A surgical nurse, also referred to as a theatre nurse, specializes in preoperative care which means they provide care to patients before, during and after surgery. Once you have completed your training to become and Registered Nurse or Enrolled Nurse, you then must complete extra training to become a theatre nurse. There are different specialty areas that theatre nurses can focus in, it just depends on which area they are interested in.
There are many different phasing during surgery where the theatre nurse is needed to support and assist the patient, surgeons, surgical technician, nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners. Preoperative, the nurse must insure she helps to prepare the patient and operating room for the surgery. During the surgery, they must assist the anesthetist and surgeons when they are needed. The last phase is post-operative; the nurse must make sure they provide suitable care and treatments for the patients.
People who want to become surgical nurses attend nursing school and specialize in surgical nursing. They are often required to pass examinations administered by the government or by nursing certification boards before being allowed to work as nurses, and they may also be expected to attend periodic continuing education classes so that they keep up with developments in the nursing field.
Surgical nurses may practice in different types of surgery:
Vascular surgery (e.g. varicose vein surgery, aortic aneurysm repair)
Surgical Oncology (e.g. breast surgery, tumour resections)
Orthopedic surgery (e.g. knee or hip replacements, fracture repair)
Urological surgery (e.g. prostate surgery)
Day surgery (or ambulatory surgery, where a patient is discharged within 24 hours)