What exactly does an OR nurse do?

Nurses General Nursing


Can you please list the responsibilities one might have? Thanks a bunch! :D


80 Posts

Specializes in OPERATING ROOM, ICU.

I expect you are asking what the "circulator" does. The circulating nurse is the patient's advocate while they are in surgery. Your responsibilities include making sure everything that is necessary for their surgery is available and working properly for that patient. You must be certain any implants that may be needed, any specialized equipment is available, and you can operate it. Is the surgical suite set up properly for your patient? Bed turned in the proper position. Additional support/padding is available. Counts done as appropriate. It is your responsibility that the staff in the room is competent for your patient's surgery. You must make sure your patient has given informed consent for their surgery and that they understand what that is. You must know the patient's medical history, any allergies, etc. What are the doctor's pre-op orders, have they been followed. Does the consent and MD order coorelate? Is there IV access. Are there orders for pre-op meds, have they been given. Have appropriate labs been done? Do you need to have a type and screen or crossmatch for any blood products.

These are a few of the responsibilities of a circulator.

From a patients bit of knowledge.

Support the patient in pre-op

Make sure everything is running smoothly for the patient

Make sure the patient is not freaking out ;)

In general just be there for the patient.

The one nirse I remember the MOST would be one of my OR nurses. "I will be there with you the WHOLE time dont worry" and held my hand while I was going to sleep. I was not particularly scared, but it was nice to have that support there, and knowing that someone cared about me in the room helped SO much!

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