Circulating nurses and scrub nurses play an essential role in the medical setting. The two parts are different, but both contribute to the successful operation of a medical facility. This article will examine the differences between circulating and scrub nurses, and how they work together to create a smooth-running healthcare environment. We will also explore the qualifications necessary to become a circulating or scrub nurse and the potential career paths available for each.
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Circulating Nurse Vs Scrub Nurse
What is a Circulating Nurse?
A circulating nurse is a registered nurse who plays an essential role in the operating room. They oversee all aspects of patient care before, during, and after surgery. They ensure the operating room is properly set up with appropriate supplies and equipment, prepare patients for their procedures, monitor vital signs, and assist the surgical team.
What is a Scrub Nurse?
A scrub nurse is an experienced registered nurse who plays a vital role in the operating room. They are responsible for preparing and maintaining the sterile field, passing instruments and supplies to the surgical team during procedures, and assisting with complex procedures. Scrub nurses also monitor patients’ progress during surgery and respond quickly to signs of distress or complications. In addition, they are responsible for disposing of contaminated materials and instruments at the end of each procedure.
How do they differ?
Although circulating and scrub nurses work in the operating room, they have different roles and responsibilities. Circulating nurses oversee all aspects of patient care before, during, and after surgery, while scrub nurses focus solely on assisting the surgical team during procedures. Additionally, scrub nurses must maintain a sterile environment by handling instruments and supplies per strict guidelines. Ultimately, circulating and scrub nurses are essential operating room team members and work together to ensure that each procedure succeeds.
Role and Responsibilities of a Circulating & Scrub Nurses
• Pre-operative duties – circulate nurses are responsible for verifying the surgical schedule and preparing the operating room before each procedure. It includes gathering necessary supplies and equipment, ensuring that all instruments and equipment are in proper working order, prepping patients for surgery, and calming any anxiety they may have.
• Intra-operative duties – circulating nurses monitor patient vital signs such as temperature, pulse, and respiration throughout the procedure. They also assist the surgical team with tasks requiring an extra set of hands, such as changing equipment or passing instruments. In addition, they are responsible for maintaining communication between all operating room staff members.
• Post-operative duties – circulating nurses take charge of patient care after surgery and ensure a safe and comfortable recovery. It includes cleaning the operating room, disposing of contaminated supplies and instruments, providing patient education and instructions for post-operative care, and ensuring all relevant paperwork is completed.
• Pre-operative duties – scrub nurses are responsible for gathering the necessary tools and supplies for a successful procedure. This includes setting up a sterilized work area, double-checking that all instruments are present, and verifying that they have been properly disinfected before use.
• Intra-operative duties – during the procedure, scrub nurses assist the surgical team by passing instruments and supplies, verifying the counts of instruments, and anticipating any needs that may arise. They also help with wound closure and suturing.
• Post-operative duties – after surgery, scrub nurses are responsible for cleaning the operating room and ensuring that all instruments have been properly sterilized. In addition, they help to restock the operating room with necessary supplies in preparation for the following surgical procedure.
Difference in Education & Certification
They need to hold a registered nurse license and have experience in the operating room environment. They may also be required to complete specialized training courses such as those offered by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).
They must also hold a registered nurse license and should have at least two years of experience with scrubbing procedures. Additionally, AORN offers a Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR) credential highly recommended for those pursuing scrub nursing roles.
those in full-time employment typically earn around $71,000 annually. Scrub nurses usually make slightly higher, with an average salary of $76,000 per year. However, those who hold the CNOR certification may be able to command a higher wage due to their specialized knowledge and experience.
those in full-time employment typically earn around $76,000 annually. Those who hold the CNOR certification may command a higher wage due to their specialized knowledge and experience. Additionally, scrub nurses often receive additional compensation for on-call shifts or overtime work.
The demand for circulating nurses is expected to grow in the coming years as healthcare needs increase. With more people accessing medical care, hospitals and other medical facilities must staff up to meet their patients’ needs. Circulating nurses play a critical role in the operating room, so those with the necessary qualifications should have no problem finding employment opportunities.
The job outlook for scrub nurses is also very positive. As medical technology advances, more procedures require the expertise of well-trained professionals. Scrub nurses are in high demand due to their specialized knowledge and experience, which makes them an invaluable asset to any operating room staff. With a growing need for skilled healthcare workers, those with the necessary qualifications should be fine finding employment opportunities.
Circulating and scrub nurses both play an essential role in the operating room. Circulating nurses are responsible for prepping patients for surgery, monitoring vital signs throughout the procedure, and assisting the surgical team. Meanwhile, scrub nurses are responsible for maintaining a sterile work area, passing instruments and supplies during operations, and cleaning up after each surgery is complete.
Mrs. Marie Brown has been a registered nurse for over 25 years. She began her nursing career at a Level I Trauma Center in downtown Chicago, Illinois. There she worked in the Emergency Department and on the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. After several years, she moved to the Midwest and continued her nursing career in a critical care setting. For the last 10 years of her nursing career, Mrs. Brown worked as a flight nurse with an air ambulance service. During this time, she cared for patients throughout the United States.