Q re: scrub nurses/tech call

Q re: how hospitals are handling scrub nurses & surgical tech call Specialties Operating Room


Specializes in Pediatric OR.

Hey! I am a scrub nurse who was a surgical tech prior to becoming a nurse. My hospital just decided to create this job, d/t the tech shortage. (I was often helping out, scrubbing what I could when the need arose.)

At first, they just wanted me to help where/when I could - I still circulated for the most part, scrubbed when needed. I still took nurse call & helped with tech call when we were short.

Now they've made it a mandatory part of my job, and all my call is "tech call" - which is creating issues as far as seniority & how requests get handled when it comes to weekends, vacations & holidays. Our techs are in a different union than our nurses, so seniority is impossible to determine.

I'd love to hear how some of the hospitals out there are handling this, if this is a situation that exists elsewhere??


Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development.

At my current employer, all of our nurses are oriented to scrub, so any call could be scrub call. At my previous employer that didn't orient nurses to scrub, it was designated circulate or scrub call and the only RNs who could sign up for scrub call were either trained elsewhere or a surg tech previously - and it was a last resort if there weren't STs to take/assign it to. That one was non-union, and things were done by unit seniority so a little easier likely than your situation.

Specializes in Pediatric OR.

Thank you! 

That's interesting - I agree with call being designated to those with prior scrub experience - an emergency at 3am is no time to sharpen your skills. ?

If a hospital has a program to train nurses, and the orientation is long & thorough through all the specialties, I can see it working.

Thanks for your input!

Specializes in ICU, Trauma, CCT,Emergency, Flight, OR Nursing.

At my hospital , nurses are required to be trained to scrub and to scrub the days that they are assigned . As far as scrub call is concerned, nurses primarily sign up for Circ call and typically, if mandatory call is needed, then it is assigned to the nurses as Circ Call. We do have CSTs as well and they sign up for scrub call first and openings are then mandatorily assigned to them. If there are still unassigned scrub call shifts 5 days after the call sign up opens, then RNs can sign up for call (which many do as call pay is very lucrative in the CA Bay Area) . RNs are not usually mandated scrub call , unless they didn't bother to sign up for any Circ call and there are no circ call vacancies ; then there is a high chance of being mandated . Typically scrub call should first be assigned to scrub techs if you have them (as they want call as well) then open to RNs who want to take scrub call and then mandated to Techs, then RNs if call shifts are still unfilled. I am at a Union teaching hospital . 

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