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General Surgical and Orthopaedic Nursing

  • : Brisbane QLD 4001

General Surgical nursing is a fast-paced area of health care that requires nurses to be equipped with the latest knowledge. Achieving outcomes and such as reduced length of stays, adequate pain management, and patient satisfaction relies on nurses providing evidence based care across the surgical pathway. Includes:

  • Why is early recognition of deterioration in surgical patients key to preventing errors?
  • How can evidence-based pain management be achieved in surgical nursing?
  • What are the legal risks associated with elective surgery
  • What are the current trends in joint replacement surgery?

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Need for Program


General nurses, and those working in surgical or acute areas, care for people with a broad range of conditions that require surgical intervention, including orthopaedics. There is a need for nurses to have access to expert nurse mentors and preceptors who can assist them to understand current best-practice in regard to fundamental aspects of surgical care, and care of patients after orthopaedic surgery.

Nurses are also required to obtain a minimum of 20 continuing professional development (CPD) hours that relate to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.

Purpose of Program

The aim of this program is to offer a forum for nurses to learn current best-practice in regard to several fundamental aspects of surgical nursing care. There is a special emphasis on the role of the surgical nurse, early warning signs for patient deterioration, infection prevention, pain management and the specialty of orthopaedic nursing. It will be ideal for all nurses who work in general surgical settings.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this program it is expected that the participants will be able to:

  • Outline the factors that contribute to a patient being considered ‘high-risk’ in regard to surgical procedures
  • Examine pharmacology best-practice in relation to surgical nursing
  • Contrast the goals of nursing care for a surgical patient experiencing acute pain with those for a patient with chronic pain
  • Determine how to assess a person with a joint dysfunction and describe related goals of care
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


    Management of the Deteriorating Patient

    Recognition that a patient that may be at risk of or is deteriorating is a recognised national priority in Australia. Across all settings, early identification and management of deterioration is paramount to patient safety and improving patient outcomes. This opening session will examine the current state of play and key issues in surgical nursing, including how nurses in surgical settings can reduce avoidable mortality and length of stay by recognising deterioration. Includes:

    • Why is assessing for deterioration in a surgical patient important?
    • Different trigger levels used across various institutions
    • Impact of early recognition on patient outcomes and length of stays
    • Special considerations and signs of deterioration for the pre-op, peri-op and post-op surgical patient


    The Impact of Technology on Surgical Nursing

    This fascinating and highly interactive session will provide an overview of trends, developments and insights into how technology is impacting nursing with a particular focus on surgical nursing. Includes:

    • Are their any novel technologies that are already having an impact?
    • A selection of case studies will be used to demonstrate into how technology is making an impact

    10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    Important Surgical Considerations Along the Patient Pathway

    The patient’s experience along the surgical pathway is a key determinant of patient satisfaction. For instance, a marker of quality health care may include how well informed a patient is about their discharge medications following surgery. This session reviews some key elements along the patient’s surgical experience and how nurses can optimise patient outcomes. Includes:

    • What is the patient’s experience and expectations at various points of care the surgical pathway?
    • How does the nursing experience correlate to this perioperative timeline?
    • What assessments, interventions, documentation and priorities of care along each care point help meet patient expectations?
    • How can nurses overcome barriers to adverse patient outcomes and poor satisfaction levels along the surgical pathway?

    12:30pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    Surgical Pharmacology - Update for Nurses

    Medication management plays a crucial role in meeting patient outcomes along the surgical pathway. From a pre-operative medication risk assessment, to intra-operative medications and medication management post-operative, it is imperative that all nurses have an understating of surgical pharmacology. This session will apply medication management principles in the surgical setting, to:

    • Improve patient care in pre-admission
    • Reduce peri-operative risk for patients with co-morbidities e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease
    • Prevent infection using antibacterial prophylaxis
    • Assess venous thromboembolism risk and align appropriate prophylaxis
    • Risk assess and manage post-operative pain and nausea/vomiting

    2:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Assessing Pain in Surgical Patients

    It is unquestionable that there is a very real expectation of pain following a surgical procedure. The prevalence of acute surgical pain demands that all nurses working in surgical settings understand how to assess pain. Despite this, many patients experience unrelieved pain in the post-operatively period which can lead to preventable complications and impair outcomes. This session goes back to basics and looks at:

