Operating Theatre Nurse – Scrub

Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Sudan

Required languages

Type of contract
Fixed-term contract - paid (6 months)

Necessary requirements
Degree in Nursing; 3 years' continuous professional experience in theatre as a scrub.

Are you interested?
Read the full Job Description; if you are qualified, please apply online.

This role requires complete and autonomous management of the technical and operational, patient care and organisational tasks of the Operating Theatre department.


The International Operating Theatre Nurse supervises, teaches and works alongside the national staff colleagues carrying out the various nursing tasks and roles in the operating theatre (scrub nurse, running nurse) and in areas auxiliary to surgical activity (sterilisation services).
The international Operating Theatre Nurse is responsible to the Medical Coordinator, who is in charge of the management and organisation of the project.

The main areas of work are:

  • OPERATING THEATRES: 2-3 operating theatres for General Surgery, Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery, or Cardiac Surgery depending on the admissions criteria of the Centre.

The workload and rotation are variable, depending on the needs and organisational set-up of the hospital; there will usually be at least one day off a week, with on-call 24/7 in case of surgical emergency.
The international OT Nurse organises the work of the national staff in his/her area of responsibility, together with the Medical Coordinator of the project.


All EMERGENCY international personnel are expected to know and follow the hospital admissions criteria, guidelines, protocols, and the diagnosis and treatment standards in use in the Centre, and to ensure the correct compilation of clinical records and statistics in both computer and paper formats.

The main duties and responsibilities of the international OT nurse – scrub are:

  • management and supervision of sterilisation services;
  • preparation of the theatre for operations and organisation of the work of the national team in theatre;
  • direct participation in surgical procedures;
  • assistance in clinical research and record keeping as required by the scientific programmes of the specialist sector of the Medical Division of EMERGENCY.


Each Centre is equipped to carry out the following procedures:

  • steam sterilisation via autoclave, including very basic models;
  • chemical sterilisation using formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde…;
  • quality control of the sterilisation processes in use, via the appropriate tests (Bowie-Dick, biological and chemical tests).


The international OT nurse is responsible for checking that levels of supplies of materials and equipment are always adequate in terms of quantity and quality, and for informing the team leader (where present) or Medical Coordinator of any requirements.


Clinical activities and patient care are always carried out alongside and in collaboration with local personnel, who thus benefit from training in the field. There is also provision for more specific teaching activities, managed by the international specialists, in accordance with the individual needs of each hospital.

The technological level of the equipment present in the Centres is suited to the clinical and managerial protocols in use, and the level of professional autonomy of the national staff, with the aim of achieving – and sustaining – high standards of care. Diagnostic equipment, basic laboratory tests, technical and auxiliary services are always available.


Opened in 1999 as a centre for the treatment of war injuries, in 2003 the admissions criteria were extended to include Emergency Medicine and Maternity (Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Neonatology).
The emergency and elective surgical interventions most frequently carried out are for urological (kidney stones) and gastrointestinal (cholecystitis) disturbances, and hernias.
The Centre is the referral point for a network of First Aid Posts (FAPs) and Health Centres for both basic and specialist care.

SURGICAL CENTRE – Kabul, Afghanistan

The Surgical Centre in Kabul is today the most important centre for war surgery in the Country. The Intensive Care Unit has 7 beds with monitoring systems and ventilators.
CT scanning equipment is available. Both paediatric and adult patients are treated. Around 20% of patients are under 14 years of age, and present with bullet injuries, shrapnel, landmine injuries, stab wounds and burns (where resulting from war injury).

SURGICAL CENTRE – Lashkar-gah, Afghanistan

This is the only specialist war surgery centre in the region. The Intensive Care Unit has six beds with monitoring equipment. The admissions criteria and therefore the caseload are similar to those in Kabul, but with a higher prevalence of paediatric patients.


Every day over 130 patients are treated at the Surgical and Paediatric Centre in Goderich. Over time the admissions criteria have been broadened in response to the needs of the population: today they include Traumatology, Emergency and (emergencies permitting) Elective surgery. In 2012 an 8-bed Intensive Care Unit, guest quarters for relatives accompanying patients living far away from the Centre, and two new operating theatres were opened.


Since 2007 the Salam Centre has been the only completely free Cardiac Surgery centre in the region. The Centre forms the scientific and operational nucleus of a network of paediatric clinics situated in neighbouring countries which also carry out screening and follow-up for both adult and paediatric cardiac surgery patients.
The most common pathologies treated are valvular cardiopathy of rheumatic origin (RHD – Rheumatic Heart Disease), congenital heart disease suitable for surgical treatment, and ischaemic heart disease in the non-acute phase; over the past 10 years of activity (2008 – 2017) around 55% of patients admitted have been under 26 years of age.

Due to the advanced level of work carried out, the equipment available and technical, architectural and managerial innovations, the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery is considered a centre of excellence at an international level.


Further information on the guidelines, protocols and clinical services relevant to the post along with details of the instruments and equipment available will be provided at interview and during the period of preparation for the mission.
The general requirements and conditions apply to all the international staff.


  • Nursing Degree (or equivalent Diploma) and current registration on the professional nursing register of your Country of residence;
  • at least 3 years’ continuous professional experience in one or more of the following specialist theatre areas: Emergency Surgery, Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, Cardiac Surgery (including Paediatric).


6 months’ overseas stay including a period of leave to be taken at the end of the mission in agreement with the coordinator.


For further information and inquiries (not for applications): fo.recruiting@emergency.it. To apply, please complete the on-line application form: applications sent to this e-mail account will not be considered.

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