A Day in a Life of an OR Nurse

Whenever you may hear Operating Room, one thing that comes into your mind is taking a closer look in the human body. Nurses in the operating room are equipped in terms of anatomy and physiology as well as pathophysiology. The OR nurses have a huge role also in keeping the operating field sterile in order to prevent complications of operation.

As an operating room nurse, the first activity that can be encountered is receiving patients that have scheduled surgeries. Some cases may also involve emergency surgery such as in gun shoot wounds wherein exploration must be done in order to take out foreign body. Emergency surgeries may also involve emergency caesarian section. In this type of case, the delivery of the baby must be done in a faster paced so that the lives of both mother and baby will not be compromised.

Upon receiving the patient, the name, age and sex of the patient is verified by the OR nurse. The receiving OR nurse may usually serve as the circulating nurse during the operation. The type of operation is also verified together with the name of the surgeon and anesthesiologist. The vital signs are still important before starting the surgery. This can prevent a lot of complications before, during and after the surgical procedure. During the endorsement, the OR nurse must also make sure a signed consent is done by the patient or folks. Another important pointer for an OR nurse must be accomplished is to assess the level of understanding of the patient of the planned procedure. This matter involves nursing ethics.

After the endorsement is done, other OR nurses may also help the nurse assigned for the case in placing the patient in the operating table with observation of safety measures that could help in preventing the strain from the patient. Several positions are required depending on the procedure, so therefore, the OR nurse must also be knowledgeable enough with the range of motion.

During the surgical procedure, OR nurses are there to assist with the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Aside from the, counting of instruments are also important so that nothing will be left in the body. Counting of sponges and instruments may involves three episodes (before, during and final closing) with the help of the circulating nurse and scrub nurse.

The post anesthetic care unit is also covered by OR nurses, in this department; they are also tasked in monitoring the vital signs of the patient. The OR nurses are equipped to know if the patient is on his way to recover from the anesthesia or something might be delaying the desired outcome. With all these activities the OR nurses face; they are still equipped to work independently and interdependently.

Image courtesy of lhsc.on.ca

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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