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Taking care of the sick, injured, convalescent or disabled is what the Registered Nurse does. It is their job every day to assess, plan, intervene, implement and evaluate, under general supervision, and according to the established practices and philosophy, to provide a climate which optimizes patient care. RN’s collaborate with other professionals to achieve desired patient outcomes through effective care and treatment. Registered Nurses need communication skills to interact with patients and family members while maintaining professional nursing standards. Travel assignments and jobs are available as the healthcare field continues to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists nursing as a top ten occupations with largest job growth. Travel nursing can allow you to see other areas you have always thought of visiting. Work in a great environment of your choice and enjoy visiting the area in your free time.

The OR General Surgery Registered Nurses assist in general surgery procedures and handle a variety of tasks which may include handing the surgeon surgical tools and intervening if complications occur. RNs care of patients before, during and after surgery. The surgical nurses are the backbone of the surgical team. There are three types of surgical nurses, scrub nurse, circulating nurse and RN first assistant. Each nurse plays an important but different role in the procedures. The scrub nurse passes the surgeon tools, sponges and other surgical equipment. RN First Assistants play a more hands-on role. They monitor patient vital signs, suture incisions and perform emergency care such as controlling bleeding, administering drugs, performing CPR. The circulating nurses don’t participate directly in the surgery or procedure. Their job is to oversee the nursing care and ensure the operating room is clean, sterile and safe.

Duties and Responsibilities of the OR General Surgery RN

Duties of the surgical nurses begin well before the surgery or procedure. The RN will meet with the patient and their family members to explain the procedure and expected recovery time and answer any questions they may have. The OR RN is responsible for sterilizing and setting up the surgical tools, preparing the operating room and helping other members of the team put on their sterile gowns, gloves and masks. The RN will also clean and prepare the incision site. After the operation, the RN will bandage and stitch wounds and incisions and transport the patient to the recovery room. Patient will be monitored while awakening from the anesthesia. The RN will continue to provide care until the patient is transferred to another unit or discharged from the facility.

RN OR General Surgery nurses generally work in surgery centers, hospitals, clinics and private physicians offices. The work environment may be high pressure and require quick thinking and the ability to remain calm in a crisis. Surgical nurses work in a dynamic and challenging environment, taking on key roles in lifesaving surgical procedures and the surrounding care. Some surgeries last several hours and RN could spend many hours on their feet. Duties vary depending on the RN’s level of expertise. The job can be very rewarding but every time the nurse enters the OR there is a possibility of losing the patient. Compassion and tact is necessary when interacting with worried patients or grieving family members.

Experience and Education

The OR General Surgery RN will need an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing first. Earn their Registered Nurse License and though there is no degree program specifically for surgical nursing, there are continuing education courses in the specific aspects of perioperative care such as emergency procedures, sterilization, and discharge planning.

In addition to providing safe and comprehensive nursing care, responsibilities of the OR Registered Nurse would be to demonstrate understanding and utilization of universal precautions, asepsis and infection control procedures, monitor and operate equipment, assess and educate the patient and family members as required and attend rounds. The RN must be well versed in a large variety of health conditions due to the broad range of medical conditions they may encounter

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