Not My Specialty

10 Dec Not My Specialty

Is it me or has anyone else noticed how specialised we are becoming in the operating room.

Besides all the technology it appears that us nurses are not as well rounded as we used to be. Having completed my training in a large trauma hospital I was rotated through all surgical specialties, this was to provide me with great insight and experience in addition to providing my NUM (Nursing Unit Manager) with an understanding of my abilities and surgical preferences. As a junior nurse I was also called upon to fill the gaps, i.e theatre lists that were short on permanent staff or lists where no nurse dared to go but felt coerced to help out, we all know those lists…

Working part time in a private hospital and also as an agency nurse I found this particularly confronting as permanent staff of hospitals would communicate to me that they can’t or choose not to scrub for a certain case as it is not their ‘specialty’, or they only scrub for Dr Blogs list, not Dr Blacks, even though they are both orthopaedic surgeons.

I was at first surprised by these comments and grateful as to my own knowledge base and level of expertise. The thought that our specialty has become even more specialised is a little worrying to me. I attended a CPD evening last week and was surprised to have met a scrub nurse who actually does everything- she could scout, scrub, do anaesthetics and even recovery, yes she was from the country. What a rare gem here in the city. Have we become increasingly specialised, that we are limiting ourselves within our own specialised field? Is this a positive or negative move for perioperative nurses in general and what will the future of our industry look like in 20-50 years?

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