I'm really up in the air about what I eventually want to do with my nursing career. As such, I like to look up various advanced practice nursing careers and see if any particular one strikes my interest.
I've always thought surgery was cool; I enjoy watching every surgery I can on TV. But nurses aren't surgeons... so what is it exactly that they do? What I did know: nurses setup and observe the sterile field for potential contamination. What I didn't know: there's quite a bit more they do!
An article at allnurses.com written by member BethCNOR, describes an OR nurse's role perfectly. In my nursing studies, I know all about ADPIE (that's assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate in case I have any students here not in their first nursing semester), however, how do these actually apply to the OR nurse? Here's what I found out by reading this great article:
- Assess - Assess the patient before surgery for NPO status, medications and when they were taken, skin color, respirations, verification of vital statistics, placement of any devices such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, etc.
- Diagnose - Several great nursing diagnoses here: impaired gas exchange, activity intolerance, anxiety, alternation in nutrition: less than body requirements, r/f infection all of which can be r/t anesthesia, pain, or surgical procedure. No shortage of nursing diagnoses for the OR nurse!
- Plan - Nurses may set up the surgical instruments without contaminating a sterile field, plan where equipment will be placed to avoid contamination and provide the surgeon with a clear workplace, ensuring that the patient is properly marked and that none of the requested anesthesia poses a threat for an allergic reaction. Nurse may also plan care for the recovery suite; deep breathing, activity, mental status, etc.
- Intervene - Placement of foley cathether, correction of any breaks in the sterile field, surgical skin preparation, etc. Long list for interventions!
- Evaluate - Probably the easiest one to guess; evaluate the effectiveness of your interventions, the condition of the patient, etc.
This seems like a really cool job and one that I'd be interested in to say the least. Great article; stop by and see the original for yourself!