What is Plastic Surgery Nursing?

By Lisa Moore

When a traumatic accident happens, it may result in minor casualties such as broken arms, burns, facial bone fractures and breaks, and other physical damages. Surgical procedures can fix, improve or repair the injured or defective body parts. Abnormalities like congenital, developmental, infections and diseases can be restored by reconstructive and plastic surgery. This is known as the art of remodeling the malleable flesh. The word “plastic” means sculpting in contrast with what people thought of as fake or superficial. Cosmetic surgery is done to improve or enhance the patient’s appearance. Reconstructive surgery is to correct any physical deformity or abnormality either of birth defect or congenital disorder. These kinds of surgeries are done based on the principles in treating or fixing physical appearances as well as in improving organ functionality.

Plastic surgery nurses are trained to specifically take care of patients undergoing specialized procedures to fix aesthetic abnormalities. These are well-trained professionals involved in specialized health care services. Examples of reconstructive and plastic surgery are facial reconstruction, nose lift, face lift, cleft palates or breast reduction. Plastic surgery nursing is the caring for patients who undergo cosmetic surgery procedures of various personal reasons, mostly to improve structure appearance or to correct defects. Reconstructive and plastic surgery procedures are performed by certified plastic surgeons in a well equipped surgical facility or hospital.

Nurses in the plastic surgery area administer care to patients treated for a variety of diagnoses from facial tumors, skin lesions, burns and ulcers, defects and deformities arising from birth and other reconstructive surgery. The nurses’ duties also include taking care of patients undergoing treatment of various elective surgeries like liposuction, facelift, and other non-surgical treatments. Nursing skills that may be needed are hands-on patient care, effective communication skills and positive attitude and proper disposition to cater to the sensitivity of patient’s needs. Nurses also attend to patients during the cosmetic surgery in the operation room. Their duties are to prepare the operating theater, sterilizing instruments and preparing patients for surgery. Other nurses work in the post-operative care such as physical therapy and occupational therapy for patients.

Any aspirants who wish to work as nurse in the prosthetic department must have a license before being allowed to practice in a hospital or other health care facility. To become a registered nurse (RN), they must pass the NCLEX. Other requirements may vary by state. The four-year nursing education curriculum must be accomplished and specialized areas are offered in post graduate RN First Assistant and nurse practitioner programs. The nursing course or program involved in remodeling the flesh will include the study of burns, liposuction nursing procedures, aftercare for reconstructive surgery, different nursing techniques and medical terminologies. These nursing students will be able to learn pre and post-operative assessments, pre and post-operative instructions, observe patients’ recovery and provide them with regular physiotherapy.