Perioperative nursing refers to the specialty of nursing that deals with the care of patients before, during and after surgery. This can include everything from surgery preparation to safe recovery at home after discharge from the hospital or surgical center. If you’re studying perioperative nursing, you’ll need to work with surgeons, anesthesiologists, pathologists, residents, interns and other medical specialists in order to provide the best care to your patient before, during and after surgery, as well as emergency interventions as needed in the operating room itself.
What is Perioperative Nursing?
Perioperative nursing is a field of nursing that specializes in caring for patients who are undergoing surgery. It involves assessing, planning, and implementing care for these individuals before, during, and after surgery. The nurses who work in this field are experts in anesthesiology and critical care medicine as well as surgical procedures. They also work to prevent complications following surgery by providing education on post-surgery recovery to patients and their families. Nurses who work in perioperative nursing often specialize in fields such as cardiopulmonary or pediatric care.
The word perioperative comes from the Greek word peri, meaning around and operate, meaning operate or act on. The word operate can be traced back to Latin roots meaning to perform manual labor (Oxford Dictionaries).
Nursing organizations such as the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists have developed strict guidelines for those working in this field, which include a requirement for certification or licensure (AANA).
Some perioperative nurses choose to pursue higher degrees so they can provide more specialized treatment options to their patients (Association).
What are the duties of a Perioperative Nurse?
Perioperative nurses are specialized nurses who work in the operating room (OR) and post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). They are responsible for preparing patients for surgery, monitoring them during surgery, and taking care of them in recovery. Typical duties include:
Setting up surgical instruments
Preparing patients for surgery
Providing patient care after anesthesia is given
Monitoring vital signs before, during, and after surgery
Recording patient information before and after surgery
Reassuring patients about expected post-surgical discomfort or pain
Teaching patients about post-surgical expectations
What are some of the challenges faced by Perioperative Nurses?
Nurses play a very important role in perioperative care. They assist with pre-op and post-op care, make sure patients are comfortable, encourage them to participate in their own care and make them feel at ease. There are many challenges that nurses can face when they’re caring for patients before, during and after surgery. The first challenge is making sure they’re properly trained to work with perioperative patients. The second challenge is that they must be flexible enough to meet the needs of each individual patient while maintaining a routine schedule. Nurses also need to be able to multitask so that they can provide excellent care at all times without neglecting any part of their duties such as paperwork, answering calls or texts, assisting other nurses or physicians and making rounds on other patients.
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