Operating nursing is one of the branches in nursing. According to Callaghan (2011), peri-operative nurses are trained to work with the surgeons in the operating room. Many of them look at this as both an exciting as well as a challenging career. It is interesting in that the professional gets involved in some of the most specialized treatments of al times. It is also challenging in that patients going for surgery often need more specialized care. They need close monitoring so as to make sure that they do not catch some nocosomial infections. Furthermore, the nurses have to keep on checking on the vital signs of the patients from time to time. This is quite demanding. Given the nature of the work of operating nurses, it is important to take a deeper look at how their work leads to patient care outcomes.
In order to clearly look at this issue, it is worth looking at the academic qualifications and credentials needed for operative nurses. Meretoja and Koponen (2012) indicate that preoperative surgery became part of the nursing education back in 1880. It became important as surgery became more developed. There was need to have nurses who could assist the surgeons in the operating rooms. Thus came about the need to expand the nursing training. Perioperation nursing professionals, therefore, started being trained as part of the expansion of the medical field. This was quite important during the world wars during which specialized nurses were needed to deal with the large numbers of casualties. Training was needed on how to deal with and administer anesthesia, septic conditions, as well as other surgical techniques. Currently, preoperative nursing is no longer part of the nursing training. However, it is a requirement that practitioner has to be registered with the American operating room nurses’ association (AORN).
Schreuders et al (2012) indicates that the operating nurses have a major role to play in ensuring the desired patient outcomes. This is so important that the nurses need to be aware of how their perceptions of this role can impact the recovery process on the patients. There are quite a number of factors that come into play when the aspect of patient outcomes is considered. These are as explained below.
Schreuders at al (2012) indicates that surgical wound infections and pressure ulcers are just but some of the aspects affected by nursing care. In order to ensure quality patient outcomes, the nurses need to come up with ways through which such incidences can be prevented. In the case of operating nurses, the surgical wound infections can be as a result of poor hygiene and non-compliance with the aseptic rules and principles in the operating and recovery room. In order to ensure quality patient outcomes, the Meretoja and Koponen (2012) argue that the perioperative nurses need to be well versed on the aseptic techniques and principles. Furthermore, they need to be keen and cautious when dealing with surgery patients who are quite delicate.
There are some other factors that can lead to deterioration of patients while under the care of the nurses, thereby leading to undesirable patient outcomes. These include but are not limited to medication errors, falls, and pain management. Schreuders et al (2012) indicate that these, being some of the indicators of quality patient outcomes, need to be well managed by the perioperative nurses. The nurses need to take every precaution to ensure that there is no harm that comes to the patients. After all, the patients are the responsibility of the nurses. Therefore, the nurses have the authority to take actions which ensure sound recovery.
Dravy-Zahavy (2009) gives some of the tactics that the operative nurses can use in ensuring these positive outcomes. First of all, they need to ensure proper pain management. The quality of care given by the nurse is often gauged by the extent to which the patient’s suffering is reduced. There is no greater way of doing this than ensuring that the patient experiences no pain. Furthermore, the nurses also need to take great caution when dealing with the patients. Effective patient management can help in avoiding incidences such as falls, pressure ulcers, wrong medications, and wound infections. It all lies in making sure that the nurse is well skilled and equipped at the perioperative nursing procedures.
Patient education is also another avenue that can be exploited by the operating nurses to ensure quality patient outcomes. This education comes in the form of counseling the patient on the principles of sound self-caring, adherence to the medications and other advice from the doctors, as well as any other information that might be of assistance to the patients. In this case, the nurses extend their caring beyond the operating and recovery room set-up. They ensure that the recovery of their patients continues even after they leave the hospital set up.
Callaghan, A. (2011). Student nurses' perceptions of learning in a perioperative placement. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 67(4), p854-864.
Drach-Zahavy, A. (2009). Patient-centered care and nurses’ health: the role of nurses’ caring orientation. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 65(7), p1463-1474.
Meretoja, R., & Koponen, L. (2012). A systematic model to compare nurses' optimal and actual competencies in the clinical setting. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 68(2), p414-422.
Schreuders, L. et al. (2012). Nurse perceptions of the impact of nursing care on patient outcomes: An exploratory study. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, Vol. 41(2), p190-197.