How to become a theatre nurse

Theatre nurse is a tough, but incredibly reward job that is sought after by people willing to give more and further develop their skills. As a theatre nurse you will need to be familiar with more procedures and will be helping patients in a specialised way at key points during their medical procedures and treatments. Does this mean it’s harder to become a theatre nurse? This article will explain how to become a theatre nurse and the best way to start your career.

What does a theatre nurse do?

Before you learn how to become a theatre nurse, you need to know what a theatre nurses does. As a theatre nurse you’ll specialise in provide perioperative care for patients of all ages. Perioperative care is divided into 4 phases.

  • Preoperative (pre-assessment). In this stage you will be informing the patient about what the procedure entails and the risks and benefits of the operation. It is important to comfort the patient by answering their questions and telling them they are healthy enough for the operation. This is when you support the anaesthetist, prepare devices, drugs and specialist equipment for the patient and procedure. You’ll also assess the patient immediately prior to the surgery.

  • Surgical phase. This is the most important phase and the one that requires the most training. Responsibilities during this phase includes repairing all necessary procedure equipment, working with the surgeon to provide everything they need, handling and being responsible for all the used and needed tools, and acting as a link between the surgical team and the other parts of the hospital and theatre.

  • Recovery phase. In this phase you will be offering support and care to the patient after the procedure and post anaesthetics. You will also be monitoring their health, provide appropriate care and treatment when needed, assess the patient to ensure they can be discharged back to a ward and assess the care given across all other phases.

Theatre nurses work in hospital operating theatres, recovery wards and clinics, and work with anaesthetics. You will be involved with ward and clinic procedures and often in other specialist areas like cardiac catherization units. A big part of the job is teamwork. Working with an array of medical professionals like surgeons, anaesthetists, operating department practitioners, porters, and theatre support workers.

How do you become a theatre nurse?

Being a registered adult, child, mental health or learning disability nurse or healthcare professional is the base requirement that needs to be fulfilled when applying for a theatre nurse position. After an induction period you will then receive specialised training that includes courses to consolidate all the skills you will need to work in operating theatres. Being able to prioritise effectively, highly organised, flexible, work in a team, the ability to concentrate for long periods of time and good interpersonal skills. This job will also test your ability to work in an emergency and you must be comfortable with being in a cramped space for long periods of time.

Why become a theatre nurse?

Knowing how to become a theatre nurse is a lot more valuable when you know why pursuing this specialisation is a worthwhile career decision. Theatre nurses are taught specialised skills that help them in a broad array of procedures and healthcare situations. These skills are sought after and create opportunities to grow your career in the healthcare industry. A lot of theatre nurses go on to further their careers to management, education, and research.

At MCG Healthcare we understand what our clients want and we know exactly how to fill the right position with the right person leading to a fulfilling career. The positions we offer never pay below living wage and our dedicated consultants will help you find the healthcare job of your dreams and with the pay you deserve. Send through your CV to us today or get in contact with a consultant.

About the author
Simon Watson Healthcare Writer

Simon Watson is a copy writer with a passion for research and an interesting in all thing’s healthcare. Writing about healthcare requires a lot of research and fact checking before even starting the writing process, this is why Simon finds it so rewarding to write articles about this important industry.

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