RN's rarely scrub??

  1. I don't think being a RN in the OR is what I thought it was. I always thought one RN scrubbed, and then there was also another RN that was the circulating nurse. This is not so? Surgical Techs now do the scrubbing? This is true everywhere?
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    About beachbum3

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 353; Likes: 374
    RN
    Specialty: Telemetry

    61 Comments

  3. by   mikethern
    Correct. Most of the time, the scrub person is a tech because they cost less to employ.
  4. by   CIRQL8
    see this thread to:

    https://allnurses.com/forums/f8/scru...hs-212711.html

    Here is what I wrote there:

    This is pretty much the way that things are going. I worked in an institution that did not allow RNs to scrub. Only one RN could scrub, and only for breaks, and only because she was a scrub tech there while going through nursing school.

    The place that I am at now does allow RNs to train to scrub. There are only a couple left that are only scrubs (take scrub call, etc) - but as of 2008, this is supposed to end as well. Only the scrub tech will be a full time scrub. RNs will still be allowed to scrub as necessary (if trained), but will be discouraged.

    And you are right - it is a budget (money) thing. Scrubs cost 1/2 to 3/4 (depending on longevity and pay scales) than does an RN.

    At my institution, a scrub must have graduated from an accredited surgical technology program (or have previous scrub experience). Certification is preferred, but not required for the scrub.

    From a nurses point of view - I like this. It may allow for more FTE's and possible a greated budget and more cost effectiveness. This is a must in this day and age of insurance and government reimbursement. I rely on my scrubs as much as on my nurse colleagues. They may be a wealth of information - especially the ones with experience.
    Last edit by CIRQL8 on Mar 16, '07 : Reason: Add more
  5. by   TracyB,RN
    OOOOHHHH... this topic just really TICKS me off.
    No offense to any scrub techs out there, but I want to be able to scrub AND circulate. There are some facilities in the Chicago area that only hire RN's that can do both, but of course, all too far from home for me to make the call requirement. This is a very sore spot for me. It's not like I can't scrub a super basic case, but I want to become confident & well-versed in scrubbing all types of surgeries & at the facility I'm at, it's just not going to happen. I love what I do, but know I would love it even MORE, if I could just scrub. Heck, I'd even be happy just being a relief person for scrub techs, but eagerness alone definitely isn't getting me there. Hopefully, soon, I find another place within that 30 min time frame, but the pickins are slim... It's really sad. I think a nurse that can scrub AND circulate is a much more efficient circulator, but not according to TPTB at my facility....
    I'm going to stop now, b/c I could go onfor hours about this!!!!
  6. by   EricG
    My first year as a circulator I never scrubbed. Didn't really care to either. The last year I have scrubbed/assisted as many cases as I have circulated! I love assisting and would choose it over circulating now given the opportunity. Guess it's time to take a look at RNFA training.......
  7. by   anotherneonurse
    So what do nurses do in the OR? I mean why have them circulating even? Couldn't we find a cheaper alternative for that too? Maybe they should have us cutting and save money on doctors.:smiley_ab
  8. by   shodobe
    Old thread. Search this subject out and you will find out that there are many, many of us left who scrub all the time!. Where I work we are a rarity and have have an all RN staff, with one Tech, that HAVE to learn how to scrub along with circulating. We do it all. If you come to work for us you better want to learn how to scrub or go somewhere else because you won't be hired.
  9. by   mikethern
    Quote from shodobe
    Old thread. Search this subject out and you will find out that there are many, many of us left who scrub all the time!. Where I work we are a rarity and have have an all RN staff, with one Tech, that HAVE to learn how to scrub along with circulating. We do it all. If you come to work for us you better want to learn how to scrub or go somewhere else because you won't be hired.
    Yes, but your facility is the exception these days, not the rule. Also, I highly doubt that your facility will refuse to hire a nurse who only wants to circulate.
    Last edit by mikethern on Mar 28, '07
  10. by   subee
    Quote from mikethern
    Yes, but your facility is the exception these days, not the rule. Also, I highly doubt that your facility will refuse to hire a nurse who only wants to circulate.

    One of my best friends loves to scrub and didn't want the stupidity of circulating (just bread and butter here) so she works for a tech's salary
    as a tech. She was such an excellent charge nurse when she worked as an RN but really isn't a people person and is much happier scrubbing the bigger cases. Again, please explain how scrubbing relates to nursing and why a hospital should spend months teaching a nurse how to do a tech's job?
  11. by   mikethern
    Quote from subee
    Again, please explain how scrubbing relates to nursing and why a hospital should spend months teaching a nurse how to do a tech's job?
    Are you kidding? Scrubbing WAS a nurse's job before they were replaced by less expensive techs. If hospitals could get away with replacing ALL types nurses with less expensive workers, they would do so in a heartbeat. It's all about money.
  12. by   mcmike55
    Don't you think that bottom line,,,is the bottom line that hospitals worry about here?? I think that's why more RN's don't scrub,,,,it's not cost efficent for hospitals to pay RN wages when they can pay less, and still get excellent scrub tech coverage.
    I scrub once in a while at a small hospital, mostly relief, someone calls off, doc needs and extra hand, etc.
    I don't pretend to be a great tech, I'm good at what I do, primary circulator, back up, relief scrub tech.
    It's like most things we do, the more you do it, the better you get at it, that's my problem, not enough "reps".
    I hate the us vs them, one is better than another type arguments.
    I just want to give good pt care, promote team harmony, etc, etc. (and scrub once in a while). Oh yea, get off on time when I'm not on call.

    That's not too much to ask for,,,,is it???

    Mike
  13. by   mikethern
    Quote from mcmike55
    It's like most things we do, the more you do it, the better you get at it, that's my problem, not enough "reps".
    Mike
    Exactly. The average scrub tech is better at scrubbing than the average nurse because the average nurse scrubs a lot less often.

    Circulating is a whole different ballgame. Lots more critical thinking, juggling of tasks, and liability than scrubbing.
  14. by   shodobe
    Quote from mikethern
    Yes, but your facility is the exception these days, not the rule. Also, I highly doubt that your facility will refuse to hire a nurse who only wants to circulate.
    You are wrong. The ONLY way you can be hired is that you HAVE to scrub. My Director is from the old school and will not hire you if the only thing you want to do is circ. I have been doing this for over 30 years and I still hold the opinion that the only thing that makes an OR nurse whole is the ability to not only circulate well but also to be able to scrub anything that comes through the door. Other than that you are obnly getting half the OR experience. Also, yes we are an exception and the hospital is in a metro area of 500,000, so it isn't because we are in a rural area. I also have the advantage of being highly sought after in other facilities because I can do both, so this is another advantage of being trained correctly. I personally wouldn't do this anymore if the only thing I could look forward to each day was circulating, rather boring.

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