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Name: OR (Perioperative) Nurse
Description: Provides for the surgical patient’s needs, by assessing, planning, and implementing nursing care patient receives preoperatively, intraoperatively, and postoperatively. Nursing activities performed by the perioperative nurse include patient assessment, creating and maintaining a sterile and safe environment, preoperative and postoperative teaching, monitoring physiologic and psychological status, integration and coordination of care across settings and among disciplines, patient advocacy, and efficient provision of resources
Diagnoses: Provides nursing care to all surgical subspecialties requiring surgical intervention for curative or palliative treatment. Surgical subspecialties can include neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, trauma, pediatrics, oncology, general surgery, urology, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), dental, plastic and reconstructive, and orthopaedic surgery
Practice roles: Staff nurse functioning in roles of scrub or circulating nurse, Registered Nurse First Assistant, Manager; Supervisor, Director, Educator, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Researcher
Characteristics: Work closely with a variety of patients, family members, and other health care professionals. Variety of duties, learning opportunities, technology, and teaching opportunities. Teamwork in a multidisciplinary setting. A sense of personal satisfaction derived from helping others
Client age group: All ages
Drawbacks: Can be exposed to human suffering and frequent emergencies
Desirable skills: Must be able to accept responsibility, provide direction to others, coordinate the patient’s healthcare plan, collaborate with physicians and other health care professionals, and determine when consultation is needed. Along with interpersonal skills, critical thinking skills, and flexibility, physical strength and stamina to position patients, transport equipment, and standing for long periods of time
Education: RN with AD, diploma, or BSN. Depending on where you live and/or the facility, general nursing experience may be required before entering this specialty
Employers: Hospital surgical departments, ambulatory surgery centers, clinics, physician’s offices, and physician office-based surgery
Certification Board Perioperative Nursing
2170 South Parker Road, Suite 295
Denver, CO 80231
AORN, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses
2170 South Parker Road, Suite 300
Denver, CO 80231-5711
AORN Journal
Surgical Services Management (journal)
AORN Standards