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OR Nurse Communication with Patients and Team

amusa amusa (New) New

Hi everyone!

I'm a new OR nurse and I would love advice on effective patient and team communication. I want to be an outstanding nurse and part of that is making patients feel cared for and working well with my team. When I interview my patients, I ask about allergies, last time they had anything to eat or drink, metal implants, confirm name and birth date, doctor and procedure, etc. I need advice on explaining things like why they have to wear a bouffant cap during surgery, why we put on SCDs, how to instruct them to move onto the OR bed (including reasoning for why I pull out their gown as they move to the OR bed), why we put their arms on armboards, and put on safety straps. I know why we do these things, but I want to explain it to the patient in the most clear, comforting, and easy to understand way. I want them to feel comfortable with the whole process leading up to intubation. Also any advice on things to say to lighten a patient's mood would be appreciated. As far as working with the OR team, I would like advice on what to say to the scrub tech, surgeon, and other team members. What do I say to let them know I am addressing their needs? For ex. If they ask for something during surgery, what do I say to let them know I heard them and will do it? What are important things to let the surgeon know? Ex. "Gas is on" for insufflation, "Bovey is set to 25, 20", etc. It may seem like I'm overthinking, but I really want to be the best circulator nurse and communication is a big part of that. For any responders, I think it would be helpful to put phrases you say to patients and team members in quotes so I can apply them in practice. Thank You! [h=2][/h]

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 15 years experience.

Honestly, just sit back and watch others every now and then. Take what they use that you like and use it yourself. It will come.

As far as comforting the patient goes, I say "you have a great team working here today. We will take very good care of you." If they verbalize fear of anesthesia, I tell them "Dr. So and So will be watching you like a hawk the entire time and can handle any complications whatsoever." While I do tell a patient when I'm about to do something, I don't always give the rationale. If they asked why they had to wear a bouffant cap, I'd tell them. If I am putting on scd's while they are still awake, I'll say "I'm putting these on your calves today. You will feel some intermittent pressure when they fill with air, but it won't hurt-it might even feel like a nice massage."

If the surgeon or scrub nurse asks me to get something, I usually just say "ok," "sure," or something to that effect.

Kudos for wanting to do a good job, but there is no one correct way to do or say something.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 15 years experience.

Kudos for wanting to do a good job, but there is no one correct way to do or say something.

Exactly. And if everyone is saying things the exact same way, it's going to backfire because it's going to sound like a script and not at all personal.