Incorporating a Collaborative Perioperative Training Program in Undergraduate Nursing Education

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Rosalyn McGrath, MSN2
Marianne Saunders, MSN2
Colleen Mattioni, DNP2
Donna Trinkaus, MSN1
Deanna Lynn Schaffer, PhD1
(1)College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
(2)Perioperative Services, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

In nursing today we have heard the many concerns of the nursing shortage in many specialty areas including nursing education. According to an article by Dr. Rose O’Sherman (2012) perioperative nursing is ground zero for the coming nursing shortage. The specialty of perioperative nursing workforce has been experiencing a shortage for many years now due to the aging workforce (O’Sherman, 2012). Many perioperative leaders already report they are having problems with recruitment and they expect that difficulty to increase over the next five years (O’Sherman, 2012). An additional problem is the absence of perioperative curricula in most nursing programs (Ball, Doyle, Oocumma, 2015) and lack of perioperative experiences and exposure to any of the perioperative areas (operating room, holding area, post anesthesia care unit, interventional radiology, endoscopy, etc.) has been eliminated from the nursing curriculum in most nursing programs in the United States (O’Sherman, 2012).

This session will present a Collaborative Perioperative Training Program developed between a university-based undergraduate nursing program and a hospital perioperative services department in an urban setting in Philadelphia, United States.

Planning for the Collaborative Perioperative Training Program was initiated in 2014 with several group planning meetings. The collaborative decided to initiate the program with the Accelerated Career Entry (ACE) undergraduate nursing students with a call for applications for the “ACE Perioperative Immersion Experience” in December 2105. The ACE students have a bachelor’s degree in another field and are completing the BSN program in 11 months. Once the selection process was completed the participants completed the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Perioperative 101 Fundamentals Course Modules. The immersion portion of the experience took place during break week between sessions where the participants completed 40 hours of education, simulation and clinical experiences with preceptors in the perioperative environment. The immersion included experiences in Pre-operative Observation, Operating Room, Post Anesthesia Care Unit, Surgical Center, and training on Introduction to Perioperative Nursing, Perianesthesia Nursing, Surgical Environment, Scrubbing Gowning Gloving, Aseptic Technique, Preoperative Assessment, Quality & Safety, Skin Antisepsis, Nursing Leadership, Shared Governance, Patient and Equipment Safety, Professionalism and much more. The feedback following the immersion experience was overwhelmingly positive from both the student participants and the clinical training site and six participants were hired full time out of the first cohort. The “ACE Perioperative Immersion Experience” continues to be offered two times a year in June and December with an additional seven students hired out of the second ACE cohort.

The second phase of the Collaborative Perioperative Training Program included implementing an “Introduction to Perioperative Nursing” minor for the traditional (4 year) undergraduate nursing students. Phase two was initiated in the fall of 2016. This “Introduction to Perioperative Nursing” minor program includes two courses and one week long immersion experience offered in the senior year. This program includes completion of the Perioperative 101 Course Modules along with lecture, simulation and clinical experiences and concludes with a 40 hour intensive immersion experience.

This Collaborative Perioperative Training Program developed between a university-based undergraduate nursing program and a hospital based perioperative services department in an urban setting in Philadelphia, United States has proven to be very effective in introducing nursing students to the specialty of perioperative nursing and successful for recruitment of new graduates as perioperative nurses into the clinical environment. This collaborative team is looking forward to a continued successful relationship for many years to come.