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Perioperative Training for Registered Nurses

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The Operating Room (OR) is one of the special areas in a medical facility that caters medical-surgical patients needing perioperative interventions. Perioperative or OR Nurses are key characters in the surgical team that will give the necessary care for the surgical patients. To become an OR Nurse, interested registered nurses must undergo special training to be one.

Perioperative / OR Nurse Roles and Responsibilities

The scope of the roles and responsibilities of OR Nurses include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Maintaining an aseptic environment in the operating field.
  • Observing patients’ safety.
  • Health education before, during, and after the operation.
  • Perioperative assessment.
  • Positioning and sterile draping of patient in the operating room.
  • Handling of sterile equipments and tools.
  • Sterilization, autoclaving, and proper cleaning of surgical tools.
  • Proper counting of surgical tools before, during, and after the surgical procedure.
  • Technical knowledge on how to operate cardiac monitors and other medical equipments in the surgical field.
  • Monitoring of patient's vital signs.

How to Become a Perioperative / OR Nurse

To qualify to become a perioperative or OR nurse, one must have completed a bachelor's degree in nursing. A BSN degree usually takes 4 years of full time study to complete. Afterwhich, take the NCLEX-RN to be licensed and registered in your state to work as a nurse. Another alternative path to become a nurse is to take a 2-year associate's degree in nursing and undergo a ADN to RN program.

Registered nurses must also undergo preliminary training in general fields in nursing before qualifying for admission to a perioperative / OR Nurse Training. Actual work experience in critical care and emergency care areas are significantly helpful in providing you a substantial training for the perioperative area.

Next, enroll in a perioperative / operating room training program for registered nurses. Some medical facilities provide training for their staff, as well as other health institutions across United States, that meet standards of the Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). The duration of the program is approximately 1 year to complete. Some institutions also offer a 16-week operating room nursing certificate program.

Perioperative / OR Nurse Training Coursework

Training programs for perioperative nursing combine classroom lectures, demonstration and return demonstration of learned skills, and practical application in the actual field. Generally, the basic coursework for perioperative nurse training cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to perioperative nursing
  • Perioperative assessment
  • Aseptic techniques
  • Operating room safety
  • Anesthetic medications
  • Needles and basic suturing
  • Emergency and critical care nursing
  • Basic life support
  • Medical-surgical nursing

Perioperative / OR Nurse Certification

Certification is an optional choice for OR Nurses. The major advantage, however, in getting certified is the increase in employment opportunities. OR Nurses who have 2 years of actual work experience can qualify to take the exam for certification.

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