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Circulating Nurse Definition

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Updated April 16, 2014

Definition: A circulating nurse is a registered nurse who works in the operating room environment. The circulating nurse does not scrub in, and performs job duties that cannot be done by staff that is scrubbed in.

The circulating nurse is responsible for charting what is happening in the operating room, tracking supplies and equipment used, and may also act as an advocate for the patient, who is unable to act on their own behalf while under anesthesia. The nurse may have additional responsibilities including keeping the operating room clean, managing other staff, preparing the patient for the procedure and helping escort the patient to recovery.

Also Known As: OR nurse, operating room nurse, surgery nurse, perioperative nurse, registered nurse surgery, circulator, circ nurse, circulator nurse,
Examples:
The circulating nurse was present in the operating room during the entire procedure.
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