Scrubbed my first case (Lap Chole)

  1. I just finished circulating a specialty and now i have to learn to scrub as part of my orientation. My preceptor of course told me that famous line, "See one, do one, teach one." I was able to set up my back table and mayo stand after watching a couple of lap chole. I was also able to pass instruments to the surgeon and his assistant. I did mess up a couple of times but my preceptor was standing by and helped me.

    I'm amazed how fast scrub nurses or techs assemble or hand off instruments to surgeons, even while being a first assist (holding retractors and such). Its alot of work. I was so nervous that my hands were sweating and my heart was racing. I had to remind myself to take some deep breaths. I didn't have time to daydream or mess around. I was constantly thinking about what instrument the surgeon would ask for next and if i would give him the right one or pass it correctly without dropping it. My mind was running 100 miles an hour. By the time the case was over my head was throbbing. Can any of you remember the first case you scrubbed? Would love to hear, please share!
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    About IsseyM

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 174; Likes: 72
    OR Nurse

    13 Comments

  3. by   tessa_RN
    Congrats on scrubbing...it does make you nervous doing it for the first time..I remember when I was learning to scrub I was paranoid about contaminating..We didnt have any classes about instruments so I learned with the Tech or RN I was scrubbing with that day..It took me a while to get used to running the camera..You just have to watch and not get motion sickness which I have seen happened but not to me......It seems like everything is crazy when you first scrub but it gets better and better each time....Its also nice to be with a nice doctor who is willing to teach you stuff when you first start to scrub...I know this sounds weird but the hardest thing for me was learning to drape..knowing which edge to grab on the towel and so on...The first case I ever scrubbed was a hernia..I held retractors the whole time..I think all day we did a hernia, SGB, and maybe and AV fistula..I was so nervous but excited at the same time..This surgeon people had mixed reviews about because of his personality..I was just quiet and did what the scrub tech told me to do..I was with this surgeon for about 3 weeks so he got used to me..He also had a PA so I didnt get to do much at first..Plus this surgeon didnt do alot of teaching...but overall it was a good experience..He has gotten used to me pretty well so Ive been on of the few that he doesnt get mad at...Now he talks and will teach me things....It gets better...I miss scrubbing because now that I am out of nursing school Ive learned to circulate and I dont get to scrub as much..If I am scrubbing it seems like a break for me..I have to say my favorite service is orthopedics..I love it..>Congrats again!!!!!!
    Last edit by tessa_RN on Nov 1, '06
  4. by   Nurse`Chief~Chickie
    ooohhhh, i've got chills...
    i did so love that job. i plan to one day be an rnfa.
    my 1st case was a lap chole too. some days i'd swear we did only those!
    i was scared to death, i wasn't sure that i could handle not re-applying my chapstick q 10 minutes! the heat was astounding, i prayed i wouldn't have to pee. i'd been lucky enough to watch 4 cases before thatone, but it didn't help me to set up the suction any better. i never thought we would get all those peripherals set up! the surgeon was an impatient short foreign doc, i just knew he was going to tell the circulator to 'get rid of that slow girl!' but after all was said and done, nothing contaminated, :hatparty: it was a success. and i was addicted. i guess it just fits in with my ocd too well to be responsible for all the instruments and sterile field.

