3 Key Aspects of the Anaesthetic Nurse Role Essay

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An in-depth analysis of three key aspects of the anaesthetic nurse role

The relationship between the perioperative nurse and the patient has suffered a long process of mutation throughout the last decades. If before all the dynamics experienced within an operating theatre were based upon organizational and logistical aspects, these days the focus lies on the patient and all the comfort and security demanded throughout a process that already reveals itself aggressive for the patient. Being the front-line person in this dynamic, the anaesthetic nurse plays a crucial and intense role on the patient’s experience.

An anaesthetic nurse is knowledgeable and technically skilled. However, as Flin and colleagues extensively analysed (2008),
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Understanding that aviation and anesthesia shared some concepts (as safety) Gaba et al (1995) transposed situation awareness to anaesthesia which was later referred to as an essential non-technical skill in anaesthesia (Fletcher et al, 2002). Situation awareness is currently integrated in many marker systems that assess non-technical skills performance of several professionals in the perioperative environment such as surgeons (Yule et al. 2008), scrub nurses (Mitchell et al. 2012) and anaesthetists (Fletcher et al. 2003).

Although no specific marker system for anaesthetic nurses’ non-technical skills has been implemented, the anaesthetic nurse is part of the anaesthetic team (The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland 2010) caring for the same patient with the same determination. Therefore, non-technical skills such as situation awareness are also as fundamental for anaesthetic nursing practice as are for anaesthetists.

Complementing Endsley 3 level theory, the ANTS taxonomy referred to patients, time and equipment as elements of the theatre environment. Moreover, an additional part of having situation awareness is to be alert to what the co-workers are doing – team awareness (Tenney & Pew 1995). All these fundamental aspects of situation awareness will enable the anaesthetic nurse to deliver good patient care and skilled