    • Pathophysiology of pain - what’s actually happening post-operatively?
    • Breaking down barriers - assessment of pain in patients with cognitive impairment and other communication challenges in the post-operative period
    • Expectations of pain - what amount of pain is reasonably expected and how can I communicate this to patients?
    • Assessment tools and Guidelines recommended by evidence


    Managing Pain in Surgical Patients

    Evidence suggests that good pain management is intrinsically tied to improved patient outcomes such as reduced de-conditioning, rates of infection and other preventable complications. However, the complex nature of managing pain, particularly in the immediate post-operatively period requires nurses to be well informed. This session will build on the previous session and detail evidence-based nursing management of pain:

    • Interpreting and acting on your assessment findings to ensure optimal pain management
    • Complexities of pain management - tips for getting it right
    • Balancing act - which pharmacological agents are safe for use in an older person and does the type of surgical procedure or anaesthetic effect selection?
    • Non-pharmacological nursing management strategiesWhy are current principles of antimicrobial stewardship imperative to surgical nursing?

    4:15pm - Close of Day One of Program

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    Complexity of Pain: Acute vs Chronic Pain

    In this introductory session, you will consider the differences between acute and chronic pain and how they influence nursing goals and care. Differentiating acute and chronic pain is essential in determining pain management goals and improving patient outcomes.

    • Acute vs chronic pain – key differences
    • Acute vs chronic pain – goals and care
    • Factoring in co-morbidities for management: what matters?
    • Multi-modal analgesia and delivery systems
    • Equipment selection
    • Factoring in co-morbidities for management, what matters?

    10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    Review and Monitoring of Patients

    This session will involve problem-based learning and will be highly interactive. It will include:

    • Interactive workshops
    • Critical-thinking and problem-solving for pain management
    • Case studies and case discussions
    • Pain monitoring and ongoing assessment

    12:45pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    Orthopaedic Surgical Nursing

    Orthopaedic assessment is a specialised skill that is applicable in many areas of nursing. Discussion includes:

    • The prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal disorders in Australia
    • The core principles of an orthopaedic assessment that are applicable to all patients within general clinical areas

    Orthopaedic conditions and procedures have a major impact on the patient's biomedical, functional and psychosocial health status. This part of the session will focus on recognising orthopaedic emergencies:

    • Compartment syndrome
    • Fat embolism
    • Other emergencies

    2:45pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Low Trauma Fracture Management

    Every day more than 40 Australians sustain a hip fracture associated with osteoporosis. A year later, less than half of those original 40 people will be able to walk as well as they did before and 6 or 7 will have died. This session will focus on the prevention and management of low trauma fractures of the hip, shoulder and spine.

    • Osteoporosis prevalence and associated fractures
    • Treatment for osteoporosis
    • Fracture prevention
    • Management options for the osteoporotic fracture


    Surgical Interventions for the Orthopaedic patient

    In 2010 there were 35 996 hip replacements and 44 490 knee replacements performed In Australia. This session will focus on the joint reconstruction and arthroplasty procedures from pre-admission through to rehabilitation systems.

    • Joint replacements
    • Joint reconstructions and arthroplasty
    • Rehabilitation


    Future Trends in Orthopaedic Patient Management

    What are the new and expected developments in orthopaedic surgery and patient management?

    • The most recent developments and how this has changed patient management
    • Future developments
    • Impacts on nursing care and patient outcomes

    4:45pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    To Be Determined

    To Be Determined


    Michelle Bibby

    Michelle Bibby

    Michelle Bibby is a Registered Nurse with extensive experience in infection prevention and control. She is a principal partner in Infection Prevention Australia, an infection control consulting service. Michelle has previously worked as the Victorian viral hepatitis educator and is now working with many different healthcare sectors through the consulting service.

    Fran Pearce

    Fran Pearce

    Fran Pearce is currently employed as an Education Coordinator at Austin Health. She has extensive experience in orthopaedic nursing, including Orthopaedic Case Management and Nurse Unit Management in both Australia and Northern Ireland. Fran regularly lectures on the topic of orthopaedics and is consistently highly evaluated by those who attend her sessions.

    General Surgical and Orthopaedic Nursing
    Speciality Classification
    Provider Type
    11 hours 30 mins
    Start Date
    End Date
    11 hours 30 mins
    Price Details
    Brisbane QLD 4001
    Hotel IBIS - Therry Street, 15-21 Therry Street
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