What Is the Role of a Theater Nurse?

Theater nurses work with the preoperative team in a hospital operating theater and in operation recovery areas. They are highly specialized nurses. During the anaesthetic phase of surgery, the theater nurse provides holistic care, prepares the anesthesia for the anaesthetist and assists the surgeon by providing needed instruments during surgery. The theater nurse assesses the patient’s status upon entering recovery throughout their discharge.

A theater nurse must be a registered nurse with special training specific to the duties of a theater nurse. Theater nurses are often the managers of a team of nurses and medical staff. Not only do they assist the surgeon during operation, but they also organize staff workloads and have a hand in staff selection. The theater nurse usually has an advanced nursing degree along with years of experience in general nursing. Before surgery, the theater nurse prepares all surgical instruments, from the needles and swabs to complex surgery machinery wearing a gown, mask and gloves. The theater nurse then works alongside the surgeon in the operating room by handing the surgeon all necessary equipment as well as monitoring the patient’s status. The theater nurse then prepares the recovery staff upon the arrival of the patient post-surgery, and takes the lead in monitoring the status of the patient throughout recovery.