First time in the OR

  1. I am so exited Today during my clinicals my instructor asked me if I want to come to the OR and watch a surgery for a bowel obstruction. Of course I went, but I was so nervous. I have never seen surgery before, so I did not know how I will feel about it. But it was so great!!!! Everybody was so relaxed in the OR, and people were talking during surgery. I tought it is silence the whole time while the Doctor performs the procedure. Boy was I wrong. :smackingf
    I have a question for all you OR nurses. I have notice that there are RNs in the OR with different duties and responsibilities. I never knew there were different types of OR nurses. Can somebody explain to me all the different roles of all RNs there? I am a little confused.
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    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 964; Likes: 208


  3. by   suzanne4
    The first RN that you will see is the Circulator, they are responsible for the room; making sure that everything runs smoothly, will do the counts with the scrub, acts as the advocate for the patient, makes sure that equipment and supplies are in the room, etc.

    The Scrub can be either a Surgical Technologist or an RN. They assist the surgeon by preparing suture and handing instruments to the doctor. This is extremely abbreviated in their role.

    RNFA, Registered Nurse First Assistant, will function in the role of first assistant to the surgeon, similar to the role that a surgical resident would have.

    CRNA, the nurse anesthetist is also an RN but with specialized training of another two years beyond the BSN, and they are responsible for providing anesthesia to the patient.

    Normally, you will always see at least one RN in the room, the Circulator, the others will vary depending on staffing at the facility. Some will use all RN staff, and others will use STs as the scrub person. Some facilities will use an RNFA, especially if they do not have surgical residents, and anesthesia is either done by the CRNA or a physician with specialty training in anesthesia.

    Hope that this helps give you a brief overview.............
  4. by   NurseLatteDNP
    Thank you Suzanne. I have seen the Nurse that was counting all the supplies, and there was also the RN assisting the Doctor. But there were 2 more RNs in the room in case something needed to be brought from the supplies (which happened). I have seen the CRNA and the resident CRNA. So total there were 4 RNs there and a CRNA. The Anestesiologist just came for a few minutes before and after the surgery. It was just an amazing experience.
  5. by   SFCardiacRN
    I also found the OR exciting after my first observation. There have been ups and downs over the last 25 years but I still really love it. And It is still exciting to me!!!