Whats the Difference Between a Surgical Nurse and a Surg Tech?
Whats the difference between a surgical nurse and surg tech?
A surgical nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who works on both life-saving and elective surgeries. They care for patients before, during and after surgeries, and work in hospitals, surgery centers, and clinics to support surgeons and medical teams.
They also help patients recover after surgery, check in with families and give instructions on how to take care of their condition. This type of nursing career is a rewarding and exciting one with a variety of job opportunities to choose from.
Surgical nurses are often called operating room (OR) nurses, perioperative nurses or scrub nurses. They are a vital part of the surgical team, and they are essential for maintaining a sterile environment before, during and after procedures.
How to Become a Surgical Nurse
A surgical nurse typically starts their careers with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, although some schools offer programs for students without a high school diploma or GED certificate. They then complete their education and nursing license requirements to become a registered nurse.
There are several pathways to becoming an RN, including an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). ADN programs generally take two years to complete, while BSN programs may take four years to complete and require additional clinical experience.
RN licensure is required in all states, and some RNs choose to pursue specialty licensing for their area of practice. This is often required by a specific hospital, and some states even require an additional licensing exam.
Scrub Nurses and Circulating Nurses
Surgeons are able to perform surgery more quickly and efficiently if they have the right nurses to assist them during procedures. A scrub nurse is a registered nurse (RN) that is responsible for preparing and sterilizing equipment, materials and supplies before surgeries occur.
Their responsibilities can include marking areas of the body that are to be operated on using special pens, and ensuring the sterile field is maintained throughout the procedure. They also hand medical instruments and supplies to the surgeons as requested.
In addition to their scrubbing and circulating responsibilities, scrub nurses must be able to communicate well with the surgical team. They can help the surgeons move around during the procedure, obtain supplies and remain in communication with their patient’s families.
They also use their back table to locate any instruments that the surgeon asks for during the operation. They are able to pass these items along quickly, keeping everything running smoothly.
The circulating nurse is a registered nurse (RN) with an RN license that is also responsible for coordinating patient care and obtaining any required supplies. They must be able to show intuition, speed and responsiveness in their actions so that all of the surgeons can focus on their task at hand.
Surgical nurses and surgical techs have different roles but are both critical to the success of surgical procedures. Both have excellent job prospects and enjoy stable employment with good salaries.