Perioperative Nursing Programs

Perioperative nurses are medical specialists who provide care to patients in the operating room. With the development of surgical care, the need for registered nurses who assist with patient care in the operating room has increased. They may work in hospital surgical departments, day surgery units, clinics, or physicians' offices. They help healthcare professionals in planning, implementing, and evaluating treatment. In the operating room, these nurses may serve in one of two capacities: scrub nurse or circulating nurse. A scrub nurse selects and passes supplies for operation. A circulating nurse looks after the nursing care and assists in maintaining a comfortable and safe operation environment.

The educational requirements to become a perioperative nurse are quiet extensive. The prospective nurses must first become registered nurses by acquiring a bachelor's degree in nursing. Alternatively, they may also acquire an associate's degree in nursing, but they may be required to take additional courses or require more experience. After acquiring a registered nurse qualification, nurses may choose from a number of perioperative nursing programs for certification. A nurse who obtains perioperative certification must ensure that the program she enrolled in features accreditation by a professional body.

Perioperative Nursing Programs
These programs are designed for registered nurses who have no prior experience in the operating room. They may include theory content from nursing, sciences, and humanities. Apart from traditional campus based program, these days a number of schools are offering online programs as well. These programs may enable nurses to continue work while studying. Also, they may be more cost effective than campus based programs.

A perioperative nursing program aims to focus on individualized, patient-centered care. The coursework is intended to enable students to apply perioperative registered nurse theory to practice. It may include two theory courses with one skills lab and one clinical practice course. The curriculum may include the following:

  • Perioperative Nursing Theory
  • Clinical Practicum
  • Nursing skills Lab
  • Perioperative Nursing and Surgical Interventions

Upon successful completion of the program, nurses may be able to meet the individual needs of the patients during surgery and other operational procedures. The above mentioned curriculum is typical for many institutes; however, it may vary from one institute to another. For exact details of the program you wish to enroll in, please contact your admissions counselor.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage of registered nurses was $65,470 in May 2012. Specialty nurses such as perioperative nurses could earn more than the average for registered nurses. The salary level may vary according to geographic location, the nature of responsibility, and the availability of nursing applications.

Career Outlook
The job outlook of registered nurses is bright. According to the BLS, the employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 19% from 2012 to 2022. Hence the opportunities for perioperative specialists are also expected to be significant. With additional education and training, perioperative nurses may pursue careers as operating room directors and budget managers. They may also choose to specialize further in nurse anesthetics, or pursue career as nursing educators or researchers.


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