Theatre Nurses Tierny and Matt

15 February 2023
The Wesley Hospital Volunteer and General Manager posing for photo at awards night

Meet Registered Nurse Matt and Clinical Nurse Tierny who were graduate nurses together at The Wesley Hospital in 2019 and are now working in theatres as scrub scouts.

The role of a scrub nurse is part of the sterile team, where the scout nurse is part of the unsterile team, they regularly swap between the scrub and scout role with a buddy Registered Nurse.

While in theatre they coordinate the activities in the operating room, implement the nursing plan for the patient and advocate for the patient to ensure a safe operating environment.

Matt and Tierny say they enjoy working in theatre due to the fast-paced, challenging and unexpected nature of the work.

“Being a scrub scout is a very specialised role, you must have a good understanding of anatomy, have excellent problem-solving skills and it’s always beneficial to have ward experience,” Matt said.

“It’s a very rewarding role, there are plenty of opportunities for training and development to advance your career, I have done secondments and enjoy teaching younger nurses in the field,” Tierny said.

Matt explains there are various different types of nursing in theatres from scrub scouts to pre-admissions, DOSA, day surgery, CSSD and recovery.

“Scrub scout nurses will check in a patient for surgery, meet with the MDT team to chat about the case and maintain patient safety during the operation,” he said.

“There is more freedom in this role to work on niche cases and expand on your areas of interest. Personally, I enjoy robotics, especially joint replacements.”

Tierny explained working in theatres was of interest to her you can have your list of booked procedures there can always be emergency surgeries that come up.

“Working in theatres you become very close with your colleagues, you get to know each other’s strengths and it’s a great feeling when you find your rhythm during a surgery and everything just gels together,” she said.

“One misconception about theatre nursing is that we don’t interact with patients as they are under anaesthesia, we love interacting with our patients and are always happy to talk to them before or after a procedure to address any questions or concerns they have.”

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