    good luck in your career! enjoy!
  5. by   nurseontheloose
    i am so jealous. i would love to learn to scrub. in rn school, we did not learn anything about surgury, except to stay in the corner, and not to say a word. my curculating experience was on the job training. any suggestions on how to learn to scrub without having to go back to school? i have to work full time, and i am a travel nurse. doube whammy.
  6. by   IsseyM
    Quote from tessa_RN
    Congrats on scrubbing...it does make you nervous doing it for the first time..I remember when I was learning to scrub I was paranoid about contaminating..We didnt have any classes about instruments so I learned with the Tech or RN I was scrubbing with that day..It took me a while to get used to running the camera..You just have to watch and not get motion sickness which I have seen happened but not to me......It seems like everything is crazy when you first scrub but it gets better and better each time....Its also nice to be with a nice doctor who is willing to teach you stuff when you first start to scrub...I know this sounds weird but the hardest thing for me was learning to drape..knowing which edge to grab on the towel and so on...The first case I ever scrubbed was a hernia..I held retractors the whole time..I think all day we did a hernia, SGB, and maybe and AV fistula..I was so nervous but excited at the same time..This surgeon people had mixed reviews about because of his personality..I was just quiet and did what the scrub tech told me to do..I was with this surgeon for about 3 weeks so he got used to me..He also had a PA so I didnt get to do much at first..Plus this surgeon didnt do alot of teaching...but overall it was a good experience..He has gotten used to me pretty well so Ive been on of the few that he doesnt get mad at...Now he talks and will teach me things....It gets better...I miss scrubbing because now that I am out of nursing school Ive learned to circulate and I dont get to scrub as much..If I am scrubbing it seems like a break for me..I have to say my favorite service is orthopedics..I love it..>Congrats again!!!!!!
    So far i have scrubbed 8 or 9 cases on my own, with my preceptor scrubbed in, standing by of course. However, I'm still very nervous. I can't shake that feeling, especially if its a new doctor. One case i was so nervous i had to go to the bathroom. I had knots in my stomach. I am literally scared and worry to death everyday of who and what cases i will end up having to scrub. Its funny though because i've noticed in the past few cases i have been obsessive over my instruments, like knowing exactly where they are, how much blood or goo is on them, being in a certain arrangement or order on the mayo stand and back table. There are times when i'm not handing off instruments or holding retractors and i'll start to align/organize my instruments if they're crooked/out of place, or if an instrument on my mayo stand hasn't been or going to be used i'll but them back on my back table. Lately, i haven't been getting doctors that like to teach, only one. And when a surgeon starts swearing while operating, i don't care to ask questions...don't want to get my butt chewed off.
    I've been told i won't be scrubbing at all, rarely if at all. Right now i can't say if i like scrubbing or not. I'm kind of worried because i hear from other nurses and read the posts here how so many people absolutely love it right from the start but i'm not feeling the love. Will i eventually learn to love it the more comfortable i get?
  7. by   IsseyM
    Quote from nurse`chief~chickie
    ooohhhh, i've got chills...
    i did so love that job. i plan to one day be an rnfa.
    my 1st case was a lap chole too. some days i'd swear we did only those!
    i was scared to death, i wasn't sure that i could handle not re-applying my chapstick q 10 minutes! the heat was astounding, i prayed i wouldn't have to pee. i'd been lucky enough to watch 4 cases before thatone, but it didn't help me to set up the suction any better. i never thought we would get all those peripherals set up! the surgeon was an impatient short foreign doc, i just knew he was going to tell the circulator to 'get rid of that slow girl!' but after all was said and done, nothing contaminated, :hatparty: it was a success. and i was addicted. i guess it just fits in with my ocd too well to be responsible for all the instruments and sterile field.

    good luck in your career! enjoy!
    congrats and good luck to becoming an rnfa one day! there are quite a few at our hospital and they say they love it. thats so funny how you said you prayed you wouldn't have to pee, i think the same thing all the time! i also think about having an itch, being too slow, contaminating something, etc. today i know for sure i was slow and the surgeons were getting impatient because they started to grab their own instruments off the mayo stand a few times. one surgeon had to tell me something 3 times before i got it. i'm kinda hard of hearing and not used to hearing the names of instruments called out. i guess i would get it if i was more familiar with them. i hate being slow, normally i'm a fast paced worker who knows what i'm doing and with scrubbing i feel handicapped. thank you soooo much for wishing me good luck with my career. i need all the luck i can get!! lol. i also wish you good luck and with pursuing your rnfa!!!

    isseym.
  8. by   Nurse`Chief~Chickie
    thanks to you too isseym!
    if you're going to do it much, you'll get into your groove. i've had to smack(sort of) my surgeons hand a time or two. (the mayo is my responsibility.) not to mention no reaching across, and pulling instrumnets in front of me. they soon forget who was slow, the yelling, eh. most of it is just the job. he very rarely got out of line. they're on edge, and rightly so, that's why they have us with our fine skills,lol!
    the thing that helped me learn instruments, in our small facility the scrubs cleaned the instruments and ran the autoclave. going over and over them and then labeling them did it. i'm sure you don't do that, hehe. but anyhoo, more good luck wishes and:icon_hug: !
  9. by   zuzi
    Hi girls! I remember also my first case in OR... a leg amputation, first day, first case, first contact with trauma OR... instant I felt sick...at the final the supervisor told me... "now is better goes by your self, out, with patient's leg, at incinerator".... I fold down!
    My colleges help me and told me that this was "trauma OR baptize"...and few month after they told me that many other nurses resigned after "amputee leg hug".
    So that was.... I was trauma OR, I liked and I hope that I will be again!
    Hugs for all OR nurses,

    I will remember all my life my "baptize".
  10. by   valifay
    Congrats on your first case. I hope you have really learned to appriciate your techs now. Good luck to you!
  11. by   tessa_RN
    Quote from IsseyM
    So far i have scrubbed 8 or 9 cases on my own, with my preceptor scrubbed in, standing by of course. However, I'm still very nervous. I can't shake that feeling, especially if its a new doctor. One case i was so nervous i had to go to the bathroom. I had knots in my stomach. I am literally scared and worry to death everyday of who and what cases i will end up having to scrub. Its funny though because i've noticed in the past few cases i have been obsessive over my instruments, like knowing exactly where they are, how much blood or goo is on them, being in a certain arrangement or order on the mayo stand and back table. There are times when i'm not handing off instruments or holding retractors and i'll start to align/organize my instruments if they're crooked/out of place, or if an instrument on my mayo stand hasn't been or going to be used i'll but them back on my back table. Lately, i haven't been getting doctors that like to teach, only one. And when a surgeon starts swearing while operating, i don't care to ask questions...don't want to get my butt chewed off.
    I've been told i won't be scrubbing at all, rarely if at all. Right now i can't say if i like scrubbing or not. I'm kind of worried because i hear from other nurses and read the posts here how so many people absolutely love it right from the start but i'm not feeling the love. Will i eventually learn to love it the more comfortable i get?

