Job Responsibilities

  1. I've always wanted to work in the Operating Room as a scrub nurse. It has been my dream for as long as I've been in nursing. Call me sick or whatever, but it's what I want. I've based a lot of the jobs I've taken on whether or not they will benefit my resume' for when I was able to apply for one of these jobs. Everywhere I went they told me that you had to be an RN to scrub. Well, now I'm getting ready to start school for my BSN and they tell me that they only let techs scrub! and that when I get my BSN I'll be overqualified and no one will let me scrub! Help! Is this true? Or is it only in my part of the world?
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    About SmileyMouse

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 17
    LPN on a surgical floor


  3. by   KC CHICK
    In my facility only surgical techs scrub cases and RNs circulate the OR. This seems to be a growing trend because it costs less to use surgical tech than it does to use RNs.....cost effective. Personally, I preferred circulating over scrubbing simply because I don't like standing in one place for a long time...that's just me.

    I don't know where you live, but, there are a few other facilities in the kansas city area that train an RN to perform both roles.

    Good Luck
  4. by   Marijke
    Am I ever glad they let RN's scrub in Canada. I would be bored silly, if I only got to circulate, although it is a very important job. I just love to scrub especially in ortho (I am a powertool junky).
    Good luck mousy on becoming an OR RN, I think it is a fabulous specialty area, with always new things going on.

  5. by   shodobe
    Luckily when I started we HAD to scrub and circulate. No one used Techs at all in the area I live in at that time, 25 years ago. Now all hospitals have to use Techs for cost. I like to scrub, especially Ortho, and like to circulate. I am lucky where I work because I have the choice of either scrubbing or circulating. I work evenings and in charge so there are many times I don't get to scrub because I need to be available for the PHONE! I have a new Tech, the first one we have hired, and pretty much have to watch her, because of her lack of experience. She is getting better each week, but still the experience is lacking in a few areas. If you get the chance to learn how to scrub, go for it! I am an old fart in this area and truely believe a complete OR RN is one who can scrub and circulate. I work part-time at another hospital that does open hearts and more complex neuro cases and find that new nurses are so over whelmed with learning the circulating part they would probably burn out if required to scrub also. Some hospitals are so busy, teaching both is virtually impossible.Good luck, Mike
  6. by   CarolineRn
    I am a nursing student, and am in a very unique position as a Nurse tech in a large OR. I am being trained to circ and scrub in on all cases, not just one particular specialty. Of course, since I am unlicensed, I am limited in what I can do. So at the present I am second scrubbing, and that in itself is very exciting. On some days, I shadow a circulator, and I find that I enjoy that as well. Our OR uses both RN's and scrub techs, probably because we are so large and we are in an area where tourism is high, as a result, we have a busy "season." So we employ many travelers as scrub techs. When we are not in season, more of our RN's take on the scrub role.

    Keep in mind, that this program is like an 18 month "orientation" into the OR, and so it will not be as overwhelming to me when I graduate as it might be for any other new grad, or for a nurse who has been in med-surg exclusively.

    From what I understand, there are only a few hospitals in the US right now who offer a Nurse tech program into the OR. I am very lucky to be in this position, as like you, I have always wanted to be an OR nurse. Best of luck to you
  7. by   VictoriaG
    If you enjoy standing in one position for hours on end, holding retractors until your wrists scream in pain, taking abuse from docs, and generally being held hostage, then scrubbing is for you. As an RN who has both scrubbing and circling experience, I will circle every time.
  8. by   mud
    I am with you Marijke. I love to scrub!! I would hate to have to always circulate. I too love the powertools!! I have been able to do so much more around the house with the knowledge I have gained from this!!! I am serious!! Both roles are great, as is the third. To always run around for supplies and have to run the room would not be my cup of tea.
  9. by   rnor
    Our staffing in the OR is bare bones, so most of our nurses can scrub and/or circulate, plus work OPS, Scope Room, and PACU.
    Wonder if it has anything to do with staffing, probably's probably the cost your hospital is looking at more than anything else.