Nursing is a demanding and highly stressful job. One of the most demanding positions is that of an operating room, or scrub, nurse. To get to this level in nursing takes a lot of hard work and a lot of practical experience. Once you are there, however, it is an excellent springboard to going even further in your career. So how do you go about getting there? Read this article to know.
The role of the operating room nurse
What does an operating room nurse do? The job entails preparing the operating theatre for surgery: making sure everything is clean and organised in readiness for surgery. Nurses assist during surgery too, assisting the surgeon in any way he wishes. Nurses also perform clinical tasks such as stitching up wounds after surgery and generally accounting for all that goes on in the operating room.
The first stages
Where to start To become an operating room nurse you must first become an RN or registered nurse. The path to this differs depending on your starting point. You need a Bsc in nursing, which takes 3-4 years to attain at a university in Britain or an accredited nursing school in America. If you are an LPN in America, you can do an online bridging programme to get your associates degree and attain the professional qualification of an RN. What happens during a nursing course? During your three-year course of study at university you will have classroom based lectures on subjects such as physiology, anatomy, medication and patient care. You will also attend a number of clinical placements in both medical and surgical nursing where you will gain a lot of the skills needed. You are assessed on performance on these placements as well as exams and essays. At the end of the course you are a qualified RN as well as having a degree. In America, you need to sit the NCLEX exam to get your professional qualification.
What happens after I am qualified ?
What happens once you qualify. There is no specific training to become an operating theatre nurse. The best thing you can do is get as much experience as possible in all areas of care within the medical fields. Focus especially on areas of high stress such as working in emergency rooms and critical care surroundings. You will need to have a few years experience before you will be considered for a job as an theatre nurse. Once you have that experience and have risen to a higher level, grade or band as a nurse, then it is time to apply. Hard work, long hours and total dedication are the things that will get you to the place that you want to be.