If you have ever been to a hospital, you may have seen nurses scurrying around, carrying medicines, instruments or folders. You may not have paid much attention to them thinking that they merely assist the doctors in their daily functioning. However, there is always more to them than meets the eye. Nurses are considered to be the cornerstones of the nation’s healthcare industry. They offer care and comfort and play a key role in delivering good healthcare. There is another major role that is played by nurses in society. Remember the lady with the lamp? Yes, Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was a pioneering statistician who collected data to prove that the chief cause of high soldier mortality in the Crimean War was improper sanitation. Today, nurses provide ongoing assessment of people’s health with their continuous presence and observation skills. They also help people and families cope with illnesses and advocate health promotion. However, among all the nursing disciplines, one of the toughest yet highly gratifying areas is surgical nursing. A surgical nurse needs to be familiar with the patient’s status quo so that s/he can assist doctors in the operating room efficiently. Explore the information below for details on becoming a surgical nurse.
Becoming A Surgical Nurse
If you wish to gain admission to a nursing program or school, you must prepare thoroughly for the exams as they are generally very competitive. A science and mathematics background in high school makes you eligible for the ‘Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing’ or B.S.N Degree. For those having a non-nursing baccalaureate degree wishing to enroll in a B.S.N program, general education requirements must be satisfied by some previous academic work. This particular degree takes about four years to conclude. The undergraduate program in nursing includes classes on related subjects such as chemistry, biochemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology. There is also a semester or year of clinical education where the students are exposed to hands-on training conducted in hospitals under the close supervision of a registered nurse.
Surgical nurses must have sound knowledge of their subjects and specializations. In addition to this, they must have excellent communication skills for they are considered the voice of the patient in the operating room. They also need to interact with the patients’ family members to discuss suitable healthcare treatments.
They must have a lot of patience to cooperate with the patients and their families while solving their problems. With exceptional written and communication skills, a surgical nurse must also help patients complete the basic formalities of the hospital.
They must be properly equipped with practical thinking skills to provide effective nursing care in emergencies. They ought to be result-oriented and self-motivated and must possess the capability to provide physical and mental support to patients in critical situations. For this, knowledge of computers and the ability to conveniently operate medical equipment is a must.
Roles And Responsibilities
Their primary function is to help the surgeon and surgery team during a surgery.
It is their duty to make sure that patients suffer minimum complications from the surgery and remain stable before, during and after the surgery.
They should be familiar with the patient’s history and spend time with the patient before the surgery so that they can address any unique demands that might emerge during the surgery.
They have to answer the queries of the patients so that they are mentally and physically comfortable with the procedures to be performed on them. While the surgery is going on, these nurses need to be attentive and observant so that they do not miss any subtle signs of discomfort faced by the patient. These signs must be immediately reported to the surgical team.
They must also monitor the post-operative condition of the patients by doing blood tests, bandaging and giving them medicines.
The health sector in general will always witness an upswing. And as far as surgical nursing is concerned, you can expect a lot of growth potential in this area.It is, however, necessary for a nurse to gain experience in general care areas such as intensive care or emergency room before entering surgical nursing.
Surgical nursing as a career is definitely not for the faint-hearted and those with derisory communication skills. Weigh your options carefully before you finally take the plunge.