Care for Patients When They’re Most Vulnerable.
Operating Room (OR) Travel Nurses, more professionally known as Perioperative Nurses, are in the operating rooms assisting the surgical teams while patients are most defenseless. OR nurses provide care for patients before and after surgery as well. In this specialty, clinical settings can often be intense and demand extreme focus for long periods of time. Perioperative registered nurses are relied upon for their professional judgment and critical thinking skills. They may work closely with the surgical patient, family members, and other health care professionals. They help plan, implement, and evaluate treatment of the patient.
The many roles of the OR Travel Nurse
During surgery, the operating room nurse may assume any of the following responsibilities:
- Scrub nurse – works directly with the surgeon within the sterile field by passing instruments, sponges, and other items needed during the surgical procedure.
- Circulating nurse – works outside the sterile field. Responsible for managing the nursing care within the OR by observing the surgical team from a broad perspective and assisting the team in creating and maintaining a safe, comfortable environment.
- RN First Assistant – after completing extensive additional education and training to deliver direct surgical care, the RN First Assistant may directly assist the surgeon by controlling bleeding and by providing wound exposure and suturing during the actual procedure.
- OR Nurses may work as an OR Director, managing budgets, staffing and other business aspects of the operating room.
What do I need to enter the field of OR Nursing?
Generally, registered nurses obtain general nursing experience before entering the specialty area of Operating Room Nursing. Two areas that can provide applicable experience are critical care and emergency room care. They are fast-paced, sometimes stressful environments where life-saving decisions that make a difference in a patient’s life are routinely made.
Perioperative registered nurses must be able to interact well with all kinds of people in difficult situations. They need emotional stability to cope with human suffering and frequent emergencies. They must be able to accept responsibility, provide direction to others, coordinate a patient’s healthcare plans, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals.
The educational requirements for OR nurses are similar to other nursing specialties: RN license with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing (BSN), associate degree in nursing (ADN), or hospital diploma.
What Is My Earning Potential As An OR Nurse?
Median annual earnings of registered nurses were $57,280
in 2006, with a range of $40,250
. Specialty nurses — such as perioperative nurses and nurse anesthetists, who work in hospitals and outpatient surgery facilities, can earn more than the average for registered nurses.
Salary levels may vary also with geographical location, scope of responsibility and availability of applicants.