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What Is a Circulating Nurse and How to Become One

What Does a Circulating Nurse Do?

A circulating nurse works inside the operating room as a patient advocate. As the circulating nurse, your responsibilities are to ensure the operative procedures have the patient's best interest in mind. You perform your duties outside of the sterile area in the operating room. You work in collaboration with the anesthesiologist, surgeon, and surgical assistants to create a comfortable and safe environment for the patient. You are also responsible for charting the surgical events and keeping an inventory of supplies and equipment used for the procedure.

How to Become a Circulating Nurse

To become a circulating nurse, you must have an associates or bachelor's degree in nursing, and you must become a registered nurse by passing the national board exam, NCLEX. You must possess sound judgment and critical thinking skills to be a successful patient advocate. You must also have excellent observation and evaluation skills and the ability to use your knowledge, experience, and training to respond to the patient's needs appropriately. Additional qualifications are expert interpersonal communication skills with patient comfort and safety in mind. You must also possess the ability to work with members of the surgical team.