Seeking Advice: Structuring OR Nurse Training based on Past and Current Experience

Specialties Operating Room


Hello fellow nurses,

I'm an OR nurse with over a decade of experience, and I had the opportunity to train in a structured manner during my early years in the operating room. In that training, I had 4 months of dedicated scrub training followed by 2 months of focused circulating training.

However, in my current hospital, we are using a flip-flop approach, where new nurses rotate between scrubbing and circulating roles regularly throughout their training. Reflecting on my past training and comparing it to the current approach, I wonder if there might be benefits to revisiting a more structured training method.

Based on my earlier experience, I found that having an extended period to focus solely on scrub training significantly enhanced my understanding of aseptic techniques, instrumentation, and sterile field management. This depth of understanding was beneficial when I transitioned into the circulating role.

Considering this, I'm contemplating proposing a training approach that involves a solid 3~4 months of scrub training followed by a focused 2~3 months of circulating training. This approach aims to provide new nurses with an in-depth understanding of each role before they transition.

Potential advantages of this approach could include:

  • Mastery of Aseptic Techniques: Extended scrub training allows for a deep dive into aseptic techniques, crucial for maintaining a sterile surgical field and ensuring patient safety.
  • Enhanced Instrumentation and Equipment Familiarity: A prolonged period of specialized training in scrubbing would enable our new nurses to become intimately familiar with a wide array of surgical instruments and equipment.
  • Confidence and Role Proficiency: Building confidence and proficiency in one role before moving on to the other may result in a smoother transition and more competent OR nurses overall.

Have any of you experienced a training program structured in this manner? What are your insights regarding the potential advantages or disadvantages of such an approach? I'd particularly appreciate hearing from those who have experienced both training methods.

Thank you for sharing your expertise!

Best regards,

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