by Paula Koen
Perioperative nursing is a very specialized area for nursing practice. The perioperative nurse works in many areas of the OR including the scrub position, circulator, Registered Nurse first assistant (RNFA), and in many different areas. The perioperative nurse provides care to surgical patients before, during, and after surgery. The perioperative RN plans and directs all nursing care for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures. The perioperative RN provides high-quality nursing care through patient assessment, diagnosis, outcome identification, planned implementation, and evaluation. The perioperative RN is often the single advocate for the patient's safety during surgery.
Duties include managing all nursing care within the operating room, observing the surgical team from a broad perspective, and assisting the team to create and maintain a safe, comfortable environment for the patient's surgery. One perioperative nurse is dedicated to the patient during that patient's entire intraoperative experience. The perioperative nurse must utilize critical thinking, assessment, diagnosing, outcome identification, planning, and evaluation skills.