MBT – Theatre Nurse


I’m inspired by people
who are doers. Who are happy to get in
there, get the job done, and nursing is a lot like that,
there’s lots of hands on work. It’s a physical doing job. At the start of each day
I get changed into my scrubs and from there I proceed to the
notice board where I can read
what’s going on for the day. I then go to the storeroom
to pick up my trolley, which typically has all the
instruments on it that I’ll need
for the day. I’ll wheel those to the
operating theatre and then I’ll
sort through them just to make sure
I have what I need. I think having a chat with
the patient is important, just to help put a human
face on things, and to help make them relaxed before
their procedure. At the start of each procedure
we need to complete a surgical
scrub. The first one for the day takes
five minutes and that’s using
running water and antiseptic
soap. We then don a sterile gown and
two pairs of sterile gloves. The surgeon’s I work with, they
all have their own slight
preferences. You have to be familiar with
what they want, but also
flexible in anticipating what they
may need at any given time. You learn to read the body
language of the surgeon and
little cues like a wink here or a nod there can be more
than enough to indicate you’re
doing the right thing. Communication within the theatre
is very important. We often have many things going
on at any given time and we need
to make sure that what we’re doing is not interfering
with what another part of the
team is doing. In theatre’s you certainly need
to become used to the sight of
blood. And you will desensitise over
time but there’s a few things every once in a while that
may still catch you off guard. The documentation that we use
in the theatre complex is very
specific to what we do. And it’s important that
everything that we write
down is clear and concise. So if there’s ever any need to review what had happened, why it happened, when it
happened, all the information
is available right there. In school I probably should have
paid a bit more attention to the
maths side of things. Particularly in the nursing
profession where drug
calculations are vital, you
can’t have any leeway for errors because the
consequences can be quite
severe. What made me settle on nursing
was job availability and the
ability to travel around the
world and also volunteer work and
things like that. I looked at the various avenues
that were open to me and I
settled on Newcastle University. After you graduate from nursing,
although a lot of people tend to work on the wards, there are
many other specialties such as aged care, theatre work,
intensive care units, emergency
departments and mental health. In my final year I had a
placement at Lake Macquarie
Private in the operating theatres, and that’s
kind of how I ended up where I
am. Each week I work five shifts
from Monday through to Friday. I’m also on call once per week
and every once in a while we’re rostered on to be
on call for a weekend. You have days where you’ll be
more stressed than others but
it tends to even itself out. And it’s certainly the kind of
job where the stress that you
may experience remains at work and when you go home you’re
free to relax. We have a lot of different
patients with various problems
that need solving and one of the rewarding aspects
is knowing that we’ve been able to help that patient with their
problem and improve their life. It’s just a really good feeling.

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