11h CPDConference

Preventing Surgical Complications Conference

Two-Day Conference for All Nurses and Other Healthcare Professionals


Surry Hills
19 - 20 Oct 2020
Rydges Sydney Central,
28 Albion Street

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Why Attend

Is all surgery safe? Preventing surgical complications and understanding why things go wrong is fundamental to nursing practice. Attend this conference and learn about:

  • Perioperative risks of undeclared medication
  • Recognising postoperative hypoxaemia and hypoxia
  • Preventing infections from reusable laryngoscopes
  • Perioperative nurse residency programs
  • Effective patient handovers and much, much more...

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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Sue Querruel

Anaesthetic Risk!

The types of anaesthetics and the anaesthetic agents used affect the surgical patient’s level of risk and their recovery phase. What implications can this have for nurses caring for patients postoperatively? This interactive session will explore:

  • What are the different types of anaesthetics and anaesthetic agents, and when are they used?
  • Are the risks associated with anaesthetics the same across the lifespan?
  • Which factors can have a significant effect on the patient post-anaesthetic?
  • What observations are vital in the first 24 hours post-surgery following anaesthesia?
Samantha Coppack

Postoperative Hypoxaemia and Hypoxia

Postoperative hypoxaemia is a complication - most commonly seen in older postoperative patients but may occur in younger patients. This session includes an overview of airway delivery devices (intraoperative and ward) and will discuss:

  • What is the difference between hypoxia and hypoxaemia?
  • Why will a child become hypoxic before an adult?
  • What are the physiological causes of hypoxaemia?
  • How can we identify risk factors for postoperative hypoxaemia?
  • Is postoperative hypoxaemia completely preventable?
  • What nursing interventions can we perform to reduce the patient’s risk of hypoxia?
10:45 Morning Tea

Samantha Coppack

Out of Breath: Surgery-Related Pneumonia

Postoperative pneumonia is a complication that may occur after any surgery, especially emergency or major surgeries. This session will discuss one of the worst postoperative complications in terms of mortality rates, and discuss:

  • Are there any surgical procedures that pose a higher risk of postoperative pneumonia?
  • Is it possible that postoperative pneumonia rates are being counted as nosocomial infections instead of as post-surgical complications?
  • How can postoperative pneumonia be effectively prevented?
Sue Querruel

Surgical Site Infection: Multi-resistant Organisms

The evolution of surgical site infections continues to challenge healthcare professionals. This session will look at some of the current causes of concern in regard to infectious diseases. It includes:

  • What are militant microorganisms?
  • Which are the major antibiotic-resistant organisms?
  • How can healthcare professionals reduce surgical site infections related to multi-resistant organisms?
1:00 Lunch and Networking

Sue Querruel

Preventing Infections from Reusable Laryngoscopes

Infections from cross-contaminations due to the use of reusable laryngoscopes have resulted in illness and death. This session will discuss:

  • What are the current practices to decontaminate reusable laryngoscopes?
  • What is the best-practice method to decontaminate reusable laryngoscopes?
  • Can reusable laryngoscopes be thoroughly decontaminated between patients?
  • Is it better to use disposable laryngoscopes?
3:00 Afternoon Tea


Perioperative Risks of Undeclared Medication

Sometimes, patients won’t disclose which medications they’re taking, only because it may seem insignificant. This session will explore why a complete medication history is important, especially in the perioperative setting. It includes:

  • Prescription medicines
  • Non-prescription and over the counter medication, e.g. aspirin
  • Herbal medicines
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Sue Querruel

Wound Dehiscence

Postoperative wound dehiscence is a complication that is related to surgical site infections (SSIs) and may prove to be costly in both time and money. This session includes:

  • What are the risk factors for wound dehiscence?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of wound dehiscence?
  • How is wound dehiscence related to SSIs?
  • What can be done to prevent wound dehiscence?
Sue Querruel

Paralytic Ileus and Other Bowel Issues

A severe postoperative complication, a paralytic ileus is an ileus that has persisted for more than three days. This session will discuss the risks and management of some not so common bowel issues, including paralytic ileus, risks of colonoscopy, strangulated hernia, testicular and ovarian torsion, as well as looking at:

  • What are the signs of paralytic ileus?
  • Who is at risk of paralytic ileus?
  • What is the differential diagnosis for paralytic ileus?
  • Are there additional complications that may result from a paralytic ileus?
  • When is surgery indicated for paralytic ileus?
  • What are the major risks of colonoscopies? And the rare ones? How will you know?
  • What is a strangulated hernia? What management is required?
  • What is torsion? How will you be able to diagnose it in your patients?
  • What is the difference between an appendectomy and mesenteric adenitis?
11:00 Morning Tea

Janette Williams

Urinary Retention

Retention of urine can cause urinary tract infections, which can lead to delirium in postoperative patients. This session will discuss a common post-surgical complication, as well as provide an update on the urinary system and some of the common surgical interventions performed. It includes:

  • How is the urinary system innervated? Why is this important to know postoperatively?
  • What actually happens intraoperatively when a patient has a TURP?
  • What are the risk factors to look out for post-op (TUR syndrome, retention, clot), and how are these managed?
  • How does a spinal anaesthetic work, and how might this put the patient at risk of UR?
  • What are the other possible causes of postoperative UR?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of POUR?
  • How can you assess for UR?
  • Are there any nonsurgical treatments for POUR?
12:15 Lunch and Networking

