Do you regularly have the same OR team with each list you do, or is your department short staffed and as a result each week you have different staff? How well do the staff you have effectively communicate?
As an agency nurse, I casually work around the Sydney area filling in, where there are nursing shortages. I have also worked permanently with a number of surgical teams so I am well aware of what obstacles both teams portray. As you are all aware COMMUNICATION is key to a well run OR. Experienced OR personnel understand their role, however as the saying goes ‘to many cooks spoil the broth’, it is therefore important for one team member to be elected team leader in charge of delegating jobs and roles to the other team members.
This role in Australia duly falls into the hands of the most Senior Registered Nurse or Instrument Nurse. Nursing roles here in Australia consist of an anaesthetic nurse, instrument nurse and circulating nurse, all nursing staff can have various levels of nursing experience from an Enrolled Nurse to Endorsed Enrolled Nurse to a University Graduate -Registered Nurse. All levels of nurses have varying responsibilities under their scope of practice & duty of care. This is why I think it is more important than ever, for each nurse to be aware of their fellow colleagues level of training. ACORN -Australian College of Operating Room Nurses Association identifies the roles of each nurse within the operating room and the Registered Nurse is responsible for overseeing all other nurses.
I recall recently scouting (circulator) for a senior nurse on a number of occasions whose qualification was an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse, I was not aware of this fact as this nurse failed to communicate this to me, I only discovered this by accident at another hospital where this particular nurse also worked as another nurse voiced this to me.
What are your thoughts on this matter, should this nurse of informed that she was an EEN, or should the In-Charge of the OR informed me? What are your thoughts on OR communication, there are many points which can be made, as we work in such an intense environment where there are limited room for errors. I believe effective and open communication lays the ground for limited mishaps within the OR.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any experiences you would like to share?