned about your wrist and retracting, I really think you will be fine; the only thing is, 70% of circulating is charting-- not good for carpal tunnel/ tendonitis.... You will definitely have to lift heavy patients, their limbs, and equipment on a daily basis. A 400+ lb patient is commonplace in our OR (Houston, TX, bariatrics) , so there is a lot of muscle required to be in the operating room.

    Good luck with your future endeavors!!!
  6. by   Argo
    In some states there are mostly scrub techs, Texas there are mostly scrub techs... I have worked in a few states now and a lot use RN scrubs. I can do both but prefer circulating because I don't like the long cases you scrub doing transplant, spine and hearts.

    Yes, you will need to hold stuff in place for long periods of time.
  7. by   amiss5572
    @Rianne.. Wow do you get to work with Dr. Now??? Love watching him