What's up with RNs who refuse to scrub? - page 3

This trend, at least in the Western states, is starting to irritate me more and more, the more I see it. I have been an OR nurse for over 20 years; scrub and circulate all areas; have done all kinds... Read More

  1. by   medman
    RN's are not taught to scrub these days and most facilities do not have the staffing to teach them. I have been a surgical tech for 18 years and an OR nurse for 2. I do agree that your better OR nurses are the ones with scrubbing abilities. In somewhat of a defense for those nurses who don't want to scrub, working in surgery is like another world compared to working on the floor. Most nurses who transfer to surgery don't last long, because you have too little time to learn all the essential equipment and supplies just to be able to function half way by yourself. When they see what the technicians do it scares them to death. I have been on both sides of the sterile field and it is my firm belief the most technical job is the scrub tech/nurse. I can see where that job would intimidate a new nurse and if he/she don't have to learn it, most of the time they will not. I would say it was not that they are all just lazy, just intimidated by it.
  2. by   kids
    Kids says (in a very tiny voice):

    The ADN program I graduated from did an entire term in the OR...I LOVED to circulate and got pretty good at it...but I got dizzy and whoozy and freaked out scrubbing (claustraphobic).
    When I got out of school one of the jobs I turned down was OR because I would have to scrub.
  3. by   shodobe
    I disagree with the post above stating "scrubbing" doesn't make you a better nurse, of course it doesn't, but it does make you a better OR NURSE! If you can't do both then you are only doing half your job. I would never tell a surgeon I didn't know how to do something, I would just do it. The experience allows you to get thru these cases without any stress and having the knowledge of scrubbing makes it just that much easier. Mike
  4. by   tqwood
    I only wish I had the opportunity to refuse to scrub. My institution employs CST's to scrub because they're cheaper. I've worked here for over 20 years, and probably have scrubbed fewer than 25 times. It's too bad, because I think an RN who can scrub is a better circulator.
  5. by   shodobe
    tqwood, are you saying you would like to scrub but can't because they use CSTs? I think I understand because I do have that luxury of choosing whether to circ or scrub. I think hospitals are shortchanging themselves by only using CSTs and not getting the use of their RNs. The person who can go both ways is much more useful in my opinion. Mike
  6. by   tqwood
    That is exactly what I am saying. We run on such a tight staff that there are barely enough RN's to circulate the rooms, let alone scrub. Since a tech is paid about half of an RN's salary, my institution has opted to use techs in most scrub positions. I think we have a crop of RN's, who because they don't scrub, find it difficult sometimes to set priorities in patient care, not to mention the difficulty they encounter just trying to find an instrument that they can't identify.
  7. by   shodobe
    I do work at another facility that has hired new RNs and they will never be taught how to scrub because number one, they use alot of techs and number two, there is no one to teach them since the inservice person retired and they have no intention on replacing her. Sad, very sad. Any RN that gets the oppurtunity to learn how to scrub should because it does make them a better OR nurse. Mike
  8. by   Marijke
    I think I would get out of the OR if I wasn't allowed to scrub, especially in trauma and ortho.
    Maybe some RN's refuse to scrub because they don't get the chance to do it enough. There are still cases I don't like to scrub for, because I feel I don't know enough about the procedure. This is why I force myself to scrub for it, so I wont feel like that next time.

  9. by   MA RN
    ok folks,,,,, this is from an or nurse from 1987. old as dirt in knowledge but only 43 years ancient.
    is used to scrub the vascular/general cases all of the time. i can no longer scrub because of my rheumatoid arthritis. can't do the 6-0 and 7-0 prolene's anymore. digits are stiff and reflexes are slow. so i just circulate now and get the new techs out of school to circulate with.
    anyone else working with a similar disability?????
  10. by   cwazycwissyRN
    Just food for thought. I am currently a circulating nurse only. In the last hospital I worked at we rotated from scrub, to recovery room nurse to sterile stores if needed. RN's were expected to have the ability to learn it all plus circulate. Lovely rual american hospital...I've since started a position at a larger hospital and have found it very nice to discontinue being the jack of all trades and the master of none. I enjoy the challenge of focusing on becoming a great circulator. I miss at times scrubbing, however I am aware that my RN degree does not make me a good scrub, only consistant experience along with a good orientation(most likely from a cst) would accomplish this. CST's have the opportunity for the constistancy needed to become excellent at their job....and they do. Place me in as a scrub here and there or when you need a body and that's what I'll be ...just a body trying to go though the motions, frustating a doctor . Sure a basic belly case would be fine but ortho or nero without constistant opportunities to get and keep the skills I'll leave it to the experts..THE CST'''s out there that never seem to get the praise for the excellent jobs the do.
  11. by   P_RN
    4 million years ago (mid 70's-told you I was OLD!!!) when I worked OR they could pay 3 scrub techs for what one RN cost. Crud, scrubbing was a whole lot more interesting than sitting there and documenting and playing fetch for the surgeon!
  12. by   shodobe
    Hear, Hear! P_RN. I did a total knee, total hip and knne scope today and wouldn't change this foe anything! I love the choice and the ability to do both. The hospital I work at has an ALL RN STAFF! I am very lucky in this and I have turned down several job offers at other hospitals because they use Techs almost exclusively and would reduce my scrub time down considerably. I do work part-time at other places that use Techs and they are very competent at their jobs. Mike
  13. by   Sarah, RNBScN
    Where I am from...you are hired according to the job description which includes scrub/circulate and float. Granted, we have some nurses who just circulate because they are "senior" which I don't agree with and have made it known during our staff meetings. They baby some because of "favourites" or they have a problem "drinking", camera shakes so bad that you are trying not to vomit. It is true and very sad what certain dept. can get away with. On the other hand, surgeons have favourite scrub nurses and only certain people are in that person(s) room. I don't agree with that either. Very political...I know so many nurses who left the OR because of all this type of crap.