11h 45m CPDSeminar

Perianaesthesia Nursing: Introductory Skills Update Seminar

Two-Day Seminar for Nurses Working in Perianaesthesia Settings


16 - 17 Sep 2021
Oaks on Market
60 Market St
Melbourne VIC3000

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Why Attend

Do you want to work in a recovery or PACU? Are you already practising in a perianaesthesia setting? Patients undergoing or recovering from anaesthesia are reliant on your up-to-date knowledge and skills. Attend this seminar to:

  • Upskill your patient assessment and manage a difficult airway
  • Update your knowledge on anaesthetic agents, including gases and the anaesthetic machine
  • Understand thermoregulation issues across a range of patients
  • Deal with postoperative nausea and vomiting effectively
  • Refresh your infection prevention practice, aseptic technique, and patient positioning
  • Confidently manage surgical complications such as anaphylaxis, and massive blood loss
  • Get ready for what is on the horizon in perianaesthesia nursing

Don’t miss this essential seminar. Book now!

Need for Program

Patients in the perianaesthesia setting are presenting with increasing co-morbidities and complex care needs. Many are at high risk for surgery and immediate recovery may be compromised. Nurses are critical to safe perianaesthesia and need to rapidly recognise and prioritise problem areas to resolve patient issues. Caring for vulnerable patients who are undergoing or recovering from anaesthesia is reliant on a sound knowledge base, technological skills and non-technical skills that can be adapted to any situation. In addition, as new procedures and medications emerge in the surgical and anaesthesia fields, nurses must be proactive about new learning.

Purpose of Program

This seminar provides an update on a range of fundamental perianaesthesia nursing knowledge and skills essential for safe practice and recovery of patients in this environment of care.

Your Learning Outcomes

  1. Practice in accordance with Australian College of Operating Room Nurses [ACORN] and Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists [ANZCA] standards, as well as State health services policies, procedures and guidelines.
  2. Use knowledge of anaesthetic agents, including gases and the methods of application of anaesthetics to educate patients undergoing anaesthesia and the potential impact of these on their recovery.
  3. Use best practice assessment of patients in anaesthetics/intraoperative care, to rapidly respond to potential problems including postoperative nausea and vomiting, pain, airway management, and cardiac arrest to improve the patient experience and minimise adverse events.
  4. Prepare for future research and technological developments in surgery, anaesthesia, and nursing that will impact on the specialist areas of perianaesthesia nursing.


Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Defining the Perianaesthesia Nurse – A Rapidly Evolving Profession

Perianaesthesia nursing has evolved into a highly specialised area that has encompassed many changes in its environment of care. This follows a global trend that reflects a continual expansion in nurses' scope of practice. This introductory session looks at the changes that are occurring in the perianaesthesia nursing landscape in relation to the current ACORN role descriptions. It will consider what this means for nurses who are working in larger complex facilities as well those who are employed in smaller settings. This includes the introduction of advanced practice roles. By understanding these new positions, you will be able to gain insight into the already identified complexities of care. The following roles will be considered:

  • Anaesthetic Nurse and Nurse Sedationist
  • Instrument/ Circulating Nurse and Nurse Endoscopist
  • Perioperative Surgical Nurse Assistant
  • PACU Nurse
  • Pain Management Nurse Practitioner


Update on Infection Prevention and Aseptic Technique

The principles of infection control and aseptic technique have been taught to us since the early stages of our nursing career and are, without doubt, a critical aspect of all that we do. Within the perianaesthesia environment, however, there are specific conditions that we must abide by in order to ensure infection prevention is scrupulously maintained. There will be an exploration of the ACORN Standard Statements for Infection Prevention and Aseptic Technique focusing on the specific requirements in the operating theatre, such as correct theatre attire and the management of traffic flow. It includes:

  • Modern sterilisation techniques
  • Patient handling
  • Hand hygiene moments

10:30am - Morning Tea


Operating Theatre Considerations – Positioning and Equipment

During any surgical procedure, there are essential rules that must be followed to allay risk and prevent surgical mishaps. In this session, you will consider other critical aspects of maintaining a safe environment of care. This includes:

  • Use of equipment - especially during specific procedures
  • Patient positioning and the avoidance of pressure injuries
  • Special considerations for obese patients

This will be a highly interactive session where you can discuss different surgical/patient examples that relate to your environment of care.

