What is Perioperative Nurse Training?
Perioperative nurses are medical personnel who play the crucial role of caring for patients about to undergo surgery, those who are under surgery, and even care about surgery. They work closely with surgeons in the operating rooms (OR) to ensure the patient has good chances of survival and does not succumb to surgical complications. As such, perioperative nurse training involves training in critical/ intensive care, basic life support, and trauma management
Prerequisites to Enroll for Perioperative Nurse Training
Like many other nursing professions, aspiring perioperative nurses need to be registered nurses (RNs) who have active licenses to practice nursing. This means that you must have undergone Nursing School to attain your Associate of Science in Nursing degree or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
In order to specialize as a perioperative nurse, you will need to undergo further training on issues pertaining to the surgery room and operation theatres. This area of training requires an individual who has a great capacity for teamwork, fast-acting, and a quick thinker. This is because the life of patients under surgery is usually at stake according to how fast and effective things happen in the OR.
Curriculum for Perioperative Nurse Training
Perioperative nurses have most of their work is practical. For this reason, they need to be given adequate training on how to be accurate, fast, and reliable. They work in tight-breathtaking work environments where accuracy is the key. Since they are already RNs, perioperative nurse trainees only need to get well acquainted with OR procedural courses like:
- Trauma Management in the OR
This is critical in the OR and OR nurses are trained to handle patients who undergo trauma during and after surgery. This includes emotional and physical support of post-surgery patients, nursing, and dressing of surgical wounds. They are also trained to help pre-surgery patients to come to terms with the reality of surgery. Many patients get traumatizing moments if they think of surgery and they must be promised and assured it is the only way to restore their health.
- Basic Life Support Training
Chances of excessive bleeding, loss of consciousness, acute infection, coma, and other complications are high during surgery. Perioperative nurses are trained to act fast in these circumstances to enable the survival of the patients. Basic life support skills such as resuscitation, cardiac life support, blood transfusion, and acute disinfection are taught during perioperative training.
- Comprehensive OR Equipment Training
This is a technical aspect of perioperative nurse training programs. Since operation room nurses will be working with many life support equipment, they need to be quite conversant on how these machines are used.
Training also involves the ability to troubleshoot and rectify problems that might occur to OR equipment during surgery. The major equipment is microscopes, IV pumps, oxygen and nitrogen tanks, surgical laser lights, electrosurgical equipment, suction systems, LCD monitor displays and cameras, sequential surgical machines, and many more.
The Work Scope of Perioperative Nurses
There are a number of fields where a perioperative nurse can specialize in which include:
i) Circulator perioperative Nurse
This is a nurse who is trained to manage the surgery environment. The nurse has the role of ensuring the patient is well strapped in the operation table. They also have the responsibility of transferring the surgery patient from the surgery room to the ward or intensive care unit.
The circulating nurse also makes sure all surgical equipment is sterile for use in the OR. They are taught to ensure all medical equipment meant for surgery comply with the set standards of sterility and safety.
ii) Scrub OR Nurse
These nurses work very closely with the Surgeons and doctors to aid in the surgical process. Scrub nurses act as the “spare hands” of the surgeon because they exchange and pass on surgical instruments to the surgeon. They are the messenger nurses in the OR.
iii) Pre-operative Nurse
This field is meant to prepare patients for surgery. Pre-op nurses are trained to monitor and stabilize the emotional and psychological worries of the patient before surgery. They are specially trained in counseling and psychological therapies. They can also perform the tasks of the circulating nurse like preparation and sterilization of the OR.