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C-Section Who is Involved?

For Educators > C-Section > Who is Involved?

Even though the surgeon is credited with the success or failure of any surgery, there are many people involved during the process.  Here are just a few of the people involved in a C-Section surgery:

  1. Obstetrician – Sometimes called an OB doctor. He/She is a medical doctor specializing in the care of women during and after childbirth.  Some also specialize in the field of gynecology (OB/GYN). In order to become an OB, a person will need to finish a 4 year pre-med college program, 4 years at a medical school, and then 4 years of a specialized OB residency program. If a person would like to have a more specialized practice like high-risk obstetrics or reproductive endocrinology, there will be an additional 2-5 years of practice. The average salary for an OB/GYN is $187,000 though the longer the doctor works and/or if the doctor has a specialty, his/her salary will be much higher.[1]
  2. Anesthesiologist[2]
    1. Doctor – A physician who administers the anesthetic medication to the patient undergoing surgery.  They also monitor the patient’s vital signs as the surgery progresses to ensure the safety of the patient. The anesthesiologist will have at least 12 years of education and training.  Anesthesiology is one of the highest paid medical professions. Their average salary is $235,000.
    2. Nurse – A nurse anesthetist works with the anesthesiologist in administering the medication and monitoring the patient’s vitals during the surgery as well as while the patient is recovering immediately after surgery. These nurses will have between 7-8 years of education and training and make an average of $138,000 a year.
  3. Perioperative Nurses – In order to become a nurse in an operating room, a person will need to complete a nursing degree and become a registered nurse.  He/She will then need to have several years of experience in a nursing career. At this point, a series of continuing education classes will need to be taken before applying to be a perioperative nurse.  There are several positions that can be held within the operating room such as Circulator, Scrub nurse, or First Assistant.  All of these jobs come with an average salary of $67,800 a year which raises with experience and more certification.[3]
    1. Circulator – The nurse circulator really has their hand in every aspect of the surgery.  During pre-op, they will be with the patient monitoring vital signs, discussing the operating procedure, answering questions, speaking with the surgeon to relay any relevant information found during pre-op.  During the surgery, the circulator will step in wherever is needed whether it is the  anesthesiologist, surgeon, or any other technician. After the surgery, in post-op, the circulator will be with the patient as he/she comes out of anesthesia, relaying information to the patient’s family as well as to the patient’s regular nurses about any care or medication the patient will need.[4]
    2. Scrub/Instrument Nurse – The surgeon and scrub nurse work very closely together.  The scrub nurse is in charge of all the tools that the surgeon will need during the surgery and anticipating what the doctor will need and handing it to him/her when they need it.  The scrub nurse will also make sure to count all the materials needed before the surgery and recount afterwards to ensure everything is accounted for.[5]
    3. Registered Nurse (RN) First Assistant – Not all surgeons require a RN First Assistant.  If one is required, he/she will work under the direct supervision of the surgeon.  The duties can include tissue cutting and handling and suturing after the procedure has been finished.[6]
  4. Surgical technicians – A surgical technician does not have the training or certification of a nurse and therefore must work under direct supervision of a registered nurse.  With experience and training, a surgical technician can assist the circulating nurse, scrub nurse, and even the RN first assistant.  They in no way can perform any part of the surgery or administer any medication however.  Most surgical technicians have been a part of a one to two year training program. The average salary is $43,000 a year.[7]
  5. Unit Secretary – This is the person in charge of scheduling the operating rooms and all the personnel that will be needed in order to complete each surgery.  He/She has a lot of responsibility and is very organized.  Communication is also a key component to this position as emergencies occur, he/she will have to find people to help with the emergency surgery and reschedule any of  the surgeries and people that were supposed to be in the operating during that time. Hospitals ask that the unit secretary have a high school diploma or GED and a certificate from a medical terminology program. The average salary for this position is $56,000 a year.[8]
  6. Surgical Orderly/Aide – The orderly has many jobs in and out of the operating room.  This will be person who transports the patient to and from the surgery suite.  He/she will also help with getting the patient settled in the operating room itself.  Often times the orderly will also help with cleaning up the operating room after surgery, restocking supplies, and getting the used tools ready for decontamination. The basic requirements for becoming a surgical orderly are a high school diploma or GED, an up to date CPR training card, and the physical ability to move patients.  The average salary for an orderly is $30,000 a year.[9]

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