As the 21st century progresses, we will see a redefinition of medical roles and emergence of new healthcare professional positions due to the increasing number of hospital staff requirements and shortage in the employees to cover the areas. One of the positions that will continue to evolve during this period is the field of Registered Nursing. As we can slowly see, the nursing field has already evolved and introduced a new field known as Practical Nursing and most recently, there has been an emergence of nurses specializing in operating room procedures. Their official title is Perioperative Nurses but are more commonly known as Operating Room Nurses . What sets these breed of nurses apart from the RN’s and PLN’s in the field? What kind of duties does this area of nursing entail? More importantly, what kind of traits must a person have in order to become an OR Nurse?
Basically, a OR nurse is an RN with exceptional professional judgement and analytical skills who work in close proximity to surgical patients and serve as the bridge between the surgeons and doctors in the OR and the patient’s immediate family who are in the waiting room. Once the patient is out of the operating room, the OR nurse will then need to develop a treatment plan and evaluation for the patient. Although or nurses serve mainly as assistance to doctors and RN’s, their jobs training and description goes way beyond the Operating Room. In fact, they can serve highly useful purposes in the hospital office setting. They are often called upon to help solve budgeting problems and create schedules, assign staff schedules, and in some cases, even serve as the operating room director. Due to the excellent training opportunities of an OR nurse, they often find themselves going into business as management consultants, clinical educators, medical researchers, or even medical sales professionals. Or, some OR nurses take their nursing skills a level higher by acquiring training in order to become a nurse anesthesist.
Even though OR nurses are primarily registered nurses, they belong to a different breed of nurses. An OR nurse needs to posses certain personable qualities in order to deal with the patient, the patien’s family, and the doctors or surgeons. Emotional stability, empathy, care, and the ability to make patient-centric decisions at critical moments are but the tip of the personality requirements for the job. They must also be able to exhibit leadership and coordinating skills, as well as work with a team either as a member or a leader, egos have no place in this job. Of course, there are also the mandatory requirements of all nurses such as being an RN, physical strength and stamina, and, for office duties, familiarity with computer programs.
In the end however, most OR nurses are tempted into the field because of the higher salary scale of these specialized nurses. As the demands on nurses increase with the health needs of the aging population, OR nurses will become necessities in the field of nursing. With its more flexible work schedule, most OR nurses will most likely be female nurses who have children waiting for them at home.