Each state has established requirements as to whether or not a nurse can perform suturing. The best course of action is to check with the nursing board in a particular state to determine the requirements.
Expanding Nurse Role
While nurses were once restricted from performing certain tasks, today well-trained nurses are being asked to perform duties such as ordering diagnostic tests, providing lifesaving drugs, performing intricate phlebotomy procedures, assessing patients and, of course, suturing under certain circumstances.
Washington State RNFAS
The State of Washington, among many others, allows a Registered Nurse First Assistant at Surgery (RNFAS) to perform several often restricted tasks, including suturing. Nurses who are proficient in perioperative nursing and have had training in infection control, surgical anatomy and physiology, operating techniques, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other vital areas key to the surgical arena can perform suturing.
Training Suture Nurses
In a study, nurses were trained by doctors on assessing, treating and suturing wounds. The nurses treated lacerations on 61 children appearing in the emergency room. In 60 of the cases, the parents were “very satisfied” with the suturing performed by the nurses and there were no subsequent complications. The study found that nurses having completed a comprehensive, standardized program were fully capable of performing suturing.
- Photo Credit operation nurse image by Andrey Rakhmatullin from Fotolia.com nurse chris image by John Keith from Fotolia.com Nurse in Scrubs image by Mary Beth Granger from Fotolia.com nurse on duty image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com
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