One catastrophic effect of Covid-19 has been the mass cancellation of elective surgery. As a consequence, there’s a significant backlog of planned surgery. In November 2020, according to a report in the BMJ, the number of patients waiting for treatment reached a record high of 4.46 million. And there are currently an estimated 2.3 million people waiting for surgery. In addition, a recent report by the Royal College of Surgeons recommended scheduling modifications to increase hospital capacity, including extending hours of elective surgery into the evening and during weekends.
As surgeons attempt to shorten their waiting lists and get back to some kind of normality, there’s no doubt that theatre nurses will be in greater demand than ever before to ensure that the workload from more procedures continues to run smoothly and safely.
Theatre nurses work alongside other healthcare professionals as part of a team caring for patients of all ages, before, during or after their surgery. This is also known as perioperative care. As a theatre nurse, you’ll be involved in all four steps of a patient’s journey:
You’ll need to be registered as a nurse in one of the four different specialisms – adult, child, mental health or disability. Then you’ll need some further training to pick up the specialist skills you’ll need to become a theatre nurse.
Theatre nurses work in different hospital areas, including the anaesthetic room, operating theatres, and recovery wards. As well as working with a surgical team, theatre nurses can choose to work in many specialist therapy areas. For example, you might work with a team in the audiology department, fitting cochlear implants, or in a cardiology unit, assisting with fitting pacemakers.
Here are a few of the personal skills you’ll need to help with your career as a theatre nurse:
Theatre nurses sometimes move on to becoming senior theatre nurses or into management, education or research. You could also train to be a surgical care practitioner.
We’re always looking for qualified theatre nurses to join our team to work in temporary, last-minute placements in NHS and private hospitals. You’ll need to work to our high standards and, in return, you’ll receive full professional support from us.