Perioperative nursing

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Perioperative nursing is a nursing specialty that works with patients who are having operative or other invasive procedures. Perioperative nurses work closely with Surgeons, Aesthesiologists, nurse Anaesthetists, Surgeon's Assistants, Surgical Technologists, and Nurse Practitioners. They perform preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care primarily in operating theatre.[1][2]

Perioperative Nursing Roles

Perioperative Nurses in Australia may perform several roles, including Circulating, Instrument (or scrub) nurse, Preoperative (or patient reception) nurse, Post Anaesthetic Care Unit or Recovery nurse, Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA), and Patient Educator [1]

Circulating Nurse

The Circulating nurse is a Perioperative Nurse that assists in managing the nursing care of a patient during surgery. The circulating Nurse observes for breaches in surgical asepsis and coordinating the needs of the surgical team. The Circulating Nurse is not scrubbed in the case, but rather manages the care and environment during surgery[3]

Instrument Nurse

The Instrument (Scrub) Nurse is a Perioperative Nurse that works directly with the surgeon within the sterile field. The Instrument nurse manages the sterile equipment, anticipates the Surgeon's needs, and passes instruments and other items required during the procedure. Other duties include surgical site skin preparation, sterile draping, suctioning, irrigation, and retraction. The title comes from the requirement to scrub their hands and arms with special disinfecting solutions.[1][4]

RN First Assistant

An RNFA is the Surgeon's Assistant and is extremely qualified in providing extended perioperative nursing care. The role also includes preoperative,intraoperative and postoperative care the the patient.[1][4]

Perianaesthesia Nursing

The Perianaesthesia Nurse (Recovery Nurse) provides intensive nursing care to patients after they wake from anaesthesia. This nurse cares for and monitors patients to make sure they are not nauseous or disorientated.[5]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  3. "Australian College of Operating Room Nurses :: Home". Retrieved 2016-05-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Roles of the Perioperative Nurse

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