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Weighing in your options for your next nursing career move? Perioperative nurses are one of the most in demand nursing occupations in Australia, particularly in remote or regional areas.
If you are listing perioperative nursing as one of your options, you must know what the duties and responsibilities of a perioperative nurse are and if you have the necessary skills to be effective on the job.
Perioperative nurses provide nursing care for patients before, during and after they undergo surgery or a non-surgical procedure. They help in making the patients feel less anxious before the operation, provide assistance to the surgical team during the operation, and in making sure each patient’s needs are met pre and post operation.
As a perioperative nurse, your duties include one or more specialised roles, such as being a holding bay nurse, anaesthetic nurse, circulating nurse, instrument nurse, scrub nurse, and a post-surgery recovery nurse.
Mainly, in a medical environment, perioperative nurses work together before, during, and after an operative or non-operative procedure in a systematic approach to provide the best care to patients for a successful operation and fast recovery.
Perioperative nursing is a fulfilling yet challenging job. You will often find yourself in stressful and emotional emergency situations, which is why you need to possess special skills to be able to be effective on your job.
You need to have good communication skills because you will be working with a team of medical professionals. You also have to educate the patient’s family of their roles in the treatment and recovery process.
Next, you need to have critical thinking skills to be able to anticipate problems and react accordingly to help prevent undesirable outcomes that could further put the patient’s health in danger.
If you aspire to be a perioperative nurse, first, you need to be a registered nurse. This means you completed the Bachelor of Nursing program as your first degree or as your professional entry degree. Second, you need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia or NMBA and meet their registration standards to be able to practice professionally. Third, you need to have experience in providing general and critical nursing care. Lastly, you need to complete a professional practice program or Graduate Nurse Program to be able to further advance your career as a perioperative nurse.
The salaries and working conditions of perioperative nurses in Australia vary depending on the state or territory they are in, the various awards and industrial agreements in the sector they work for, private or public, and their experience or seniority. Usually, registered nurses earn AU$ 65,000 on average per year.
Who’s This Role For?
You have to possess certain qualities to become a successful perioperative nurse. These qualities may vary depending on the nursing care you provide.
If your role mainly involves providing care before the operation, you need to be lively and organized to help make patients feel comfortable. If your role involves being in the operating room during the procedure you need to be a critical thinker and able to deal with stressful situations as they often arise in that setting. If your duties involve post-operative care you need to be patient as recovering patients tend to have lots of needs, not to forget the family members you have to deal with. You also need to have a good ability in making assessments to be able to make quick decisions in case a patient’s condition changes quickly.
Career Prospects and Opportunities / Industry Information
The demand for perioperative nurses is stronger in remote and regional areas. However, you can choose to work in the surgical department of private or public hospitals, in clinics or in stand-alone facilities.