YOUR SURGICAL TEAM The unknown force in the OR.

YOUR SURGICAL TEAMWho are they? They are the quiet force that is critical for a positive outcome before, during and after the surgical process. Consisting of Operating Room Nurses and Surgical Technicians, the team supports the operating surgeon and anesthesiologist.

The Operating Room (OR) Nurse:
The primary job of the OR nurse is patient advocate. From start to finish, throughout the entire surgical experience, until the patient leaves the OR and is handed over to another nurse in recovery, the OR nurse will follow her/his patient, making sure that safety checks are followed. He or she will interview, review, assess and learn everything necessary in order to support the patient. Identification, mental acuity, specific allergies, incapacity such as hearing, eyesight, prosthesis and ambulation are noted. Consents are carefully reviewed noted and checked. The surgical site is inspected for the surgeons mark.

The OR nurse will then assist in the transfer of the patient into a warmed OR bed. The patient is secured and made comfortable.

After transport to the OR and before anesthesia agents are administered, a time-out is called with patient participation.  The entire team is asked to go through a complete safety check identifying the patient, the procedure and the particulars, which are specific to that patient. “Right patient, right surgeon, right site and side, allergies and medications noted.” All quiet is demanded during this exercise.

The Surgical (Scrub) Technician:
The surgical technician works under the direction of an OR nurse or physician. He or she is primarily responsible for the sterile imperatives in the surgical field. They apply the sterile drapes to the surgical site, label medications passed from nurses to the site, assist nurses with patient care, scrub patients as needed, anticipate and assist surgeons with their every need.

No operation is the same. Each patient has a different profile and history. Anticipating those variances while following protocol and safeguards is the role of the team. The nurse will order any blood products that might be needed and will make sure that specimens arrive safely at pathology.

When the procedure is finished and final safety checks are done, the team will assist with the transfer of the patient to their post-op bed. At that time, a detailed ‘hand-off’ is given to the nurse taking over the patients care.

The general patient population is often not aware of the superior care they are receiving by the surgical team while under anesthesia. Communication is usually with the surgeon and his staff. The OR team is never in the limelight, but they are always behind the scenes, caring for and reassuring patients.

The mission of the OR is exceptional care to every patient every time; sufficiency is not acceptable. Excellence is the standard.”

To learn more about the high level of care provided at Blake’s Provisional Level II Trauma Center, please call 1-888-359-3552 or visit

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