BACKGROUND: In recent years, perioperative nursing has received ongoing attention as part of an interprofessional collaboration. Perioperative nursing is constantly faced with new challenges and opportunities that necessitate continual updates of nursing knowledge and technical skills. In light of the longstanding relationship between nursing and technology, it is interesting that few studies with this focus have been performed. Therefore, our research question was: What is the content of perioperative nursing and how do nurses facilitate the interaction between nursing care and technology in highly specialized operating rooms in public university hospitals? METHODS: An ethnography involving participant observations and interviews was conducted during a 9-month study period. The participants comprised 24 nurses from 9 different operating wards at 2 university hospitals in different regions of Denmark. RESULTS: Patients were addressed as either human beings or objects. Likewise, the participants' technical skills were observed and described as either technical flair or a lack of technical skills/technophobia. The different ways in which the technical skills were handled and the different ways in which the patients were viewed contributed to the development of three levels of interaction between technology and nursing care: the interaction, declining interaction, and failing interaction levels. CONCLUSION: Nursing practice at the interaction level is characterized by flexibility and excellence, while practice at the declining interaction level is characterized by inflexibility and rigidity. Nursing practice at the failing interaction level is characterized by staff members working in isolation with limited collaboration with other staff members in operating rooms. Considering that the declining and failing interaction levels are characterized by inflexibility, rigidity, and isolation in nursing practice, nurses at these two levels must develop and improve their qualifications to reach a level of flexible, excellent interaction. Nurse leaders must therefore refocus their skills on proficiency in perioperative nursing.