Theatre nurses are an essential element of the surgical environment. They’re responsible for working with patients of all ages, and throughout each phase of a patient’s perioperative care – which is typically split into four phases: pre-assessment, anaesthetics, surgical phase and recovery phase. As such, we work with and recruit for nurses across the following specialisms: anaesthetics, first assistants, general scrub, healthcare assistants and recovery nurses (click on any of these specialisms to find out more about the typical role requirements, join our talent pool, and see the latest jobs we’re recruiting for).
As a theatre nurse, you’ll typically be working in hospital operating theatres and recovery or anaesthetic areas. Here, you’ll often be referred to as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) and depending on the phase you’re working on, your role can include everything from preparation of specialist equipment and drugs (in the anaesthetic phase), to providing the correct surgical instruments and materials to the surgeon (in the surgical phase), and monitoring a patient’s physiological parameters (in the recovery phase).
As an ODP or theatre nurse you’ll typically be the main link between the surgical team and the other parts of the operating theatre and hospital. And it’ll be expected that you can anticipate the requirements of the surgical team and respond effectively. So your role can be quite varied day to day depending on the rota or shift you’ll be working on, and the patients that come into your operating theatre.
According to the NHS, a theatre nurse needs to have a demonstrable set of skills and personal characteristics that includes:
- a caring and compassionate nature
- ability to work well as part of a team
- able to work in a complex and technical area
- good at concentrating for extended lengths of time
- great at problem-solving
- strong communication and organisational skills
- be adaptable and able to respond quickly to emergencies.
NHS Careers lists more information about Theatre Nurses and the specific roles they play. You can find out more information on their website HERE.