Careers Medical Nursing Perioperative nurse

Perioperative Nurse

Career description:

A perioperative nurse is a registered nurse (R.N.) who works in the operating room. Sometimes called a surgical or an operating room nurse, this specialized nurse cares for patients before, during, and after surgery. In the operating room, the perioperative nurse may serve as a scrub nurse, selecting and passing instruments and supplies used for the operation, or as a circulating nurse managing the overall nursing care in the operating room and helping to maintain a safe, comfortable environment.

What it’s like:

Common duties:

  • Working with patients prior to surgery to complete paperwork, and help answer questions or calm fears about surgery
  • Monitoring a patient’s condition during and after surgery
  • Selecting and passing instruments and supplies to the surgeon during operation (sometimes referred to as a scrub nurse)
  • Managing the overall nursing care in the operating room to help maintain a safe and comfortable environment (sometimes referred to as a circulating nurse)
  • Educating patients on best practices for recovery, including pain management and keeping wounds clean
  • Cleaning surgical equipment and operating rooms to maintain a sterile environment

Similar occupations:

Charge Nurse, Director of Nursing (DON), Emergency Department RN (Emergency Department Registered Nurse), Oncology RN (Oncology Registered Nurse), Operating Room Registered Nurse (OR RN), Public Health Nurse (PHN), Registered Nurse (RN), School Nurse, Staff Nurse, Staff RN (Staff Registered Nurse)