How to become a theatre nurse?

Theatre nursing is a challenging but rewarding job. You’ll assist patients in their most vulnerable state and make a significant impact on their lives. Theatre nurses care for patients of all ages and participate in every phase of a patient’s care. In this blog, you’ll get fundamental insights into how to become a theatre nurse.

Theater nurse job description:

A theatre nurse is a part of a larger team that includes surgeons, anaesthetists, departmental practitioners (ODPs), theatre support staff and porters.
They work in operating theatres as well as anaesthetic/recovery zones. Being a specialised theatre nurse might work in clinics, wards, or other areas of expertise such as cardiac catheterisation facilities. When fitting cochlear implants or pacemakers, you may also work with healthcare scientists such as audiologists or cardiac physiologists.
Theatre nurses may also specialise in a specific field of perioperative care, or they can rotate between the different areas. Rotation is more likely to occur during daytime surgery.

What are the phases of care in the Theater nurse job?

Perioperative care has four phases:

  • Preoperative (pre-assessment)
  • Anaesthetics
  • Surgical phase
  • Recovery phase

Preoperative (pre-assessment)

In the preoperative assessment, you’ll ensure that your patient is well-informed about the benefits and risks of the surgery and they’re in good health for the procedure. You’ll explain the procedure and offer patients the chance for questions. This reduces the chance of a delayed cancellation and the waste of resources.


In this phase, your job is to assist the anaesthetist. You’ll also help prepare any equipment, devices, or drugs. The theatre nurse will also assess the patient before surgery.
Surgical phase
You’ll fulfil several roles during the surgical process, including:

  • The preparation of all the required complicated instruments and equipment, including the lasers, microscopes, and endoscopes
  • Working together with the surgeon to supply instruments along with needles, swabs, and other supplies as required
  • Responsibility for the surgical instruments as well as equipment and swabs.
  • Serve as a bridge with the surgeons’ team and the other departments of the hospital and theatre.

become a theatre nurseRecovery phase

Following the operation, you’ll

  • Provide the patient with assistance and help upon arrival on the post-anaesthetic unit.
  • Check the health of the patient
  • Give appropriate treatment and care if the patient recovers from any effects caused by anaesthesia and the surgery.
  • Assess the patient to make sure they can be sent back to a Ward
  • Evaluate the care provided throughout each of the postoperative phases

What are the essential requirements to become a theatre nurse?

You’ll register with NMC as an adult, child, mental health or learning disability Nurse to be a theatre nurse. After an initial training period, you’ll undergo specialised training to gain the skills required to work in the theatre.

What are the essential skills to become a theatre nurse?

If you want to become a theatre nurse, you should have the following skills:

  • Highly organised,
  • Flexible
  • Able to prioritise effectively
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Able to concentrate for long periods

Theater nurse jobCareer development for a theatre nurse

Theatre Nurse is a fantastic base for any nursing career. If you wish to broaden the scope of your practice and be a Surgical Care Practitioner, you will undertake additional training. There is also the possibility of being a consultant level nurse (achieved by the time and experience gained from the theatre nursing job). They are among the highest-paid within the nursing profession.
As a theatre nurse, you can also explore additional opportunities for career advancement through education, management, and research possibilities.
Nursing Revalidation provides complete support for NMC registration, and a wide range of CPD accredited training courses for your career development.

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