A surgery is not a one-person show, it is a project on which an entire team works from start to finish. Surgeries require nurses, assistants, doctors, and other carers to ensure that they go smoothly and so the surgeon is well supported throughout the surgery.
The roles of nurses in surgery
For nurses, patient care is a hugely significant aspect of their work, and this is also the case for surgical nurses. Nurses who want to work in surgery will need to be comfortable communicating and working with patients on their care plans and preparation for surgery.
During surgery itself, there are scrub nurses who help with the surgical scrub and ensure that the patient, operating theater, and all of the surgeon’s tools are sterile and as clean as possible. This nurse will also hand the surgeon tools during the operation itself.
Circulating nurses meet with a patient before and after the procedure to answer questions, speak with family, and go through pre-procedure assessments. These nurses may also be required to update the patient’s loved ones on the results of the surgery and its progress.
RN first assistants work directly with doctors during the surgery and help to control bleeding, watch out for signs of complications, perform stiches, and apply bandages. These nurses need to be very comfortable with surgery and all it entails.
Becoming a surgical nurse
The first step toward becoming a surgical nurse is obtaining an RN and passing the national nursing board exams. Once you have a valid RN license, the next step is to gain work experience in surgery whenever possible.
Nurses who want to elevate their career prospects and learn even more about the role of nurses in surgery can also pursue an RN to NP bridge program, which helps to train nurses using the newest technology and advances in the field.
Online postgraduate degree programs, such as those offered at Wilkes University, have the added advantage of flexibility for learners who are working, caring for family members, or just unable to dedicate the time and resources required for full-time, in-person education.
Surgical nurse professional skills
If you are interested in assisting in a surgery and becoming a surgical nurse, there are several steps required. Surgical nurses work with patients before, during, and after the surgery and are highly skilled professionals.
For these nurses, a key attribute are clinical skills that will help you to respond quickly and effectively to whatever is happening on the surgery table. Surgical nurses also tend to have extremely good communication skills as they need to be able to explain the surgery and potential complications to the patient and their family, along with communicating the results of the surgery.