Orientation to the Operating Room for Sales Professionals


The Orientation to the Operating Room for Sales Professionals course is designed to educate sales professionals on proper operating room practices. 

There are several benefits and risks of healthcare industry representatives (HCIRs) being in the operating room.

Healthcare industry representatives (HCIRs) are individuals who sell, promote, and give training and advice concerning medical devices, systems, and procedures. They are helpful in the operating room because they are technologically informed. HCIRs can give educational trainings on new technology, products, and equipment for use on patients to physicians, nurses, and technicians. 

What You’ll learn

  • Benefits and risks of healthcare industry representatives (HCIRs)
  • Roles of sales representatives
  • Best practices for sales representatives
  • Authorizations and requirements regarding the operating room


Course length: 30 minutes; CEU: 0.5.

Languages: American English

Key features: Audio narration, learning activity, and post-assessment

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Why are Healthcare Industry Representatives (HCIRs) Important in the Operating Room?

HCIRs can help the surgical staff stay current on rapidly changing surgical technology. They are knowledgeable in fields such as drugs, research, and products, which helps healthcare facilities remain competitive within the market. Additionally, HCIRs provide product support for complex instrumentation and sophisticated equipment that is used in the OR. 

This is crucial for operating room staff because most medical schools do not teach about the machines or equipment used in everyday practice. HCIRs have specialized knowledge and expertise about medical products, allowing them to provide technical support in a variety of medical settings. This expertise is helpful during use of complex technology such as cardiac pacemakers and orthopedic equipment.

Best Practices for Sales Representatives

This course details important recommendations regarding the role of medical device representatives within the operating room. These include the extent of the device rep’s aid within the operating room and appropriate boundaries that must be respected. For example, device reps do not scrub in for the OR. Hospitals must make sure that they maintain patient confidentiality when using the guidance of a medical device representative. Medical device reps are NOT physicians, and they should not be mistaken for physicians. Reps are present only to assist with questions regarding the medical product. They are there to ensure the right product options are available for the surgeon. In order to be in the operating room, reps must have complete knowledge of product assembly and use. Lastly, it is important that device reps remain respectful to the medical staff and the patient when in the operating room.

Operating Room Approval

Healthcare facilities can prepare for HCIR visits in advance by approving HCIRs prior to them entering the OR or surgical suite.

This may require patient consent, and other administrative practices to be taken. This course describes what is included in a typical standard protocol for approving HCIRs for OR access. It is important to define the purpose of the HCIR visit prior to their arrival. Additionally, physicians must be made aware of the presence of an HCIR before the scheduled procedure.

Patient consent is a fundamental aspect of the approval process that cannot be ignored. If the surgeon does not obtain informed consent from the patient regarding the presence of an HCIR in the OR, their privacy may be invaded and the hospital may be sued for battery claims. 

There are several ways to obtain informed consent, which this course outlines extensively. Patients need to know that there will be a non-medical professional in the operating room with them during their procedure. Patients may ask questions regarding the role of the HCIR during their procedure. Be prepared to address the benefits and risks of having the HCIR present. Additional informed consent must also be gathered if the HCIR will be touching any pieces of equipment directly attached to the patient during the surgery.

Health Status of HCIR 

Healthcare facilities may require the HCIR to provide written evidence of good health prior to initial entry in the OR. This course describes exactly what these requirements entail in great detail.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a big concern within healthcare facilities. By taking this training, all healthcare workers will understand skin testing requirements associated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Furthermore, no one with symptoms of a contagious disease should enter the OR, ever. 

Increased Operating Room Safety 

This course describes the roles of HCIRs within the operating room to increase healthy patient outcomes. HCIRs can help surgical staff stay up to date on rapidly changing technology. However, it is important that HCIRs maintain a separate role from physicians, especially in terms of patient contact within the operating room. Surgeons must still be fully trained on surgical devices and instruments prior to a scheduled surgery, even with an HCIR present. Additionally, representatives must not maintain the appearance of a physician, since they are not medically licensed doctors. Patient consent is a crucial aspect of incorporating HCIRs into the operating room, and it must be gathered prior to any scheduled procedures. 

Overall, HCIRs are incredibly useful in the operating room due to their in-depth knowledge regarding medical devices and systems. They are great at providing technical support inside and outside the OR. However, HCIRs must not get involved in patient care, as it is an inappropriate duty for them based on their level of knowledge. Instead, HCIRs act only as a guide during surgical procedures, and cannot actively participate in any way. 

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