Is it uncommon for nurses to scrub?

  1. I'm a student nurse, and sat in the OR last week. I loved it, but the RNs circulated, and the techs scrubbed. I would love to work in OR if I could scrub; not interested in circulating. Is it different everywhere? Thanks
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    About studentnurse74

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 562; Likes: 9
    RN
    Specialty: gynecology/oncology

    8 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    It depends on the facility, it depends on the rules, it depends on the procedure.
  4. by   cadillac05
    Yes, it is uncommon these days for RNs to scrub. By law, a circulator must be a RN, but a scrub person can be a tech or LV(P)N. Economically & (unfortunately) practically, an all RN staff is rare. You may find that circulating is a very interesting & rewarding position if you give it a chance. Perhaps, also, you may find a place that will allow you to scrub as well as circulate. Good luck in your search for a satisfying nursing career.
  5. by   shodobe
    I fortunately work in a facility that has ALL RNs that both scrub and circulate. This is a rarity in today's hospitals. It is sad that alot of RNs do not ever get a chance to scrub and see what OR nursing is really all about. On the other hand some RNs only like to circ and have no interest in the scrubbing aspect. You really have to search high and low to find a facility that will let you do both. Some places will let you get into the OR and after awhile will train you to scrub, so don't let the thought of not scrubbing at first deter you from going to the OR. Patience, patience! Mike
  6. by   stevierae
    I won't take a travel assignment at any place that won't let me do both (scrub and circulate.) I'd be bored to death just doing only one or the other. I love to scrub and circulate big spinal instrumentation cases, particularly. However, scrubbing or circulating laparoscopic cases is boring, boring, boring. Maybe there is one exception--laparoscopic bariatric surgery (for weight loss in morbidly obese patients) is kind of fun.
  7. by   studentnurse74
    Thanks- I hadn't thought about trying both! My current clinical site has a lot of roux-en-y (I think that's how you spell it!) procedures, and I'm amazed that they can do that laparoscopically!
  8. by   stevierae
    Quote from studentnurse74
    Thanks- I hadn't thought about trying both! My current clinical site has a lot of roux-en-y (I think that's how you spell it!) procedures, and I'm amazed that they can do that laparoscopically!
    Excellent!! I was in my 40's before I saw a laparoscopic Roux-en-y, which is considered the "gold standard" as far as surgical management of morbid obesity goes. (There are many other types of surgical procedures for morbid obesity--gastric banding is another one.)

    You are much younger, and probably pleyed video games (I have never played a video game in my life--but my children have spent thousands of hours playing them, and if you are their age--anywhere from 19 top 26--you probably have, as well.)

    I read recently that surgeons who played video games in junior high and high school not only accomplish their operations much faster, but have a much lower rate of complications. I do not remember the percentages, but they were incredibly impressive. It makes sense, and it's something we talked about when laparoscopic general surgery procedures were in their infancy--we figured that the very young residents would have incredible manual dexterity and fine motor skills, plus fast reaction times, and indeed they did.

    Just FYI, if you are quizzed during your OR experience, any procedure involving the jejunem is called a Roux en Y. Not everyone realizes that--it's something a surgeon shared with me when I was a younger OR nurse. A Whipple procedure involves doing a Roux en Y; so does a Billroth II. (Although the second one is nearly a defunct operation, since the invention of Tagamet and its successors.)

    Can you guess what a Billroth I consisted of?
    Last edit by stevierae on Feb 11, '05
  9. by   drmrnfla
    If you are interested in the O.R. working as an RN, you will probably have to work at a facility that incorporates the RN in both scrubbing and circulating. I too work in an O.R. that only has RN's. When I first started working in the O.R. some nine years ago, I scrubbed very seldomly. My goal when I started in the O.R. was to gain experience, and become a RNFA (Registered Nurse First Assistant). I am now a RNFA, thus allowing me to scrub more often both as a first assistant and as a scrub nurse. Hope this helps... David
  10. by   CEN35
    I work in PACU, and for the most part RN's do not scrub here. Usually it's a tech. The reason why is, a tech or asistant is NOT allowed to chart on the OR record, only an RN is allowed. So it really limits things. Since insurances, medicare etc keep cutting their payments, it's also cheaper for them to have 1 RN and 1 tech/assistant, then 2 RN's. Then throw in the lack of RN's available........ there's not much choice.


    :-)

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