THE Western NSW Local Health District (LHD) is celebrating a select few of its staff for Perioperative Nurses Week.
An integral part of any hospital, perioperative nurses assist before, during and after surgery.
There are approximately 300 employed across nine sites in the Western NSW LHD, 40 of which work at Bathurst Base Hospital.
Nursing unit manager Bridgitte Hodges said that patients’ first point of contact is through the pre-admission nurse, who will go through their health status and provide them with instructions.
“On the day of surgery, they come in and the admission girls will get the patients ready, give them any information they still want and basically calm them and look after both the patients and their families; they offer support and reassurance,” she said.
Perioperative nurses are also present in the operating theatre, filling three roles.
These are the anaesthetic nurse, instrument nurse and the circulating nurse.
Recovery nurses then monitor the patients as they come out of anaesthetic.
READ ALSO: Behind the scenes at Bathurst Hospital
Working as a perioperative nurse is not easy, and it takes a certain kind of person to be able to deal with the different needs of the patients who come through the hospital for surgery.
“I think theatre is a very fast-paced, energetic sort of environment, where nurses have to adapt and adjust at a very quick pace, because things don’t always run to plan,” Ms Hodges said.
“So I think you do need to be a person who kind of enjoys that fairly fast-moving environment, but at the same time you’ve got to have enough time to talk to your patients and have them calm enough, reassure them that everything is going to be alright.”
She added that the job is very much about teamwork and wouldn’t be possible without it.
Perioperative nurses are always looking for ways to improve the experience for patients.
Recently, the use of text messaging was implemented to contact patients in a more timely manner.
New anaesthetic machines will also be introduced in November, while a visual board has been set u up to track outcomes in many areas.