Find Local or Online
Nursing Programs

Select a program:

Select your state:

Follow NurseGroups on Pinterest

Scrub Nurse Roles

When a patient goes in for surgery there is a large operating team that works together to make sure the patient comes out of the surgery in the best condition possible. There is a team that preps the patient for surgery before entering the operating room. Inside the operating room is another group that does the work on the patient or assists the professionals doing the surgery. The surgeon does the actual surgery and the anesthesiologist administers the anesthesia with the help of an anesthetic nurse. There are also nurses that help with the surgery called scrub nurses.

The scrub nurse works directly with the surgeon during the surgery. The scrub nurse assists the surgeon by passing very instruments and utensils that will be needed during the procedure. They are called the scrub nurse because they must scrub their arms up to their elbows and not touch anything so they will remain sterile for the patient’s sake. The scrub nurse is also responsible for monitoring the patient’s vital signs during the surgery to make sure everything is progressing as it should be. Their other duties include maintaining a sterile operating room, caring for some of the operating equipment and provide pre-op and post-op care for the patient.

There are some personality traits that make someone more suitable for a scrub nurse position. Scrub nurses should be accurate and detail oriented. Scrub nurses need to be able to react quickly and be able to handle the high-pressure situations that may arise in an operating room. Scrub nurses need to be able to handle bloody and messy situations better than a regular nurse and need to have a healthy stamina to be able to maintain the pace in a surgery room.

In order to be a scrub nurse, a person must have their Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. They can get this either from a four year university or by attending an associate’s degree from a technical school or community college before attending the university to finish their degree. If someone chooses to get their associate’s degree first they will get more hands-on experience than someone who goes straight through school at a four year university. There is also the option of attending a diploma program through a hospital. This takes approximately one year and the person will work directly with doctors and nurses to learn what they need to know. The hospital diploma program is declining in availability and is harder to find and be a part of.