Operating Room Nurse Day Date in the current year: November 14, 2024

Operating Room Nurse Day Operating Room Nurse Day was created to celebrate nurses who provide care to patients before, during and after surgery, as well as support and assist surgeons. It is celebrated annually on November 14.

Operating room nurses, also known as OR nurses, perioperative nurses, surgical nurses, or theatre nurses, are nurses that specialize in providing care to surgical patients. They are an essential part of the perioperative surgical team and work alongside surgeons, anesthesiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and surgical technicians.

Any surgery has three main phases, known collectively as the perioperative period: the preoperative phase, the intraoperative phase, and the postoperative phase. Surgical nurses support patients at each of these stages, so even though they are often referred to as operating room nurses, their activities aren’t restricted to the operating room.

In some countries, perioperative nurses can focus on performing specific roles, such as circulating nurses, instrument nurses (also known as scrub nurses), registered nurse first assistants (RNFA), and perianaesthesia nurses (or recovery nurses).

OR nurses need to be tidy and organized, have attention to detail, be able to anticipate surgeons’ needs and show initiative when appropriate, and, of course, have a good bedside manner and interpersonal skills. And, naturally, they need to be properly educated; people who want to become OR nurses usually specialize in surgical nursing while attending nursing school and are often required to pass certification exams before being allowed to work in the operating room.

It is usually surgeons and anesthesiologists who get all or most of the credit for successful surgeries, whereas the contribution of operating room nurses is often overlooked. However, their work throughout all stages of the perioperative period is immensely important and requires skill and expertise. Yes, it is surgeons who save patients’ lives, but it is OR nurses who are at their side every step of the way, supporting and taking care.

Operating Room Nurse Day was created to highlight the importance of OR nurses and celebrate everything they do for their patients and fellow healthcare professionals. It was first proclaimed in 1989 by Terry Branstad, the then Governor of Iowa. Although this professional observance has no official nationwide recognition, OR Nurse Day has been celebrated by the professional community ever since its inception.

Celebrate Operating Room Nurse Day by thanking surgical nurses you know for their hard work. Send them a gift or a card, give them a shout-out on social media, or even visit them in person to deliver your congratulations. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #OperatingRoomNurseDay.

Operating Room Nurse Day is not the only professional holiday dedicated to surgical nurses. The European Operating Room Nurses Association established the European Perioperative Nursing Day in the mid-2000s. It is celebrated annually on February 15.

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Operating Room Nurse Day, observances in the US, professional holidays, unofficial holidays, OR nurses, surgical nurses