A Surgical Nurse is always an RN (registered nurse) who gives care to patients who are recovering from or preparing for surgery. These registered nurses might be found in homes, outpatient settings, hospitals, and other areas of post- and pre-op care.
Whenever a patient undergoes surgery, they completely entrust their well-being and health to a highly skilled surgical team. It includes a team of surgeons, or individual surgeons, and anesthesiologists, as well as technicians. Surgical nurses also play a vital role in guaranteeing a good surgical experience.
But how to become a skilled surgical nurse? Well, here are the miraculous steps;
Becoming A Surgical Nurse - Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1. Understand the surgical nurse’s role
Surgical nurses called operating or perioperative room nurses offer a huge variety of services, including assisting surgeons in the OR and providing patient care during, after, and before the surgical & diagnostic processes. There are many roles that surgical nurses play. Some most general roles are as follows:
- Scrub nurse: Requires the ability to choose and manipulate surgical equipment and materials.
- Circulating nurses: Controls the flow of nurse services in the operation room. Make sure you have enough of the right people, tools, and materials on hand.
- RN First Assistants (RNFA): Helps all the surgeons to control bleeding efficiently, giving wound exposure, & suturing.
- Post-Op nurse: Receives a particular patient after the process of surgery is completed. Checks for postoperative issues when the patient awakens and arranges for his or her transfer or release.
- Pre-op nurse: It includes taking care of a patient in preparation for surgery. This may include taking a patient's vital signs and medical history, initiating intravenous fluids, checking paperwork, and offering comfort and guidance to the patient.
Step 2. Enroll in the nursing degree program
If you want to become a surgical nurse, you're needed to be a registered nurse with a bachelor's or associate degree. Regardless of when you find yourself in nursing, some universities offer fascinating pathways to assist you in earning the degree you actually want & become an RN:
- LPN to BSM/ASN program bridge choices for licensed nurses that can be earned in 16 to 28 months based on the path of degree you select.
- ASN (Associate of Science in Nursing) degree for entry-level RNs that can be easily completed in a period of around 20 to 24 months.
- In less than a year, working nurses with an associate's degree may finish an online RN – BSN program and advance their careers.
- If you already have a bachelor's degree from a college or university, but it is in a field other than nursing, you may be eligible for a program of accelerated nursing that will allow you to get your BSN in as little as 20 months. Some universities also offer Direct Entry MSN programs that you can choose from. These allow you to complete your master's degree in only 20 months.
Step 3. Pass the NCLEX exam & become an RN
Once you've graduated from the accredited university of college, you're eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. And once you have successfully passed the exams & met all the essential requirements of the nursing board in the state, you'll be a fully certified RN.
Step 4. Get Certified
A lot of employers need additional training and education to become a nurse who works in the intraoperative, postoperative, and preoperative areas. This experience can be smoothly gained from the perioperative certificate program offered by clinics and hospitals.
Not every employer requires this additional certification and education for surgical nurses, but it might assist in increasing the earning potential of a nurse. Some certifications that are offered currently are:
Additional certification can also be gained through the Association of Perioperative Nurses.
Step 5. Begin your career as a surgical nurse
If you're looking for a challenging and rewarding profession, consider a career in Surgical Nursing. Helping out in the operating room is a great way to get your hands dirty, save lives, and make a difference for patients and their loved ones by providing education and emotional support. Perioperative nursing is a broad field with numerous potential areas of specialization. No matter which path you choose, you always need a satisfying and lucrative career.
Core skills for a surgical nurse
The ultimate goal of these education, experience, and certification requirements is to hone the skills necessary to deliver the highest standard of patient care. A number of skills are essential for anyone in the surgical nurse role.
- Flexibility: Things can vary very abruptly and quickly with surgery. Surgical nurses might have to tackle many last-minute changes to their work assignments and schedules. Therefore, flexibility is important for jobs.
- Communication skills: You need to maintain the well-being and safety of the patient and should have the best communication skills to talk to them after and before the surgery. This will let them know what actual preparations they currently need to make & what follow-ups they should do. In addition, the nurses have to communicate clearly and calmly with the technicians and surgeons, even in highly tense environments.
- Organizational skills. Organizational skills are essential for nurses who work in a surgical environment. Nurses who specialize in surgical care must be organized and meticulous in all aspects of their profession, from equipment and documentation to patient care. Registered surgical nurses also need to be ready to regularly maintain patient records.
- Physical & emotional strength: Working as a surgical nurse sometimes involves standing for lengthy periods of time, which might test your endurance. A patient's death is only one of the many possible unintended results of the high-pressure environment of the operating room. Dealing with these difficulties requires tremendous emotional strength.
Time management. Nurses will identify which particular requests are urgent once they gain experience in the setting of surgery. Being able to manage and prioritize time efficiently is important for the position.