What is OR nursing like in the U.S.

Specialties Operating Room


I'm in Canada. Thinking of going to the US to work in the OR. Please tell me what it is like down there.

In Canada, we have circulating and scrub nurses (both RNs), there's 2 of us assigned to a room, we alternate scrubbing and circulating or whatever someone has a preference. The 3rd RN does break relief between two rooms. We balance out starting the case by brining in the patient, assisting anaesthetist with induction and opening up for the scrub nurse. Circulate during case, if possible check case cart for next case, after case ends, take patient to recovery, then alternate and do same thing over and over. We dont have LPNs, yet, so the RNs do everything. We have a pretty quick turnover but we work together as a team so the day goes by fast. I'm sure there's more I'm not thinking of but is this how things work down in the states? How does it work with the Techs.If I go down there will I ever scrub? Are there any differences between public and private hospitals? Also during an 8 hour shift, we get 2 15s and 1 half. (get it 90 percent of the time). Are breaks an issue?

Specializes in Med-Surg;Rehab;Gerontology; Now OR.

A lot of US Hospitals utilize surgical technicians so they do the scrubbing. It really depends on what hospital you will be working at, and how many surgical techs they have. In my OR, the RN's only get to scrub when techs are short.

The circulating duties you described are pretty much the same here.

Not much difference between public and private hospitals, I don't think. Just from personal experience, public hospitals tend to be teaching hospitals so there are residents and students and surgeries take much longer because of the teaching aspect. I like teaching hospitals better, it is a nice environment and there's always a lot of people to help you. Private hospitals, the more surgeries they do, the more revenue, so it's really fast paced.

Breaks are the same, some ORs may not have morning breaks but you get 45 min for lunch.

Thanks for the reply. That's too bad about the scrub techs doing all the scrub work. I'll miss that. If I go, I'll make sure to ask for a teaching hospital. I work in one now and I love it, the surgeons and anaesthetists are on their best behaviour with the students :)

I can't imagine not scrubbing... that's the best part!

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