12:30pm - Lunch and Networking


Anaesthesia – Imperatives of Nursing Care

Understanding and monitoring the patient's response to anaesthetic during a surgical procedure is crucial. Positive patient outcomes rely completely on the accurate management of this aspect of care. There are many different types of anaesthetics and many special surgical considerations that need to be respected prior to administration of invasive medical procedures. This session includes an afternoon tea break and will bring you up to date on the use of modern anaesthetics, including:

  • A review of the anaesthetic machine and monitoring
  • Types of anaesthesia and the pharmacology associated with each, including:
    • Local anaesthesia
    • Sedation
    • General anaesthesia
    • Regional anaesthesia
  • Airway management
  • Fluid management

4:45pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Recovering from an Anaesthetic

The Post-Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU) is a high dependency unit that cares for patients who have been impacted by surgical manipulation and the use of anaesthetic agents (it used to be called “Recovery Room”). Typically, it is an area adjacent to the operating room where patients who have had surgery are taken for intensive nursing observation and care while recovering from the anaesthetic. There are many high-alert situations that can occur at this time and, therefore, the skills, clinical reasoning abilities, and actions of nurses in this area are of paramount importance. This session looks at the PACU and discusses:

  • Best-practice airway management - including airway distress
  • Assessment of level of consciousness, including correct documentation
  • Assessment for haemodynamic instability
  • Monitoring and managing the physiological effects of the surgical intervention, e.g. postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV)
  • Use of analgesia

10:30am - Morning Tea


The Theatre of Risk – Prevention and Preparation for Complications

Complications arising from anaesthesia or surgical intervention can lead to devastating consequences for a patient and may even be fatal. This session will focus on the incidence of complications under anaesthesia and within the PACU. It also includes preparation for emergencies and the environmental/location considerations during an emergency (i.e. the management within an operating theatre versus PACU).

12:30pm - Lunch and Networking


The Theatre of Risk - Management of Complications

This afternoon session will look at a range of case scenarios where harm has occurred due to surgical intervention. It will include what to do if an untoward event occurs during your line of duty.

  • Case Scenario – Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening reaction to an antigen and may be seen after exposure to anaesthetic agents or medicines used intraoperatively. This case scenario will illustrate an example of anaphylaxis and how it manifests in the operating room. It includes:
    • Common culprits: neuromuscular blocking agents, antibiotics, induction medicines, latex
    • Type of reactions that occur
    • Early signs of anaphylaxis - what you must know
    • Immediate actions
    • Documentation
    • Follow up action (identifying the cause of the anaphylaxis) for future reference
  • Case Scenario – Massive Blood Loss: Haemorrhage is the main cause of cardiac arrest in the operating room. It can be dramatic and cause a state of emergency in the theatre. This case scenario will look at the causes of blood loss, including transfusion practice and anaesthetic management. It will then review the types of surgery that are more likely to create this risk. Finally, it will take you through step-by-step the actions that are necessary to ensure correct processes are maintained during such a crisis and that, where possible, life is saved. It includes:
    • Most likely causes of massive blood loss
    • Identifying a critical state of emergency
    • Tools to maintain haemostasis
    • Coordinating the team - notification of blood transfusion staff, intensive care unit etc.
    • Nursing actions and documentation
    • Notifying the family
  • Case Scenario – Malignant Hyperthermia: Malignant hyperthermia is a pharmacogenetic disorder that relates to the metabolism of muscles. It is usually caused by the administration of potent inhaled anaesthetic agents and/or succinylcholine. It is believed to be a genetic disorder. This case scenario will illustrate an example of malignant hyperthermia and how it manifests in the operating room.
    • Causes of malignant hyperthermia and questions to ask in pre-operative assessment (e.g. family history)
    • The effect of rhabdomyolysis and role of dantrolene
    • Nursing actions and documentation including the malignant hyperthermia trolley
    • Notifying the family

3:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Case Scenario – Difficult Airway Management

Maintaining a clear airway is obviously of paramount importance. In this case scenario you will be guided through the assessment of the airway and the actions to take when problems arise. It will focus on the current ANZCA recommendations and includes:

  • Assessment of the airway and identification of the cause of problems
  • Immediate actions
  • Tracheal tubes and airway latency
  • Written criteria for discharge of patients from PACU to ward


Summary of Crisis Management in Perianaesthesia Nursing

This final session will draw together the common threads of crisis management involved in perianaesthesia nursing. Finally, it will review of ACORN Standards as well as standards, policies, procedures, and guidelines from state health services.

5:00pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations

educator image

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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