Meet Your Surgical Team: The Pros Who Play a Role in Your Procedure

Meet Your Surgical Team: The Pros Who Play a Role in Your Procedure

It’s no secret surgery can be overwhelming—but knowing who’s involved with your procedure is a great way to ease your nerves. Today, we’re breaking down everyone you might meet along your surgery journey and what they do for you. 

1. Circulator or Circulating Nurse

  • Acts as your advocate while you’re under anesthesia
  • Communicates your needs to the rest of the team
  • Doesn’t scrub in, so they can perform tasks that scrubbed-in team members (who have to remain sterile) can’t.

2. Scrub Nurses or Perioperative Nurses

  • Is scrubbed-in and remains sterile
  • Makes sure the operating room is set up and sterile
  • Assists your surgeon throughout surgery (selects and passes instruments to her)
  • Helps dress your surgical site and preps you to go to the recovery room
  • Counts instruments before and after surgery

3. Anesthesiologist (or CRNA)

  • Comes up with the best anesthesia plan for you
  • Administers and oversees anesthesia during surgery
  • A pain-management expert who ensures you’re as comfortable as possible before, during, and after surgery

4. Anesthesia Technician

  • Helps your anesthesiologist with setup
  • Assists with the administration and monitoring of anesthesia

5. Surgeon

  • Examines you and performs diagnostics to come up with a surgical treatment plan
  • Helps you understand everything involved before your procedure
  • Performs your procedure
  • Will typically touch base with family or friends in the waiting room, and will visit you in recovery to let you know how the procedure went

6. Surgical First Assistant:

  • Works closely with your surgeon during your procedure
  • Helps with everything from selecting equipment and holding tools to incision care and dressings

7. Charge Nurse

  • Makes sure patients, team members, and equipment come together for a smooth surgery
  • Communicates with the entire time
  • Monitors equipment and orders supplies
  • Delegates and organizes nursing assignments to ensure a seamless procedure
  • Oversees your admission and discharge

8.  Medical Assistant

  • Orders and stocks supplies for the operating room
  • Performs both patient care and administrative tasks—everything from setting up appointments to transporting you to recovery

9. Health Unit Coordinator

  • Makes sure all administrative tasks surrounding your surgery run smoothly
  • Helps maintain patient and clerical records
  • Calls you directly to schedule pre-op or post-op care
  • Orders forms and office supplies

Want even more insightful pre-surgery tips? Browse the rest of the Mend Well blog for empowering patient information, helpful nutrition advice, and pro medical tips.