During the 1800s, scrub nurse duties were not performed. Unfortunately, it was a common practice for physicians to perform operations using unsanitary practices. These situations occurred because no one knew how important it was to sterilize the medical instruments that were used in an operation. Medical doctors also performed many critical operations with clothing that were filled with blood and other stains on them.
Under tumultuous working conditions, some army doctors operated on soldiers who were injured during battle. Due to treating numerous patients at one time, they would move from one patient to another without proper hand washing procedures. As a result, many people during these timeframes died of different types of diseases that were caused by these surgical practices. As time passed and procedures were updated, however, many lives are now being saved and it is due to the present sanitary practices that have been implemented in an operating room. This is one of the main reasons why scrub nurses are hired and in demand today.
What is a Scrub Nurse?
A scrub nurse is a professional member of a surgical team and they are hired to work in the operating room. Their role is critical in ensuring patients are not affected by various diseases that have caused by unsanitary surgical practices. The scrub nurse responsibilities include promoting and fostering a completely sterile environment. This means, they work directly with the doctor as well as other members of the surgical team to accomplish this task. Sterile clothing, sterile hands and sterile instruments are a requirement for all in the operating room and this must be properly coordinated and supervised by the scrub nurse. Therefore, the nurse should be available prior to the procedure because their responsibility is to prepare the patient and the team for the operation.
Scrub Nurse Operation Preparation & Duties
The scrub nurse takes the lead prior to the operation. The surgical team depends on the scrub nurse to keep the operating room and the medical instruments sterile at all times. Therefore, there are many duties and tasks that must be performed in order to prepare the patient and the room. Their jobs involve sterilizing all of the medical instruments and have them available for the surgeons. Clean gowns, masks and surgical shoes should be in a centralized area and are to be used by everyone involved. The goal is to keep diseases from spreading to the patient during and after the operation.
Requirements for the Scrub Nurse
One of the first requirements for becoming a scrub nurse is to obtain an LPN on an RN license. These licenses are needed before a nurse can perform these duties and responsibilities. To become a scrub nurse, the student may choose to complete an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or a one-year program at a technical school or a local community college before they receive their license.
Salaries Scrub Nurse Duties and Average Salaries
The average salary for a scrub nurse is based on several factors and they include the size of the hospital’s facilities and the cost-of-living in the city that the scrub nurse is working in. The highest salary in the nation is in New York, since it has a median income of approximately $94,00 per year (information based on MySalary.com as of 2011). Texas has a median salary of approximately 81,000 per year. Which means, the average salary for these positions in different cities will vary greatly.
To be successful in this career, there are some tips and advice that can help those who are interested in pursuing this profession. Listed below are a few tips that can help an individual to be successful in the area:
Piercing and tattoos. Piercing and tattoos may be offensive in this position because of the nature of these duties. Although young patients may not have a concern when they are being prepared for their operation, some older people may express concerns. According to scrubsmag.com, using good judgment in this area is advised.
Extra work hours. The scrub nurse job is not a nine to five position. Sometimes an operation may take extra hours to complete, which means the scrub nurse will have to show up before the operation and remain available throughout the operation.
Clean appearance. Scrub nurse positions involve presenting a clean appearance at all times. This means potential applicants should make sure they look fresh while completing nursing programs, scrub nursing interviews and performing scrub nurse duties.