What Do Operating Room Nurses Do? - page 3

I'm here to set the record straight. I am as much a RN as the next nurse and I do patient care. Operating Room Nurses assess, diagnose, plan, intervene, and evaluate their patients just like... Read More

  1. by   Libitina
    Quote from Jeffthenurse
    Shodobe, I'm neither a used car salesman nor a sales rep, I'm a Master's prepared RN with many years of staff, management, education, and home care experience who happens to have a radio show on a major Philadelphia, PA station. Actually, radio is an extension of my teaching career; instead of talking in front of 50 students at a time, I'm talking to thousands of people at a time. Many of my guests have been nurses.
    And how many years have you been an OR nurse for?
  2. by   izeofblu1973
    I am offended that you think that an OR nurse need 6-9 months of training and they can just go to any floor and learn it in a couple of days. Do you really think that? I have worked floor nursing and worked in the ED also as an RN. If anyone can learn it in a couple of days, they should be working at NASA in a think tank! Cause they are def. a genius! P.S. I know and OR nurse that wants to transfer to a floor and needs more than a couple of days training and I dont think that speaks badly of her skills. Remember we dont have a doctor right there that we are assisting, we are doing the working on the patient and will call the doctor if needed.
  3. by   Who?Me?
    Well written. As a fellow RN, CNOR, I too have run into this attitude from other nurses who work outside the OR. Much of the attitude stems from not understanding what happens in the OR and just seeing us walk in and out of the hospital in street clothes. They don't see the sleepless nights with call cases or not leaving at 3pm because the patient is still being operated on. They see the docs laughing with us, sometimes, versus yelling at us about being woken up for patient condition changes. They don't see an entire room full of people going quiet as mice when the patient is going south fast.

    There are reasons for being in the OR and reasons for staying on the floor, in home health, etc. Nursing is such a varied field that we can all find our niche. My just happens to be the OR.

    I truly enjoy being in the OR and missed it the last couple of years when circumstances lead to me working outside of it while my family was stationed (military) overseas. Now back stateside and heading back to the OR.

    Thank you once again for the well written essay on OR nursing.
  4. by   ohgreat
    As for the OP, interesting post! I was wondering what duties the OR nurse actually performs. After reading this thread, I get the feeling that you might not get enough credit because if you are successful in your job the doc gets all the glory, not you. I wish OR nurses were able to have a bigger scope and be able to be more hands-on and involved rather than just sitting back and being "preventive". I have always been intrigued by surgeries but don't want to be a doctor just to explore that passion.
    Last edit by sirI on Nov 6, '09
  5. by   dachlewis
    Thank You for your post and priceless insider information. I am starting nursing school soon and your post has been very eye opening.

    Thanks again
  6. by   shodobe
    Quote from Jeffthenurse
    Shodobe, I'm neither a used car salesman nor a sales rep, I'm a Master's prepared RN with many years of staff, management, education, and home care experience who happens to have a radio show on a major Philadelphia, PA station. Actually, radio is an extension of my teaching career; instead of talking in front of 50 students at a time, I'm talking to thousands of people at a time. Many of my guests have been nurses.
    Well, I do have back off on you because I haven't done radio before but this isn't nursing and it definitely isn't OR nursing. Until you have walked in my shoes for as long as I have been doing this insults will only make you look the fool. I just hope you don't lead people on with your so-called knowledge of the OR because that just wouldn't be right . Do you have guests on your show? Maybe a couple of veteran OR nurses would allow the public and nurses in general a behind the scenes of OR nursing. Think about it. This might just get you out of a deep hole.
  7. by   PureLifeRN
    Thanks for the information, I love OR nursing and I hope to be one soon!
  8. by   BethCNOR
    You are welcome. Good luck in becoming an OR nurse. We need you.
  9. by   c_loveya
    Wonderful article! Thank you so much for recognizing how OR nurses act as patient advocates and the unique challenges we face. Definitely NOT an easy job that just involves passing instruments as some are lead to believe.
  10. by   annacat
    Wow,
    Jeff the nurse sounds like he needs to be taken down a few.
    Lets all have some respect for all aspects of nursing. We all work our tails off!
  11. by   bigboss_RN
    Im a new RN. how do you become a OR nurse? is there a special training? or other requirments?
  12. by   BethCNOR
    Check at your hospital to see if they have a nurse residency program for the OR. Many hospitals require at least 1 yr of experience if not 2. AORN offers a perioperative course. Check their website. www.aorn.org Good luck!
  13. by   ILoveRatties
    I think the OP significantly overstates the patient assessment and intervention done by OR circulators. I spent a year as a SRNA and, believe me, it is the CRNAs who have that major role. The surgeons do the surgery, the CRNA takes care of the patient, the scrub techs hand off instruments and supplies to the surgeons, and the circulators do something else. I think they take care of the environment--assuring that everything goes smoothly. The OR is like an alien world, and the OR RN assures safe passage for the patient. They are keeping track of the big picture. They have to know everything about the big picture that can go wrong, how to prevent it and what to do if the **** hits the fan.

    The CRNA monitors all the vital signs, gives meds, intubate, oxygenate, etc., etc. including induction, maitenance and emergence from anesthesia. The OR RN doesn't write a vital sign down nor track any of that during the surgery. They assure proper and functioning equipment, supplies, assist with positioning at the beginning and throughout the case. You can say 'go-fer' but that's insulting and incorrect. The OR RN is not sterile and not doing the second-by-second monitoring of the pts condition, so is free to be able to move around the room and leave the room to get things, etc.

    I wouldn't like to have a non-RN keeping track of the big picture during my surgery.

    All I know is that everyone in the room was aware when there was a newbie or an incompetent circulator running the room. It affected everyone else. All the roles are necessary in the OR. It is sort of like being a coordinator. Assuring that things run smoothly. The CRNA, scrub, and surgeon are very very focused on their own thing during surgery--the OR RN is free from that, but does what no one else can do--pay attention to the big picture.

    What they do is important. The best OR RNs might look like they are doing nothing, but that is because they have it all under control.

    For sure, it is a unique specialty in nursing. The OR nurse doesn't need to do much of the hands-on patient things. Someone else is doing them. No one develops much rapport with the pt--the contact is too short-term. The pt is usually asleep and if not, the CRNA is at the pts head doing the talking, touching, reassuring etc. No, it is not like bedside nursing--that kind of nursing is for the bedside. The OR calls for caring for the patient in another way--but it is just as much nursing.
    Last edit by dianah on Nov 25, '09 : Reason: Terms of Service re: profanity

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