What's up with RNs who refuse to scrub? - page 6

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   D.Rollins
    It was interesting reading your submission. I am a BSN student who just finished a rotation in an OP surgery center. I have no experience in an OR setting. I was surprised that several of the nurses scrubbed in addition to circulating. One of the things that I noticed is that the surgeons were always requesting particular nurses to scrub for them. I am not saying that the scrub techs did not do a superb job, but there must be a reason the surgeons preferred the nurses to scrub. If I were going to work in an OR, I would like to learn to scrub. One of the other responses said scrubbing is not taught to nurses, but a lot of things are not taught. You have to learn it from experience. As you said, I believe it makes you more knowledgeable about the entire process.
  2. by   jude11142
    Many surgeons call the person who is scrubbing, "my scrub nurse". I don't think that they are aware at times that their scrub is a tech rather than a nurse. When I was a tech, I never presented myself as a nurse. Many times surgeons request certain scrub nurses, but atleast where I worked it wasn't because the scrub was a nurse or not, but because who they want with them assisting knows their routine etc.........

    We has what was called "dedicated services" and during my last 3 yrs, I only worked Neuro/ENT, so naturally the surgeons get to know you well as you do them. Sometimes, that isn't a good thing because on the days that you are off, some of these surgeons are really tough on the "new" scrub. All they have to see is a new face and they freak, lol...........

    The more that I am reading/writing about OR nursing, I realize just how much I miss it. When I left, I was told that once an OR nurse, always one........guess that may be true.

  3. by   dish1971
    I agree that RN's should scrub as well as circulate. In the hospital where I trained, RN's tend to circulate more often b/c it's cheaper to have surgical techs rather than RN's. I was lucky-my hospital had an internship that taught me instruments and how to scrub, but then we are not allowed to utilize our skills, and if you don't use them, you lose them. Though I realize that circulating is very important, I would much rather scrub anyday that circulate! If I had know I could learn to just scrub, I doubt I would have gone to nursing school, and unfortunately, I can't afford a pay cut.
  4. by   Triagn
    To be an OR Nurse means that you can step into any situation and at least take control until more experienced help can arrive or to have enough knowledge to get you through. You may not be the BEST in each service but you know enough to hang in there and be what you have to be!!!!!
  5. by   2bPhD
    After they taught the housekeeping staff how to scrub, the task was no longer considered a skilled nursing technique. After all, anyone can scrub and assist in the OR. Medical students and interns do it all of the time. Nursing time should be devoted to more skilled aspects of care that require the unique background that nurses possess.
  6. by   CVnurse08
    I know absolutely nothing about this topic but couldn't help but point out that this thread has been going on for almost a YEAR now !!!! That has to be a record !!! That's really neat and I have enjoyed reading it.
  7. by   KarenHalse
    I think it is obvious that there are many opinions that we all have. But, from Scrub Techs being cheaper to use that RN's...(and this is not a put down to either), Scrub Tech's are cheaper.

    I have worked with some excellent Scrub Tech's as well as lousy one's...also worked with many RN's that scrub and circulate. Being able to scrub doesn't necessarily make you a better circulator. Being able to circulate doesn't necessarily make you a better scrub either.
    Most of the RN's I know that scrub would rather scrub than circulate. They seem to think it is easier.

    Circulating is not something that is done without thought or education. "but I have on occasions set up cases, flipped sutures/sponges etc........made sure the right instruments were pulled etc........"...is this all you really thought circulating is about...did you say you were in school to learn to be an RN?

    We all have an opinion and where I have worked with it is more team work than anything else. That is the way it should be.
  8. by   shodobe
    I hope 2bPHD you were joking about anyone can learn to scrub or assist. This is totally false in my opinion. I have been doing both for over 26 years and have found that most and I do mean most circulators that do not scrub are mediocre in their role as a OR nurse. I know this will infuriate those out there that have been nothing circulators their whole career, but it really gets to me when people state that the only reason an RN wants to scrub is to do something that is "easy". This is hogwash! Circulating anything from a D&C to an open heart procedure is BORING! Up at that table is where the action is and I for one want to be there. When I said most circulators are mediocre I meant unless you have been in a scrub role you don't know what's going on most of the time at the table and I find myself anticipating the scrub on what they will need next, because I have been there. I still hold to the statement that a complete OR nurse is one that can do it both ways. The problem today is that most nurses that have gone into the OR in the past ten years do not ever learn to scrub because, as said before, Techs are cheaper therefore don't bother teaching the RN any real skills. Where is stevierae when you need her! Just my 2 cents worth, have at it. Mike
  9. by   yoga crna
    Whatever made you think the surgeon is "captain of the ship"? That is VERY OLD law and has been replaced with the judicial rulings that say that each professional is responsible for their own acts. Of course, everyone involved may be named in a lawsuit, but that is legal strategy, not law. If you or your surgeons can give me a legal reference that says he or she is the captain of the ship in 2003, I would love to have it.

    It really is just an ego issue on the part of the surgeons.
  10. by   shodobe
    yogacrna, Actually I was upset at first that you made reference to thia old, archaic line because I did not remember saying it but then I did find the quote from me. If you read closer you will see that I was really just stating something that has been around for qiute along time. I don't believe in this way of thinking. I agree everyone is responsible and no one should lead themselves into a false since of security. The hospital or the surgeon will only be looking out for themselves. I have been around too long to really trust anyone when it comes to liability. Sorry I said it. I also stated the OR circulator was the "field marshall" when it came to running a room. I hold this title far above. The "captain" can go down with his ship, but a "field marshall" is land locked and can't really go anywhere. I have been sniffing too much Sevo during induction! Mike
    PS, very egotistical
  11. by   yoga crna
    Well said. I am pleased that you understand the reality of practice and want you to know you could work with me anyday. Ego and all.
  12. by   shodobe
    yogacrna, actually I meant the surgeons were egotistical. I really am laid back and very unassuming. Gotta go now, time to clock out. Wasted too long tonight waiting for a surgeon to get here, almost two hours! Lucky we did not have anything else to do. Mike
  13. by   kathyann
    I thought it was funny you mentioned Ca. as the place where nurses most often scrub, because I have found that to be the opposite in my travels!
    I have done OR travel assignments in NJ and Ca., and I scrubbed alot in NJ, but NEVER in Ca. - the places I have been in Ca. have always been heavy on surgical techs, and short on circulators.
    I do agree that it would be good for all RN's to learn to scrub, but be fair minded and realize that with the nursing shortage today, the use of technicians has increased, and often times many new grads enter the OR without ever getting the opportunity to learn the scrub role. I think it is more an issue of lack of opportunity to learn than it is lack of desire to learn.