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There are three main types of nurses which may be in the operating room during a surgical procedure. There is the scrub nurse, circulating nurse and the theatre nurse. The scrub nurse actually scrubs in, in a similar manner as the surgeon. The scrub nurse will use sanitizing soaps, gloves and attire because he/she will be in close proximity to the surgeon, patient and will be touching the instruments as he/she hands them to the surgeon. Scrub nurses work in conjunction with the surgeon to keep the surgery flowing and providing the surgeon with the proper instruments throughout. The circulating nurse is not required to “scrub in” because he/she is there to ensure patient care and safety as well as ensure the surgical room is prepared with all necessary equipment, supplies and personnel as required for the procedure. The circulating nurse represents the patient if anything does not go as planned in surgery, ensuring that all care, concerns and wishes are carried out on behalf of the patient. Then we have the theatre nurse. The theatre nurse is very versatile and can quickly and easily take the position and responsibilities of either the scrub nurse or the circulating nurse. A theatre nurse position is very desirable for a person whom would like to participate in more surgical procedures. Because this person is so versatile, they must be very well educated and prepared to take control of either position within the procedure. A theatre nurse will have a full understanding of the operating room technique which is preferred and/or required by the facility, surgeon and other staff. These techniques are in place to provide the most conducive environment for both the staff and the patient. For more information and free career advise visit your local college or nursing school for a free personal assessment.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|