    You may or maynot love it..People I work with have done both and some perfer scrubbing and some perfer circulating..You may not learn to love scrubbing...Me I like to do a little of both..when I scrub it is like I am having a break..That may seem weird but that is how I feel..You may feel better about scrubbing when you are in a different service..I like general but I would rather scrub ortho...It just depends on what you like..Me when I started feeling less tense is when I started to learn scrubbing..I didnt need to think of what I needed, my stomach wasnt in knots, and what i was doing became more natural...When you arent really stressed scrubbing that is when you will start to like it...I dont however like to scrub with certain doctors..they make me more tense and they make me feel like I dont know what I am doing...but you are going to have people like that. They just arent used to me scrubbing with them..But they need to learn that is what they get after day shift leaves.It is funny how obessive you become over your instruments..We had a resident who loved to jerk things off of a mayo and take stuff out of my hand..I told her that if she needed something ask because I am responsible for counting everything I have and I feel better knowing where it is...as for the doctors swearing it is hard to learn things when they are doing that..Its hard to read them and find the perfect time to ask them things..You will learn when the right time is..It just comes to you..Goodluck with everything..It will get better..sorry for rambling..
  12. by   IsseyM
    Quote from valifay
    Congrats on your first case. I hope you have really learned to appriciate your techs now. Good luck to you!
    Thank you Valifay for the congrats. The 3 weeks that i have been learning to scrub, i have witnessed and experienced just how important the techs are. To me its a hard job but i often hear from the professionals that its easy, a piece of cake, a walk in the park, its not that bad, etc. Gee, i wish i could say the same thing because this is one of the hardest and most stressful thing i have ever done. Yes, i have learned to appreciate the techs very very much and i know once i'm on my own i will be very good to my techs.
  13. by   IsseyM
    Quote from tessa_RN
    You may or maynot love it..People I work with have done both and some perfer scrubbing and some perfer circulating..You may not learn to love scrubbing...Me I like to do a little of both..when I scrub it is like I am having a break..That may seem weird but that is how I feel..You may feel better about scrubbing when you are in a different service..I like general but I would rather scrub ortho...It just depends on what you like..Me when I started feeling less tense is when I started to learn scrubbing..I didnt need to think of what I needed, my stomach wasnt in knots, and what i was doing became more natural...When you arent really stressed scrubbing that is when you will start to like it...I dont however like to scrub with certain doctors..they make me more tense and they make me feel like I dont know what I am doing...but you are going to have people like that. They just arent used to me scrubbing with them..But they need to learn that is what they get after day shift leaves.It is funny how obessive you become over your instruments..We had a resident who loved to jerk things off of a mayo and take stuff out of my hand..I told her that if she needed something ask because I am responsible for counting everything I have and I feel better knowing where it is...as for the doctors swearing it is hard to learn things when they are doing that..Its hard to read them and find the perfect time to ask them things..You will learn when the right time is..It just comes to you..Goodluck with everything..It will get better..sorry for rambling..
    Hey Tessa, you can ramble all you want i'm all ears. Any little tips, advice or support i can get off this message board is fabulous and very useful. I do understand when you say scrubbing is like a break for you. I don't think that is weird at all. In fact, i have felt that way a few times....especially when i have witnessed how much the circulators run their butts off for certain cases. Thank you again for wishing me luck. Good luck to you also!

    IsseyM
  14. by   healthy2629
    Quote from IsseyM
    I just finished circulating a specialty and now i have to learn to scrub as part of my orientation. My preceptor of course told me that famous line, "See one, do one, teach one." I was able to set up my back table and mayo stand after watching a couple of lap chole. I was also able to pass instruments to the surgeon and his assistant. I did mess up a couple of times but my preceptor was standing by and helped me.

    I'm amazed how fast scrub nurses or techs assemble or hand off instruments to surgeons, even while being a first assist (holding retractors and such). Its alot of work. I was so nervous that my hands were sweating and my heart was racing. I had to remind myself to take some deep breaths. I didn't have time to daydream or mess around. I was constantly thinking about what instrument the surgeon would ask for next and if i would give him the right one or pass it correctly without dropping it. My mind was running 100 miles an hour. By the time the case was over my head was throbbing. Can any of you remember the first case you scrubbed? Would love to hear, please share!


    i hear you my fellow scrubbie LOl

    man! i do remember my first case i was shaking so badly u'd think i had parkinson's
    but with time u get really good and quick about scubbing, assisting and anticipating.
    good luck!!U CAN DO IT!
    NO SAID ANYTHING WAS EASY RITE

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