Surgical Nursing: Not All Nurses Are The SameSurgical Nursing: Not All Nurses Are The Same

When one thinks of going to the hospital, it is normally in the context of having some sort of procedure done. Be it having an appendix removed or undergoing a more complicated operation, the operating room will be filled with all sorts of medical professionals.

Surgeons, anesthesiologists, surgical technicians, and nurses will work together to assure proper patient care. Surgical patients understand and indeed demand that only specialists perform the various needed procedures. For instance, most people only wants a licensed anesthesiologist administering anesthesia. If someone is having heart surgery, they only want a cardiologist to operate on them.

But how many people have given thought to the type of nurse that is in the operating room? Some may think that a nurse is just a nurse and that all are the same. This is not true and you may be surprised to know just how specialized this field of nursing has become.

Who Is the Surgical Nurse?

Anyone who enters the hospital for a surgical procedure is going to interact with a surgical nurse at some point during their visit. In addition to being a vital part of the actual surgical team, surgical nurses can be found in preoperative and postoperative care units.
What They Do in Preoperative Care

The surgical nurse makes sure the patient is stable enough for surgery. They clean and prepare the area that will be operated on and discuss the procedure with the patient. In addition, the surgical nurse is charged with updating the various specialists involved with the patient's condition as well as the patient's family.

During Surgery

The surgical nurse will make sure the required surgical instruments are properly placed and available for the surgeons. They will monitor all of the devices and advise accordingly regarding status. Often a subcategory of surgical nursing, known as a circulating nursing, will be in place to ensure all is in order.

Role in Postoperative Care

After surgery, the input of a skilled surgical nurse is vital to a speedy patient recovery. Small deviations in diet and medication can be devastating so it is up to the surgical nurse to make certain these are correctly monitored.

In addition, dressing and vital signs must also be monitored very closely. As in preoperative care, the surgical nurse must interact with the family to help them understand what is happening to their loved one.

Education Requirements

Surgical nursing is a specialized nursing field that requires a Bachelor Degree in Nursing. Afterwards, a state exam is required and then further specialized training will be needed before you can be certified to work with a surgical team.

A good surgical nurse will also have exposure to many different types of surgical procedures. They must be familiar with the specialized preoperative and postoperative requirements for different kinds of surgery.

Other Requirements

Surgical nurses interact frequently with doctors, patients, families, and other nurses. They must deal with highly emotional people. Therefore, good communications skills are necessary. Surgical nurses are also patient advocates and disseminators of information.
by Karen P Williams
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