Matthew Dutton

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

Also known as vacuum-assisted closure, negative pressure wound therapy is used to accelerate wound healing. This session will discuss:

  • What are the uses of negative pressure wound therapy?
  • When should negative pressure wound therapy be started?
  • Is this method more effective than other wound healing techniques?
  • Are there any contraindications to the use of negative pressure wound therapies?
Matthew Dutton

Pressure Injury: An Intraoperative Risk

The perioperative period has a high level of pressure injury risk for many patients. What are the factors that may contribute to this risk? What does this mean for nurses caring for patients before and after surgery? In this session, we will discuss:

  • What are the conditions that make a surgical patient susceptible to pressure injury?
  • What nursing actions can be taken during the surgical patient’s journey to reduce pressure injury risks?
  • Patient positioning - what are the dos and don’ts?
  • What is the role of the perioperative nurse in the prevention of pressure injury?
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Sue Querruel

Perioperative Nurse Residency Programs

Perioperative nurse residency programs are designed to allow nurses who are transitioning into the perioperative nursing role a chance to train in a defined curriculum, with the possibility of being hired as full-time staff at the end of their residency. This session will discuss a concept that is popular abroad and includes:

  • What are the possible benefits of a perioperative nurse residency program?
  • Is this type of residency already being done in Australia?
  • Are these programs sustainable in the long term?
  • Would a staff retention program be better than a residency program?
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

There are inherent risks associated with any surgical procedure. Preventing costly surgical complications, such as an unplanned return to theatre or an escalation of care to critical care environments, is a key priority after any procedure. The provision of care that is underpinned by best practice is known to reduce the likelihood of hospital-acquired complications. There is a timely need for nurses to gain key updates on how to detect and respond early to potential surgical complications if patient harm is to be minimised.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this conference is to provide key updates on how to detect and manage potential surgical complications so as to reduce patient harm and improve patient safety.

Your learning outcomes:

Be better able to recognise high-risk individuals before harm occurs
Utilise sharpened assessment skills to assist in responding to signs of clinical deterioration more rapidly
Reduce the pain and discomfort experienced by patients as a result of an unplanned return to theatre
Utilise communication and interprofessional collaboration across the surgical journey to support the provision of comprehensive care


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Suzanne Querruel

Suzi Querruel has been working in the perioperative field for the past decade. Her passion lies in perianaesthesia nursing, and she has been seeking to advance the field over the past few years. She is a tutor and lecturer for Western Sydney University [WSU] in the Bachelor of Nursing program and WSU The College in their Academic Pathways Programs. She is the unit coordinator at WSU The College for the subjects 'health communication' and 'skills in health science'. She was previously anaesthetic coordinator at Westmead Private Hospital and also has held sessional nurse educator positions at the Australian College of Nursing, Wesley Health Management, and the University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney University, and the University of Tasmania. She has been a nurse educator for Ausmed Education for the past three years and has collaborated on the program development for the perianaesthesia, perioperative, day surgery, and surgical nursing seminars. She has held the position of national vice president and NSW/ACT president of the Australian Society of Post Anaesthesia & Anaesthesia Nurses [ASPAAN] for two years and has recently seen the transition of ASPAAN to the Australian College of PeriAnaesthesia Nurses [ACPAN]. Suzi holds a bachelor of nursing, graduate diploma in nursing (anaesthetics & PACU), masters of nursing education), certificate IV in workplace training & assessment, and a neuro-linguistic programming [NLP] practitioner certificate. Read More

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Samantha Coppack

Sam Coppack has worked in the perioperative environment for over a decade and currently works as a senior registered nurse in the operating theatres of Hawkesbury District Health Service. Previously, Sam worked at Westmead Private hospital in the recovery and the acute pain service. Sam is passionate about nurse education and loves mentoring and teaching students and colleagues in the clinical setting. Sam holds a graduate certificate in perioperative nursing, a bachelor of nursing, a certificate IV in training and assessment and has almost completed a master of advanced nursing (education). Read More

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Matthew Dutton

Matthew Dutton is currently the wound care clinical nurse consultant for the St. George Hospital and a clinical lecturer for Sydney Nursing School. He is a PhD candidate at Sydney Nursing School, a review editor for the Journal of Wound Management Association (NSW) Committee and one of the lecturers and coordinators for the College. Read More

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To Be Determined

 Read More

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Janette Williams

Janette Williams is a continence consultant with an impressive background in the care of patients with urinary/bowel dysfunctions. Her clinical work as a registered nurse and her active involvement in the Continence Foundation of Australia combine to make her a knowledgeable teacher in this area of nursing care. Read More


19 - 20 Oct 2020


Rydges Sydney Central
28 Albion Street
Surry Hills NSW,2010


$629.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  

Events in other locations

19 - 20 Oct 2020
Rydges Sydney Central
28 Albion Street
Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
3 - 4 Dec 2020
Mercure Hotel Brisbane
85-87 North Quay
Brisbane, QLD, 4000
A message about Ausmed events

Events held in September onwards are scheduled to proceed. We hope to see you at an Ausmed Event soon!