Frequently Asked Question – Do my perioperative nurses really need to know instruments and steps of a procedure?

Frequently Asked Question – Do my perioperative nurses really need to know instruments and steps of a procedure?

Every OR Nurse training program is different. There are of course similarities across facilities with one of them being that Educators are under pressure to train nurses faster due to the baby boomer nursing shortage which means that scrubbing skills are often cut from the training program. The solution has been in the US to hire Surgical technologists. What we’ve heard from our regular conversations with Educators and our survey last year is that over 60% of hospitals require their nurses to scrub and that all of them agree it’s preferable if they do for the following reasons:

  • When they are in the circulating role they need to support the tech and perform duties like getting a missing or contaminated instrument or device from SPD, the name and it’s use is important if you want to ensure patient safety and OR schedule times.
  • Perioperative Nurses need to open up the right disposables to ensure that only the things that are *Required* for the surgery are opened to keep costs in check.
  • Sometimes the Surgical Technologists get sick or use the washroom during the case and the circulator needs to scrub in. If they aren’t familiar with scrubbing, the instruments or the case, the patient is at risk and undue pressure is being put on the rest of the surgical team.
  • With the aging Baby Boomer Nurses and Patients the Hospitals, we are seeing an increase in demand for surgical procedures and more nurses that are retiring than the system is able to train. The technology being used in the operating room is getting more complicated and requires additional specialized training. Scheduling and staffing operating rooms are a challenge. There are times when a scheduling challenge comes up where you don’t have the right people available to do a specific surgery and instead of cancelling or rescheduling a procedure, nurses are put into situations they aren’t trained for or their training is stale which puts the patient at risk.


We’ve come up with a solution where it takes an average of 1.5 hours to learn an instrument set and a procedure with PeriopSim. Our research shows that 3 iterations on the instrument set and 7 on the procedure will have the trainee begin anticipating what the surgeon needs next.

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