If you’re a nurse contemplating a career in the operating room, the following are 3 steps you need to take to guide you in the right direction.
First of all, you need to know what type of OR nurse you want to be. Do you want to be a scrubbing nurse? A scrubbing nurse prepares the operating room for the next surgery. Assists by inspecting the tools and handing these over to the surgeon when needed during the surgery. After surgery, the scrubbing nurse picks up all the tools, and puts these away. Finally, the nurse prepares the patient for post-op.
Do you want to be a circulating nurse? A circulating nurse supervises the surgical procedure. She or he inspects the surgical equipment or tools and verifies patient’s identity. Then, this nurse goes over patient’s history with the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Makes sure that the entire surgical procedure is in compliance with hospital’s policies and procedures.
Do you want to be an RN first assistant? An RN first assistant directly assists the surgeon. So, you must have years of nursing experience in the operating room.
Secondly, you need to be patient and flexible in what it takes to get there. New nurses often complete an externship or residency program within the Surgical Services Department in order to gain skills and experience in the OR. Surgery departments often mandate one year of Med/Surg or Critical Care experience in order to prepare nurses for the operating room.
And finally, do your research. Look up information about the facility you’re interested in, and find out what they have to offer. Also, If you know or meet someone who works in your same field of interest, speak to that person to find out more specific information about the employer or job you’re considering to apply. Doing your research, can have a significant effect in your decision-making.