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What does the perioperative college offer surgical nurses?

The Perioperative Nurses' College NZNO represents members who specialise in perioperative nursing nationally and internationally. It provides nursing leadership, strategic direction, professional and education standards, and a support network. Members deliver perioperative nursing care across the perioperative continuum by developing partnerships that support the model of patient-focused care.

The concept of the perioperative continuum encompasses three phases of the patient's surgical experience. The first phase is the pre-operative phase, beginning with the patient's decision to have surgery and ending at induction of anaesthetic. The intra-operative phase is the time from the patient's anaesthetic induction until extubation and/or transfer from the operating table. The post-operative phase begins with the patient's transfer from the operating room to the post anaesthetic care unit (PACU). It continues until discharge from hospital and/ or health team care.

Under this definition, all nurses who care for a patient during their surgical experience have an integral part in that care. The cortege therefore welcomes all surgical nurses to join and participate in their region's study days, our national conferences, international and world conferences, and focused sub-committees: education, accreditation, standards and our journal

The Dissector, published quarterly. Our present membership of 680 includes 16 surgical nurses, one outpatient department nurse, 59 day surgery nurses, 77 PACU nurses and 517 operating theatre nurses.

There are good reasons to join the college. Firstly, our speciality focus is safe nursing practices for the surgical patient. We believe the more diverse our membership, the better we can focus on the perioperative nursing continuum and support the patient through this journey. Secondly, our guidelines and standards of safe patient care and standards for perioperative education, orientation and accreditation have all received NZNO approval. Thirdly, our regional study days and conference subjects have become more holistic and relevant for the patient and the perioperative nurse.

Last year, our annual conference in Palmerston North aimed to offer something for all perioperative nurses. One of the most popular sessions was a workshop on suturing and wound closure. Other workshop topics were pain, diabetes and wound management, ethics, forensic dentistry, Creutzedt Jakob Disease, electro-surgical safety in laparoscopic surgery, complementary therapies, perioperative fasting and pharmacogenetics. The keynote speakers were mountaineer Mark Inglis, who lost both legs on Mt Cook in 1982 and who is currently climbing Mt Everest; anaesthetist Rob Whitta and the malignant hyperthermia team at Palmerston North; and anaesthetist Lama Fox from Taranaki who discussed pain and drug techniques for patients. The cortege has nine regions: Auckland, Central North Island, Hawke's Bay, Ruahine/Egmont, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury/ West Coast, Otago and Southland. Each year one of the regions is responsible for hosting the national conference. This year's will be in Invercargill from October 12-14. All perioperative nurses are invited to join the college. A fee of $1:1.25 covers the publication and delivery of The Dissector. For membership enquiries, e-mail secretary Berice Beach on or chair Bettina Marenzi at
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Author:Marenzi, Bettina
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Mar 1, 2006
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