help! Are surgical techs and RNs the same??

  1. I am an operating room nurse at a rather large hospital. This facility has made it so that the Surgical techs and the RNs are pretty much equal. Therefore i am often talked to with disrespect and sarcasm, as well as constant undermining. I am feeling like i wasted my time going thru four years of college to have my RN be disregarded. I was a surgical tech for 15years and i never behaved that way. My alligence was always to my nurse. And when things went wrong i knew we had each others back.
    I don't want to boss people around but i do think that a lot of the decisions in my room should be left up to me since i have a license on the line. however i am very open to ideas from my scrub person. I just don't like being told what "I need to do!" I feel i have earned the right to make decisions, but if i am seen as equal to my surgical tech then why did i bother being a nurse............. I am trying to be a team player but it just seems kind of weird to me that the roles have been sort of reversed.
  2. Visit BernadetteRNBSN profile page

    About BernadetteRNBSN

    Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 26
    Operating room nurse

    102 Comments

  3. by   sharann
    Sounds like more of a hostile work environment with poor management of staff rather than you personally. Since you were a ST for many years you know the score. Maybe a new job is in order? Our techs treat the OR nurses the way they are treated. If they don't give respect they get it back.
  4. by   SFCardiacRN
    I also was a tech first then RN. As a tech I over-estimated my abilities and under-estimated the nurses. Until RN school, I didn't know what I didn't know. Many techs have a giant chip on their shoulder and their behavior is really jealousness over your licensure. And some surgeons seem to egg them on!!! Fortunatly, I work at an all RN OR. We only have a few travelor techs and they are well behaved or gone after 12 weeks. Document unprofessional tech behavior with HR and nursing admin. You'll find that hospitals will always back the RN. That is why you did NOT waste 4 years.
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    There's plenty of people in ORs with chips on their shoulders, no matter the job title, it's not just limited to techs. I've worked with a few nurses that had the holier-than-thou attitude, and treat the less-than-thou surgical techs like total crap. It's different in different places.

    Many techs have a giant chip on their shoulder and their behavior is really jealousness over your licensure.
    I kinda disagree with this, since a couple of techs where i work have put off going to nursing school, afraid that becoming a nurse is going to give them the same hateful attitude that they're already putting up with from a couple of the current nurses. A strange way to think, but in way, i could see why, when i've overheard a few say things like "You all don't belong here, you're just cheap help, and we don't need you" (overheard that a month ago, it was beyond uncalled for). Besides, who wants to come to a job where people are this **** bitter?

    Our techs treat the OR nurses the way they are treated.
    And that's the way it should be, mutual respect all around.
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from BernadetteRNBSN
    I am an operating room nurse at a rather large hospital. This facility has made it so that the Surgical techs and the RNs are pretty much equal. Therefore i am often talked to with disrespect and sarcasm, as well as constant undermining. I am feeling like i wasted my time going thru four years of college to have my RN be disregarded. I was a surgical tech for 15years and i never behaved that way. My alligence was always to my nurse. And when things went wrong i knew we had each others back.
    I don't want to boss people around but i do think that a lot of the decisions in my room should be left up to me since i have a license on the line. however i am very open to ideas from my scrub person. I just don't like being told what "I need to do!" I feel i have earned the right to make decisions, but if i am seen as equal to my surgical tech then why did i bother being a nurse............. I am trying to be a team player but it just seems kind of weird to me that the roles have been sort of reversed.
    The manager needs to address this. It sounds like they've gotten away with this for quite awhile, and it's only going to get worse untill it's fixed. A complete lack of definition make for a poorly run system.

    I had one day i was in a room with two nurses that didn't get along. Well, the scrub nurse (who had a tendency to be bossy) told the circulator "You know, i think you need to do this." The circulator, fed up after 7 hours of that said "I haven't decded what i need to do, but i have decided where i think you should go." It was quiet the rest of the evening.
  7. by   BernadetteRNBSN
    Thanks guys for all your thoughts. i think i may send the acting manager an email about how i(we) am feeling. I will make sure i'm to the point.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    (Acting manager? Where's the regular manager?)
  9. by   BernadetteRNBSN
    she was awesome. however one day when we all got to work we found out that she had quit effective immediately. and was replace by a woman who is very nice but really doesn't have any intentions on staying in the management position.
  10. by   Pam RN
    Funny you should mention this. I've been working in a surgicenter for a short time and feel the same way you do. A few of the techs have a real attitude towards the RN's and one bad day a went off on two of them after tiring of their comments. The instigater of most of it looked at me in complete shock and told me she wouldn't have said anything if she knew if bothered me so much.

    Where I work our supervisor is a tech and is good at the job, respects everyone and gives us nurses our due. I think the company that owns the centers is making a habit of hiring techs for managerial roles because "they're cheaper" as one person put it. That then, disturbs me. I feel that some techs really think our job is a piece of cake and if one is good at their job they can make it look easy. But, as we all know there are so many responsibilites that the techs are void of so then it gives them a sense of confidence without the consequenses.

    I used to work at a hospital that employed a mostly RN staff which gave us opportunities to scrub and participate in both roles. I didn't feel demeaned there and didn't feel like I had to watch my back because a knife was going to be plunged in it out of jelousy. The person that said it creates a hostile work environment is so right. Although my current position works for me at the moment (hours, case load, ease of travel) I still will be open to any position that should come my way if it is in a more supportive and professional environment.
  11. by   carcha
    My only advise and this is following experience in North America is to get both your job discriptions and compare them. Then if any tech disrespects you or your role you should take the discription and show it to the tech. When its written on paper you will find a lot of people will back away, they dont have a leg to stand on. Anyone who thinks this will cause a bad atmosphere should read the original posting to realise that the atmosphere couldent get worst. Be firm, you have worked hard for your license, dont risk it to keep another person happy
  12. by   SFCardiacRN
    Amen carcha!
  13. by   Corvette Guy
    Bernadette, I agree with you 101%. In fact, for similar reasons you mentioned I plan on getting out of the OR as a Circulator very soon. IMHO, often times the Surgeon will cause alot of the dissent btwn the Circulator & Scrub Tech.
  14. by   BernadetteRNBSN
    well today was very interesting. I had a talk with a scrub tech and a mediator to discuss how she is inapproprite often times before, during, and after a case. She is so bold and brazen to tell the surgeons, residents, and nurses what to do or "what you need to do". I just wanted to let her know that that is out of her scope of practice. and her scope of practice is what ever her job discription says (thanks Carcha) Well she informed me that she is 36 and can say what she wants if she wants to voice her opinion and if i did not have specific details of an events "this meeting is over!!" can you say insubordinate......... see because they have us as equals there is no respect. I think people are afraid of her. I am not. I feel so disrespected. i just don't want tension in my room when she is my tech. I believe there is no changing her and i am simply going to write her @$#@$ up each and everytime she is inappropriate. She really is ruining my many years of anger management. I hate to go to that dark place, but i just might...............
    PS thanks for the advice on the job discription. i ran and got mine right away and read it from front to back!!!

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