Importance of Knowing Different Surgical Instruments

Updated April 15, 2017

Surgical instruments are designed to do a specific job. Clamping instruments should not be confused with cutting instruments. Surgery can be stressful so it is important to maintain some harmony by not making errors.


All surgical instruments have a name. The surgeon will use the name to direct the scrub nurse in what instrument he wants. He will announce the name of the instrument and put his open hand out to receive it. If the scrub nurse does not know the name of the instruments, she can not function in her job and can jeopardise the safety of the patient.


Every instrument has a specific function. Hemostats are for clamping and controlling bleeding. There are different types and sizes of hemostats and clamping instruments. Knowing the function of the instrument is important so the scrub nurse can anticipate the needs of the surgeon and the operation can run smoothly.


Surgeons have different likes and dislikes. Some surgeons will use a curved hemostat while others prefer straight hemostats. Hospitals maintain a list of all surgeries according each surgeon's desires. A good scrub nurse will learn the preferences and know what the surgeon wants before he asks for it.

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About the Author

Vickie Van Antwerp began her career as a technical writer for a consulting firm in 1987. Now a freelance writer in her fields of interest, her writings appear on, and in "The Phelps Connection" and "The Storyteller." Van Antwerp holds an Associate of Arts in liberal arts from Gloucester County College and certification as a surgical technologist from Lenoir College.