Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What Does an OR Nurse do?


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:


  1. 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.


  2. 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!


  3. 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.


  4. Intervene - Placement of foley cathether, correction of any breaks in the sterile field, surgical skin preparation, etc. Long list for interventions!


  5. 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!

1 comment:

WYOCNOR said...

i really liked your article about what does an OR nurse do? sadly thats a question most students don't really get answered due to their limited exposure to OR during their education. If you decide to pursue OR nursing I would suggest finding a place to work that has a good solid training program and is willing to commit to a 6-9 month training orientation and training program.
good luck