INTRODUCTION TO THE OPERATING ROOM
a. In carrying out the many tasks necessary for a day's surgery, operating
room (OR) specialists must coordinate their work to provide a safe and efficient
environment for the patient. Lack of coordination (or teamwork) results in errors,
misunderstandings between personnel, and waste of time. In view of the nature of the
care given the patient in the operating room, any of these results may have dire
consequences for the patient.
b. Professional personnel are responsible for developing a systematic method
(work plan) for operative procedures. Operating room specialists, under the supervision
of professional nurses and the noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC), are
responsible for learning and acquiring optimum skill in performing their tasks in
accordance with the methods that have been developed. The enlisted operating room
specialist should be aware of his area of responsibility and should realize that each step
or detail in a procedure is important. Methods for performing procedures vary among
operating room suites, but the rules for observing aseptic technique and the duties of
the circulator and the scrub discussed in this text are basic to every operative
procedure. The operating room specialist may be assigned to perform duties as the
circulator or the scrub during a surgical procedure.
An important part of your duties as an operating room specialist is your ability to
communicate with the professional staff in the operating room, other operating room
specialists, and the support staff for the operating room. Understanding the use and
meaning of terminology used within the operating room is an important part of this
subcourse. Some of the words listed in the following paragraphs have been defined in
previous subcourses, but are included to refresh your operating room vocabulary.
a. Anesthesia. General or local insensibility to pain and other sensation
induced by certain drugs.
b. Anesthetist. One who administers anesthetics. This person may be a
nurse anesthetist or a physician anesthesiologist.
c. Antisepsis. The prevention of sepsis by the exclusion, destruction, or
inhibition of growth or multiplication of microorganisms from body tissues and fluids.
d. Antiseptics. Chemical agents that fight sepsis by inhibiting growth of
microorganisms without necessarily killing them; used only on living tissue.